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...]

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An Ancient Fetal Mummy

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...]

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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...]

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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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13th Century Monk Bones Revealed By Erosion

Wales News Service

The Telegraph’s headline was more colorful–800-year-old monk found poking out of cliff face: The legs of an 800-year-old medieval monk have been discovered, poking out of a cliff face in Wales. Although badly damaged and missing their knees, shins and feet, the thigh bones were found after the fierce recent storms caused severe coastal erosion. [Read More...]

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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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The Daily Capybara, And a Bit of Legend

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The capybara is my favorite animal, and not merely because they’re the only red meat you can eat on days of Lenten fast. Well, that’s the legend at least. Supposedly, when the missionaries encountered the capybara in South America, they weren’t sure if it qualified as a mammal or a fish. It has webbed feet [Read More...]

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What Happened to the Virgin Mary After Pentecost? (Part 2)

St. Luke Painting the Virgin Mary, 1602, Marten de Vos

In Part One, I retold the major tradition associated with the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. This tradition is attributed to various sources depending upon where the writer first encountered it. The most widespread version was that told (twice) by Jacobus de Voragine in the Golden Legend. This lengthy chapter in the Legend shows various signs [Read More...]

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