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June 23, 2007 3:31 PM   Subscribe

Philosophy of History is what the page is called; it's by a philosophy professor, Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D., who's a libertarian and obsessed with Leonard Nelson and the Friesian School, whatever the hell that is. Never mind all that. If you scroll down past the essays and the Military History section and the calendars and the book reviews, you get to the Reference Resources. As he says, "Not all of history may be covered here, but a very extensive fragment of it certainly is." Take, as one tiny example, Margraves & Counts of Flanders. There's a longish introduction and a colored map, then there are lists of rulers and detailed genealogies accompanied by more text, then similarly for the Counts of Artois, the Kings & Dukes of Brittany, the Counts of Anjou, the Dukes of Normandy, the Counts of Blois & Champagne, the Counts of Toulouse, the Dukes of Aquitaine and Dukes of Gascony, the Lords & Counts of Foix, the Kings and Lords of Man, the Dukes of Marlborough and Earls of Spencer (including a detailed list of the Vanderbilts), the Dukes of Buccleuch, Grafton, & St. Albans, and the Dukes of Berwick & Fitzjames. That's one page. There are dozens and dozens of them. The Prime Ministers of the Dominions, the Kings of Bohemia, Hungary, and Poland, the Islâmic Rulers of North Africa, the Emperors of India, China, & Japan, all the way down to the Mangïts of Bukhara, 1747-1920. If you have any interest in history, This Site's For You.
posted by languagehat (48 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sorry about the length of the post. I guess I didn't really need to list all the dukes, counts, and margraves in the section. I just got carried away.
posted by languagehat at 3:41 PM on June 23, 2007


Yeah I thought you were trying to crapflood the front page there for a second;) Thanks for the links.
posted by vronsky at 3:46 PM on June 23, 2007


In my office there's an older associate who sleeps at his desk every day. He's allowed, because he's old, and cranky.

But, you know, it still gets on our nerves.
posted by four panels at 3:53 PM on June 23, 2007


Being of Friesian providence my heart jumped. Friesland gave rise of a Philosophy of History. World fame! But unfortunately it's named for Jakob Fries.

And yes, noble titles and genealogies are fascinating.
For instance did you know that the Dutch royal family of Orange-Nassau used to reign over Luxembourg as Grand Dukes of Luxembourg. But nowadays only the title of Duke of Luxembourg is left among their long list of titles.

...

You did not know that?
posted by jouke at 3:53 PM on June 23, 2007


Finally, something to help me untangle The Baroque Cycle!
posted by adamrice at 3:56 PM on June 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


"... history deals mainly with captains and kings, gods and prophets, exploiters and despoilers, not with useful men. Thus we do not know who the revolutionist was who first set a broken leg, nor the first to launch a seaworthy boat, nor the first to manure a field."

-H.L. Mencken
posted by Flunkie at 4:05 PM on June 23, 2007 [7 favorites]


Finally, something to help me untangle The Baroque Cycle!

I think I've found this page before by trying to Google up some background to some Baroque Cycle stuff.

There's history of philosophy and philosophy of history, but what about the history of philosophy of history and the philosophy of history of philosophy?
posted by grouse at 4:09 PM on June 23, 2007


Holy shit, this is awesome! I just wish I knew how it was organized...
posted by vacapinta at 4:12 PM on June 23, 2007


Sweet!
King of the perennial holly-groves, the riven sandstone: overlord of the M5: architect of the historic rampart and ditch, the citadel at Tamworth, the summer hermitage in Holy Cross: guardian of the Welsh Bridge and the Iron Bridge: contractor to the desirable new estates: saltmaster: money-changer: commissioner for oaths: martyrologist: the friend of Charlemagne.

'I liked that,' said Offa, 'sing it again.'
from Geoffery Hill's Mercian Hymns

But why did I know he'd be using Wade-Giles for his Chinese romanisation? Also a bit tendentious in some of his language articles, but packed with facty goodness nonetheless
posted by Abiezer at 4:22 PM on June 23, 2007


WhaWhat? sorry, I nodded off there for a few...

Pretty cool resource actually, just a lot of it.
posted by pupdog at 4:27 PM on June 23, 2007


This is what Tolkein and Frank Herbert masturbate to.

Great resource, languagehat. Thanks.
posted by hifiparasol at 4:42 PM on June 23, 2007


Fantastic! I love things like this.
posted by Flitcraft at 4:50 PM on June 23, 2007


Okay.... here's a guy who, discussing those targeted by Joseph Mcarthy, has this to say:

"This was not harmless or honest dissent. It was espionage, sabotage, and treason."

He backs this assertion up with no evidence whatsoever. The best thing I can say about this section is that he notes, correctly, that the Kennedys (particularly RFK) were hip deep in Mcarthyism, something that isn't usually part of the official Kennedy hero worship industry.

