How to Know You’re Middle-Aged

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

Incredibly Beautiful: The Prayer Book of Claude de France

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The Morgan Library has put up a digital facsimile of this tiny prayer book, along with an excellent illustrated lecture on its significance. The book is a companion to the Book of Hours, and is less than 3″x2.5″  in size with dazzling illuminations.  The Morgan describes this recent aquisition as a tiny, jewel-like manuscript that [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...]

The Round Book: Codex Rotundus

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Coming from Bruges at the end of the 15th century, the Codex Rotundus is a 266-page miniature Book of Hours in Latin and French. The pages are only 9cm across.   [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...]

An Ancient Fetal Mummy

Image: Swansea University Egypt Centre

There’s a popular misconception that high mortality rates made life cheap in the ancient world, particularly where children, infants, and the unborn were concerned. The evidence, however, doesn’t support this. Mummified fetuses have been discovered before, most notably in the tomb of Tutankhamen. Ancient Egyptians clearly regarded the unborn as human life to be mourned, [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...]


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