August 24, 79: An Hour-By-Hour Account Of Vesuvius’ Eruption On Its 1,937th Anniversary

At around noon on August 24, 79 CE, Mount Vesuvius began to erupt and spew ash and then pumice stones down on the towns below it. The eruption lasted well into the morning of August 25th. One of the towns demolished was Pompeii, but the cities of Herculaneum, Stabiae, Oplontis, and many others–some as far… Continue reading August 24, 79: An Hour-By-Hour Account Of Vesuvius’ Eruption On Its 1,937th Anniversary

To BCE Or Not to BCE: That Is a Very Common Question

A short post in order to discuss a topic that comes up a lot when I blog and when I tweet: Why do I use BCE and CE (Before the Common Era and Common Era) instead of BC (Before Christ) and AD (anno domini–“in the year of [our] lord”)? History of the Debate:  The use of BC and… Continue reading To BCE Or Not to BCE: That Is a Very Common Question

Recovering the Invisible Women of Ben-Hur (1880-2016)

Over on the Forbes blog, I discuss the new version of Ben-Hur released last week. Rather than dissecting the film in terms of historical accuracy, I chose to take a look at the women who contributed to the story since its publication in 1880. Despite a lack of strong female characters in the plot, there were some… Continue reading Recovering the Invisible Women of Ben-Hur (1880-2016)

You Are What You Eat: The Politics of Eating On Campaign From Ancient Rome to Trump

Over on my Forbes blog, I discuss how leaders use food as a political message, from Hannibal all the way to Donald Trump. Ever since I began doing a lot of writing and teaching about the ties between food and identity, I have gotten a little obsessed with what the candidates choose to eat on the… Continue reading You Are What You Eat: The Politics of Eating On Campaign From Ancient Rome to Trump

Yes, Ancient Olympic Athletes Had Sponsorship Deals, Too

Over on my Forbes blog, I discuss how ancient Olympians made money from games that–at least technically–only gave out a corona of leaves and a palm frond to the victor. I also get into some financial subjects that, if you know me, I discuss a lot: how socio-economic privilege made athletic training and thus success easier for the wealthy than… Continue reading Yes, Ancient Olympic Athletes Had Sponsorship Deals, Too

A Brief History Of Olympic Nudity From Ancient Greece To ESPN

Over on my Forbes blog, I wrote about the messages behind athletic nudity from 720 BCE to the Rio Olympics. Ever since Orsippus stripped off that loincloth at the 15th Olympiad, there has been a message accompanying athletic nudity. As I explore, it is important to keep this in mind when evaluating the worth of the… Continue reading A Brief History Of Olympic Nudity From Ancient Greece To ESPN

‘Pass Me A Cold One’: A Short History Of Refrigerating Wine And Beer

Over on my Forbes blog, I have been writing about the history of iced beverages, particularly wine and beer. As many of you know, I have a keen interest in the history of brewing, and I will be writing more about this in the coming weeks. Right now, enjoy this ice cold survey of cellars,… Continue reading ‘Pass Me A Cold One’: A Short History Of Refrigerating Wine And Beer