From there, though, his "essay" degenerates into hysterical, child-like, right-wing ranting. I mean, the kind of stuff that even Ann Coulter wouldn't sign her name to:

Ted Kennedy, as the all but perpetual Senator from Massachusetts, has contributed little to American politics apart from constant pressure for the destruction of American principles and institutions. The younger generation of Kennedies has generally gone in the same direction, as has the Democratic Party in general -- which now harbors the most anti-American elements that still participate in mainsteam American politics, even after thousands of Americans were killed by Terrorists on 9/11.

And again I want to emphasize, at no time does he even make an attempt to offer support for any of this crap. He's not actually making an argument; he's just spewing.
posted by Clay201 at 4:53 PM on June 23, 2007


Wow. Nice resource. Thanks for the link! My only gripe (not aimed at you!) is that it's a total mess to work with. Holy amazingly-long webpage, Batman.
posted by JoshTeeters at 4:56 PM on June 23, 2007


Clay201:
From there, though, his "essay" degenerates into hysterical, child-like, right-wing ranting. I mean, the kind of stuff that even Ann Coulter wouldn't sign her name to:

Ted Kennedy, as the all but perpetual Senator from Massachusetts, has contributed little to American politics apart from constant pressure for the destruction of American principles and institutions. The younger generation of Kennedies has generally gone in the same direction, as has the Democratic Party in general -- which now harbors the most anti-American elements that still participate in mainsteam American politics, even after thousands of Americans were killed by Terrorists on 9/11.
I am curious as to why you think that Ann Coulter wouldn't sign her name to that.

For example, when Jerry Falwell blamed 9/11 on pagans, abortionists, feminists, gays, lesbians, the ACLU, and the People for the American Way, Coulter stated that she disagreed, because Falwell left out Ted Kennedy.
posted by Flunkie at 5:24 PM on June 23, 2007


I guess my point can be summed up in this general dictum:

Any time you think that (insert name of right winger, popular or otherwise) would not go so far as to (insert abhorrent act), you're probably wrong.
posted by Flunkie at 5:34 PM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Dr. Ross teaches at the august Los Angeles Valley College; took 18 years to go from BA to PhD; and has contributed less than a half-dozen academic works over his almost 40 year career.
posted by docgonzo at 5:42 PM on June 23, 2007


docgonzo: Yes, and . . .? Since he's something of a crank, we must disregard his every utterance? His facts are more subject to dismissal than any other agent who delivers facts?

The guy's done an enviable amount of work just in setting up the web page languagehat links, regardless of his academic publishing record or what institution employs him.
posted by cgc373 at 5:58 PM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eh, I guess I figured that Coulter wouldn't sign off on something like that unless she could put in one of her not terribly funny jokes-that-maybe-isn't-a-joke (like the Ted Kennedy thing you cite, or the John Edwards "faggot" snark) in order to give her an out, an opportunity to say "Hey, I was only kidding." Coulter is an infotainmentarian (a pretty loathsome occupation, but one which does require certain skills) while Ross is just throwing a tantrum.
posted by Clay201 at 6:17 PM on June 23, 2007


Did no one else notice:
The Old Rebublic, 1789-1861
The Middle Rebublic, 1861-1933
The New Rebublic, 1933-2005?
The Next Rebublic, 2005?-?

A typo I could understand. Four times? It's a little worrisome.

Fun page, though. Just remember, kids, double-source your data.
posted by blacklite at 6:29 PM on June 23, 2007


"... history deals mainly with captains and kings, gods and prophets, exploiters and despoilers, not with useful men. Thus we do not know who the revolutionist was who first set a broken leg, nor the first to launch a seaworthy boat, nor the first to manure a field."

"i don't know, captain somebody or other, and a cow"
posted by pyramid termite at 6:44 PM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Interesting. This fellow Ross seems to be a one-man Wikipedia. Wiki caveats apply, for example he doesn't list a lot of sources.

One source he cites here and there turns out to be another interesting and rather exhaustive resource, with similar caveats, Regnal Chronologies.

There you can find not only many lists of rulers, but also chronologies of the shifting governance of many localities, for example: Tournai, Vermont, Trieste, Crimea
posted by beagle at 6:51 PM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm getting a kitten in a couple of weeks. I like the idea of naming him after a king or count or emperor, since cats consider themselves royalty anyway. So this has totally saved me from namemycatfilter over on ask.
posted by shelleycat at 6:52 PM on June 23, 2007


So this has totally saved me from namemycatfilter over on ask.

Moreso, it saved us all. Truly a public service to the community.
posted by grouse at 7:17 PM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


And if clay and docgonzo had bothered to read the first couple of sentences of the fpp, they might notice that l-hat acknowledged that his politics may not be to everyone's liking. This was the crucial sentence for the hard of reading..."Never mind all that."

