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Vercingetorix surrenders to Julius Caesar #otd

Nos ancĂȘtres 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. [...]

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

Saladin and Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem

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 [...]

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

Alexander and Gaugamela #onthisday

On this day, October 1st, 331 BC, Alexander of Macedon won the battle of Gaugamela against the Persian king Darius and his army. That was pretty much the end of armed Persian resistance to Alexander's takeover. From that point on, Darius was a fugitive, and Alexander ruled the Persian Empire. Who was Alexander of Macedon? [...]

By |2019-10-01T08:17:51-07:00October 1st, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Metaphors, paradigms, Classics, and Medieval Europe

I'm just feeling my way toward this at the moment, so please bear with me, but I feel like the public-facing articles I see fall into three categories which can usefully be considered separately. This is not a new development, but it's one we might want to consider changing. First category: serious history In the [...]

By |2019-09-30T08:23:31-07:00September 30th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

William the Conqueror 1066

Well, I missed it yesterday, but September 28th was the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066, when William the Conqueror and the Normans attacked England and conquered King Harold, and then took over ruling England. He left his wife, Matilda, to rule his land in Normandy (in France) for him, and to take [...]

By |2019-09-29T14:35:10-07:00September 29th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Impeachment and the Epic of Gilgamesh

Impeachment and the Late Republic I've been reading an awful lot of articles drawing parallels between the end of the Roman Republic and what's going on now with the House of Representatives impeaching President Trump. Of course, there are parallels. Julius Caesar made the same sort of power grabs, acting like he was above the [...]

By |2019-09-26T13:46:09-07:00September 26th, 2019|History|0 Comments

“Genius” grant for Homer translator

I was so excited to see today that Emily Wilson got a "genius" grant from the MacArthur Foundation! Congratulations, Professor Wilson! It's $625,000, distributed over five years, to do anything you want with. Some people use it to leave their jobs and work on what they love, other people use it to put on a [...]

By |2019-09-25T17:45:54-07:00September 25th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Rosh Hashanah (Sunday-Tuesday)

Shana Tova! Happy New Year! Sunday will (finally) be Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. If you're wondering why the Jewish new year doesn't line up with the calendar New Year, it's because people actually celebrate New Years at different times for different reasons. What is Rosh Hashanah? History of the Jews Why do we [...]

By |2019-09-24T20:15:37-07:00September 24th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Congratulations Professor Haley!

Professor Shelley Haley Delighted to announce that Shelley P. Haley has been elected to be the next president of the Society for Classical Studies. Professor Haley is the Edward North Chair of Classics and Professor of Africana Studies and the Chair of the Classics Department at Hamilton College, in New York State. She [...]

By |2019-09-24T06:36:05-07:00September 24th, 2019|blog|0 Comments

Neptune discovered – on this day

Astronomers have known about six of the planets for at least five thousand years, since the time of the Sumerians. Even the names of the planets we use today are just translations of those old Sumerian names. But they didn't know about the planet Neptune. Mesopotamian astronomy What are planets? History of astronomy The one [...]

By |2019-09-22T21:17:41-07:00September 22nd, 2019|History|0 Comments