‘The Eagle Huntress’ And The Ancient History Of Falconry

Over at the Forbes blog this week, I discuss the ancient and medieval history of falconry in the Mediterranean. After seeing the new documentary film ‘The Eagle Huntress,’ about a 13-year-old girl named Aisholpan learning to become an eagle hunter with her father in Mongolia, I went back to some class notes on Greco-Roman attitudes towards the … More ‘The Eagle Huntress’ And The Ancient History Of Falconry

Numbering The Stars: Remembering the Contributions of Medieval Muslim Astronomers And Catalogers

This week over at the Forbes blog, I discuss the International Astronomical Union (IAU)‘s publication of an official catalog of 227 star names. The list was published this week in order to further standardize how we reference stars and constellations, since each one has had numerous monikers in Greek, Roman, Chinese, Arabic and many other languages over the many millenia that … More Numbering The Stars: Remembering the Contributions of Medieval Muslim Astronomers And Catalogers

Roma Aeterna: Open-Access Resources for Mapping the City of Rome

I travel a lot in order to do Pleiades workshops and discuss the role of mapping in both research and pedagogy. The #1 question I am asked is: How can I map the city of Rome? This morning, I thought I would give a bit of a run-down on how you can begin to interact with … More Roma Aeterna: Open-Access Resources for Mapping the City of Rome

The Midas Touch: Alchemy in the Medieval and Early Modern Eras

It has been a splendid week doing talks and research in southern California (you can see all my slides for the talks here). One of the highlights of this trip was a special visit to the Getty in L.A. to see two adjacent exhibits (one at the Getty Museum and the other at the Getty … More The Midas Touch: Alchemy in the Medieval and Early Modern Eras

Fictive Heroism: Westworld, the Colosseum, and the History of Elite Amusement Parks

Over on the Forbes Blog this week, I explore how the HBO show Westworld sheds light on the history of elite amusement parks. Although we should probably also reflect on the colonial penchant for “fish in a barrel” elephant safaris or perhaps analyze Marie Antoinette’s creation of a “peasant” village for her to visit at Versailles, I … More Fictive Heroism: Westworld, the Colosseum, and the History of Elite Amusement Parks

From Dissertation to Book: A Few Things I Learned Over the Past 10 Years

I don’t tend to get overly personal on this blog very often. Although I adore social media (clearly), the first person singular is an uncomfortable voice when I address the public as a historian. I have always used banter about ancient or medieval history as a kind of protective tortoise shell that makes me seem extroverted. However, I … More From Dissertation to Book: A Few Things I Learned Over the Past 10 Years

A Short History of Demons, Exorcism, And Possessed Women

Since last’s week accusation by Alex Jones that Hillary Clinton and President Obama were demons that smelled of sulfur, I had begun to think about the role of demons, exorcism, and demoniacs in early Christian texts. Over on the Forbes blog, I discuss how the subject of demons has a rich past in the religion, but … More A Short History of Demons, Exorcism, And Possessed Women