God I hate the thought police.
posted by vronsky at 7:24 PM on June 23, 2007


Man, those Reference Resources rock! woo hoo! Astonishing collection. wow.

Emperors of the Sangoku,
the "Three Kingdoms,"
of India, China, & Japan

Awesome.

It's a interesting-odd site, for sure. Bewildering and then such rich treasures, thanks to the Reference Resources. Not much sensible order in the first part of collection but it's wonderful in its generosity of history chronologies and I can understand your exhilaration.

That Guide and Index to Lists of Rulers is incredible.

Wish the background of the main page were not black. What is this black background thing? It makes everything so difficult and unpleasant to look at.

Love juicy tidbits like roots of the word knowing, or The Fragility of Thalassocracy (intriguing images).
posted by nickyskye at 7:25 PM on June 23, 2007


And if clay and docgonzo had bothered to read the first couple of sentences of the fpp, they might notice that l-hat acknowledged that his politics may not be to everyone's liking. This was the crucial sentence for the hard of reading..."Never mind all that."

So... the person who makes the post gets to decide which parts of the material warrant my attention?

I came, I saw, I commented. Same as every other day on mefi.
posted by Clay201 at 7:47 PM on June 23, 2007


I read one essay on the page, and while it did have some fun and interesting information, he's doing a lot of axe-grinding against 'Marxists'. Not something particularly appealing.
posted by empath at 7:48 PM on June 23, 2007


(I was joking about the namemycatfilter question, I like ask much to much to throw that crap at it. Not joking about using this resource to think up ideas.)
posted by shelleycat at 7:51 PM on June 23, 2007


I was joking too.
posted by grouse at 8:07 PM on June 23, 2007


I came, I saw, I shat in the thread. Same as every other day on mefi.
posted by vronsky at 8:12 PM on June 23, 2007


Black text on a pure blue (#0000FF) background?
The moke's equally bereft of graphic and political sense.

I wonder if he is also a lousy cook and driver--areas where he could cause real harm.
posted by hexatron at 8:15 PM on June 23, 2007


and has contributed less than a half-dozen academic works over his almost 40 year career

He's been busy writing this mondo web page.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:16 PM on June 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I came, I saw, I shat in the thread.

Come on, Clay201's simply commenting on what's been offered. Finding fault with specific aspects of a linked site isn't quite the same as shitting in a thread, vronsky.
posted by mediareport at 9:14 PM on June 23, 2007


Unfortunately, Nehru had been educated in the fashionable socialism of the day and immediately applied to India the tried and true techniques of that paradigm of economic development, the Soviet Union. This, of course, condemned India to decades of continued poverty, even while Indian emigrants prospered mightily elsewhere. The day of reckoning may have come in 1991, when the new Prime Minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao, discovered that the country's gold reserves had been flown to London to cover an International Monetary Fund loan, itself sought because of the looming exhaustion of foreign reserves. Soon Rao's government was moving to liberalize the economy, allowing foreign investment and something approaching free, certainly freer, trade.

His politics are pretty clear.
posted by Shakeer at 9:16 PM on June 23, 2007


"Islamic" is supposed to have a caret over the a?
posted by Liosliath at 9:21 PM on June 23, 2007


Shakeer His politics are pretty clear.

So are yours.
posted by Mblue at 11:21 PM on June 23, 2007


Holy shit, this is awesome!

Only if "awesome" means "ridiculous, biased polemic". History for the hard of thinking.
posted by bobbyelliott at 4:01 AM on June 24, 2007


Right on, docgonzo. And you know how you can tell Ross is a lightweight? Using "PhD" in his title.

There are a lot of these types on the margins of academia. And they all have the same beard. And web design skills. And mental illnesses.
posted by spitbull at 5:56 AM on June 24, 2007


Plus the email address "DrKelley@ . . ." All these crackpots need to announce their doctoral status (at least this one is honest and actually has a real doctorate and not a mail order one) in their AOL email address. And it's always an AOL email address.
posted by spitbull at 6:02 AM on June 24, 2007


You know, I've long thought that medical journals were interesting because some of them stick PhD or MD after the names of all of the authors. Seems a bit over-the-top to me—if you're working at a major medical academic institution and your paper was accepted in JAMA, shouldn't that be all that anyone needs to know?
posted by grouse at 6:07 AM on June 24, 2007


