17 10, 2019

Winnie the Pooh and the Battle of Hastings

By |2019-10-17T08:55:09-07:00October 17th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

On a lighter note, it turns out that Winnie-the-Pooh and The Battle of Hastings share an anniversary on October 14th (1066, and 1926). So, did you know that E. H. Shepard - the illustrator of Winnie the Pooh - once drew this amazing scene? (Thanks to the Folio Society for putting this out there!)   [...]

16 10, 2019

Privilege and Classics, again

By |2019-10-16T09:22:04-07:00October 16th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

You know how sometimes you find yourself walking along reading an article on your phone even though you know it's terrible to walk and read at the same time? Well, that happened to me this morning with the Forward's article about Daniel Mendelsohn and his new position as Editor-at-Large at the New York Review of [...]

15 10, 2019

World Maths Day

By |2019-10-15T09:30:44-07:00October 15th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

I hope you are all enjoying World Maths Day! (Or if you're American, World Math Day). I've put together a tour of the history of math in Africa and Asia, so you can see that the math we do today is made up of ideas from all different places and times. A real Babylonian [...]

13 10, 2019

Sukkot – what are we harvesting?

By |2019-10-13T08:47:49-07:00October 13th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

It seems funny, now that most Jewish people have lived in cities and worked at city things for two thousand years, to remember that long ago most Jewish people were small farmers - like most people everywhere. Jews today have half forgotten that most of their holidays originally celebrated agricultural festivals, planting and harvesting. Passover [...]

10 10, 2019

#OTD: Battles of Karbala and Poitiers

By |2019-10-10T10:23:15-07:00October 10th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Forever joined by a coincidence in dates ... well, not that much of a coincidence, because with medieval military campaigns always starting in the spring and ending in the fall, naturally October has a large share of the really crucial battles. These two battles have other things in common too: they're both battles over the [...]

8 10, 2019

Slave Play and Yom Kippur

By |2019-10-08T05:25:47-07:00October 8th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

A Broadway show A funny thing happened to us when we were on line to get into the newly opened Slave Play on Broadway this past weekend. There was a long line, wrapped around the corner of the block. When we were just a few feet from getting in, an older white woman broke into [...]

6 10, 2019

Afternoon at the Cloisters in NYC

By |2019-10-06T20:59:23-07:00October 6th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

I've been busy today touring the Cloisters museum in New York City, which is where a lot of the Metropolitan Museum's medieval collection lives. It's been a long time since I was there. We saw some great things, for sure! We saw a lot of interesting plants in their garden: a frankincense tree, a cinnamon [...]

4 10, 2019

New book: The Brothel of Pompeii

By |2019-10-06T20:51:22-07:00October 4th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

A barmaid brings a drink to two men sitting on chairs. The words show the men arguing about whose drink it is. (Caupona of Salvius, Pompeii, 79 AD) - this is not from the brothel of Pompeii, but it's an activity that did take place in the brothel. You need this book Check [...]

3 10, 2019

Vercingetorix surrenders to Julius Caesar #otd

By |2019-10-03T05:12:25-07:00October 3rd, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Nos ancêtres les Gaulois... On October 3rd, 52 BC, the leader of the Gaulish forces, Vercingetorix, surrendered to the Roman general Julius Caesar, and Gaul fell under the control of the Roman Empire. (If you're wondering why there seems to be a rash of big military victories in the early fall, it's not a concidence. [...]

2 10, 2019

Saladin and Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem

By |2019-10-02T05:16:01-07:00October 2nd, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Saladin frees his captives On October 2nd, 1187, the Ayyubid sultan Saladin captured Jerusalem from the Crusaders after a long siege. Unlike the Crusaders, he didn't kill anybody, and instead freed most of the people in Jerusalem and made sure they had safe passage to another city still in Christian hands. He also let the [...]