After 1600 Years, Monks Ejected From Mar Behnam by Islamists

Monastry of St Behnan ad Sarah at Iraq

The Mar Behnam Monastery (The Monastery of the Martyrs Saint Behnam and his Sister Sarah) was built in the 4th century as an act of penance by Sennacherib II. The Assyrian king had Behnam and Sarah, his son and daughter, executed for converting to Christianity, but later converted and repented. From that time until this month, the [Read More...]

How to Know You’re Middle-Aged

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H/T Boydell & Brewer For those who don’t get #5.  [Read more...]

Pentacycles

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From our Failed Inventions files: pentacycles, designed for mailmen in 1882. I can’t understand why they didn’t catch on. [Read more...]

David McCullough’s 5 (And More) Lessons For History Students

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Great stuff from a fine writer and historian. I just finished McCullough’s 1776, and it’s everything popular history should be: vivid, gripping, detailed, and with a sharply defined sense of people, place, and incident. “Don’t do boring.” Good advice! [Read more...]

St. Francis on Kickstarter

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A group of monks is using Kickstarter to raise money for the restoration of a cell where St. Francis stayed four times from 1209 and 1223, when he traveled to Rome to get recognition for his new order from Pope Innocent III. The location is the church of San Francesco a Ripa in the Trastevere [Read More...]

Qvadriga: Racing in Ancient Rome

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In 1984, Avalon Hill released a DOS version of their classic chariot racing board game, Circus Maximus. That was the last chariot racing strategy game released for the PC. It looked like this: Thirty years later, developer Turnopia reminds us what’s been missing from the gaming landscape: strong, turn-based, tactical chariot racing. That may sound [Read More...]

Truman’s Amazing 1950 Christmas Message

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Yes, I realize it’s not Christmas, but I didn’t know about it then, and will forget about by December, so here it is. I was listening to an old-time radio show and this was at the beginning: Can you even imagine it today? Plain ole Harry the haberdasher, speaking from the heart about faith in [Read More...]

A Dishonest “Cosmos”

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When my friend Tony Rossi posted about the cartoon about the life of Giordano Bruno that was inexplicably shoehorned into the reboot of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series,  he received a number of negative comments. Tony had asked a few of us with a background in Church history what we thought before he wrote his post, [Read More...]


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