Wow, thanks for that Regnal Chronologies site, beagle—I'd have added it to the post if I'd known about it, it makes a perfect companion. Of course I love the stuff on names:
Consider the case of King John of England (1199-1216). Modern American usage would call him "John Plantagenet", and an historian would perhaps say "John Lackland". But John himself would not recognize Plantagenet as a family name and, not speaking modern American English, would not have called himself "John". He and his contemporaries spoke a sort of Norman French, and anyone sufficiently intimate with him to forego a courteous "Sire" would have used a word that probably sounded a lot like "Jehan". Ecclesiatics, using Latin, would have said "Iohannes". No-one in their right mind would have called him "Lackland", at least to his face. Contemporary Anglo-Saxons would probably say something like "Jon", pronounced "Yan", when they could restrain themselves from profanity.
As for the political stuff, I'm torn. On the one hand, it's moronic to dismiss an incredible collection of information because the compiler's politics are not to your liking ("History for the hard of thinking" indeed). On the other, the controversy ups the comment count on my post, woohoo!

"Islamic" is supposed to have a caret over the a?

No, the standard English word is Islamic. But some writers like to preserve the Arabic long vowels in English transcription, so they write Islâm (which can be construed as a transliterated Arabic word), and then out of a misplaced sense of consistency they keep it for derivatives like Islamic.
posted by languagehat at 6:42 AM on June 24, 2007


it's moronic to dismiss an incredible collection of information because the compiler's politics are not to your liking ("History for the hard of thinking" indeed).

Yes, indeed.

And the compiler's politics has nothing to do with it. As a serious historical or political discourse, this stuff is laughably ridiculous. It reads like it was written by Ronald Reagan during one of his more lucid moments.
posted by bobbyelliott at 11:36 AM on June 24, 2007


God I hate the thought police.

I'm the 'thought police' for pointing out this guy's the type of useless hack that gives decent, hardworking academics a bad name?
posted by docgonzo at 3:27 PM on June 24, 2007



Son said my mother when I was knee high
You need of clothes to cover you and not a rag have I
There's nothing in the house to make a boy's britches
Nor shears to cut a cloth with nor thread to take stitches
There's nothing in the house but a leaf end of rye
And the harp with a with the woman's head nobody will by and she began to cry
That was in the early fall and when came the late fall
Son she said the sight of you makes your mother's blood crawl
Little skinny shoulder blades stickin' through your clothes
And where you get a jacket from God above knows
It's lucky for me lad your daddy's in the ground
And can't see the way I let his son go around and she made a queer sound
That was in the late fall when the winter came
I'd not a pair of bridges nor a shirt to my name
I couldn't go to school or out of doors to play
And all the other little boys passed our way
Son said my mother come climb into my lap
And I'll chave your little knees while you take a nap
And oh but we were silly for half an hour or more
Me with my long legs draggin' on the floor
I rocked rocked rocked to a mother goose rhyme
Oh but we were happy for half an hour's time
But there was I a great boy and what would folks say
To hear my mother singin' me to sleep all day in such a daft way
Men say the winter was bad that year fuel was scarce and food was dear
A wind with a wolf's head howled about our door
And we burned up the chairs and sat upon the floor
All that was left us was a chair we couldn't break
And the harp with the woman's head nobody would take for song or pity sake
The night before Christmas I cried with the cold
I cried myself to sleep like a two year old
And in the deep night I felt my mother rise
And stare down upon me with love in her eyes
I saw my mother sitting on the one good chair
A light falling on her face from I couldn't tell where
Looking nineteen and not a day older
And the harp with the woman's head leaned against her shoulder
Her thin fingers moving in the thin tall strings
Were weave weave weaving wonderful things
Many bright threads from where I couldn't see
Were running through the harp strings rapidly
And gold threads whistlin' through my mother's hands
I saw the web grow and the pattern expand
She wove a child's jacket and when it was done
She laid it on the floor and wove another one
She wove a red cloak so regal to see
She's made it for a king's son I said and not for me but I knew it was for me
She wove a pair of bridges and quicker than that
She wove a pair of boots a little cocked hat
She wove a pair of mittens she wove a little blouse
She wove all night in the still cold house
She sang as she worked and the harp strings spoke
But her voice never faltered and the thread never broke
But when I awoke there sat my mother
With the harp against her shoulder lookin' nineteen and not a day older
A smile about her lips and a light about her head
And her hands in the harp strings frozen dead
And piled up beside her toppling to the skies
Were the clothes of a king's son just my size

(sung by mabel mercer)
posted by vronsky at 6:03 PM on June 24, 2007


Does anyone other than him refer to the Byzantine Empire as Romania?
posted by vbfg at 2:09 AM on June 25, 2007


I just read the preface, abstract, and introduction to his dissertation. It's a horrific nightmare.
posted by Kwine at 9:37 AM on June 25, 2007


This guy's "Zen and the Art of Dive Bombing" is pretty interesting. That's how I found this guy's website. I like iconoclastic cranks that rattle cages and have sought their own path through life.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 10:32 PM on June 25, 2007


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