The ruins of empire: Asia's emergence from western imperialism Moreover, a narcissistic history – one obsessed with western ideals, achievements, failures and challenges – can only retard a useful understanding of the world today. For most people in Europe and America, the history of the present is still largely defined by victories in the second world war and the long standoff with Soviet communism, even though the central event of the modern era, for a majority of the world's population, is the intellectual and political awakening of Asia and its emergence, still incomplete, from the ruins of both Asian and European empires. The much-heralded shift of power from the west to the east may or may not happen. But only neo-imperialist dead-enders will deny that we have edged closer to the cosmopolitan future the first generation of modern Asian thinkers, writers and leaders dreamed of – in which people from different parts of the world meet as equals rather than as masters and slaves, and no one needs to shoot elephants to confirm their supremacy.
posted by infini
on Jul 29, 2012 -
The tendency of existing research to treat the Roma as having first entered European political history with the Nazi genocide disregards a unique six-hundred-year history. It is indeed the case that the Roma, who over long periods of time lived nomadically and possessed no written culture of their own, have left almost no historical accounts of themselves. The heritage and documents therefore do not permit a history of the Roma comparable to that, for example, of the persecuted and expelled French Huguenots. What is available to us, however, is evidence – in the form of literature and art – of the way in which the settled, feudally organized European population experienced a way of life that it perceived as threatening. Despite consisting solely of stories and images that are defensive "distortions", this evidence provides a far from unfavourable basis for an examination of the six-hundred-year history of the European Roma, insofar as it is a history of cultural appropriation characterized by segregation. We encounter the traces of the reality experienced by the Roma almost exclusively through depictions by outsiders, and must use these to imagine those parts considered impossible to represent. The extraneous cultural depictions of the Roma – variously referred to as gypsies, zigeuner, tatern, cigány, çingeneler, and so on – have created heterogeneous units of "erased" identity and cultural attributes. The "invention" of the Gypsy is the underside of the European cultural subject's invention of itself as the agent of civilising progress in the world.Europe invents the Gypsies: the dark side of modernity
posted by timshel
on Feb 29, 2012 -
Rethinking the Idea of 'Christian Europe'. Kenan Malik's
essay is awarded 3 Quarks Daily's
Top Quark for politics & social science by judge Stephen M. Walt
: "Soldiers in today’s culture wars believe 'European civilization' rests on a set of unchanging principles that are perennially under siege—from godless communism, secular humanism, and most recently, radical Islam. For many of these zealots, what makes the 'West' unique are its Judeo-Christian roots. In this calm and elegantly-written reflection on the past two millenia, Malik shows that Christianity is only one of the many sources of 'Western' culture, and that many of the ideas we now think of as 'bedrock' values were in fact borrowed from other cultures. This essay is a potent antidote to those who believe a 'clash of civilizations' is inevitable—if not already underway—and the moral in Malik’s account could not be clearer. Openness to outside influences has been the true source of European prominence; erecting ramparts against others will impoverish and endanger us all."
posted by homunculus
on Dec 19, 2011 -
Take oysters, parboile hem in her owne broth, make a lyour of crustes of brede & drawe it up wiþ the broth and vynegur mynce oynouns & do þerto with erbes. & cast the oysters þerinne. boile it. & do þerto powdour fort & salt. & messe it forth.
Three European 14th Century
cookbooks: [more inside]
posted by thirteenkiller
on Dec 27, 2010 -
Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt,"
told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Nov 23, 2010 -
is a blog by Ben Breen, a graduate student of early modern history, which styles itself "a compendium of obscure things." Indeed, even the asides are full of wonder, such as the one about Boy, the famous Royalist war poodle of the English Civil War, which is but a short addendum to a post about witches' familiars
. Here are some of my favorite posts, Pirate Surgeon in Panama
(and a related post about 18th Century Jamaica
), vanished civilizations
, asemic pseudo-Arabic and -Hebrew writing in Renaissance art
, and a series of posts about the way the Chinese and Japanese understood the world outside Asia in the early modern period (Europeans as 'Other'
, Europeans as 'Other,' Redux
and Early Chinese World Maps
posted by Kattullus
on Sep 30, 2010 -
from above (Google Maps links): Alba Iulia
, Arad Fortress
, Neuf Brisach
posted by nthdegx
on Jun 8, 2010 -
In 2010, Obama will have a miserable year
, NATO may lose in Afghanistan
, the UK gets a regime change
, China needs to chill
, India's factories will overtake its farms
, Europe risks becoming an irrelevant museum
, the stimulus will need an exit strategy
, the G20 will see a challenge from the "G2"
, African football
will unite Korea
, conflict over natural resources will grow
, Sarkozy will be unloved and unrivalled
, the kids will come together to solve the world's problems (because their elders are unable)
, technology will grow ever more ubiquitous
, we'll all charge our phones via USB
, MBAs will be uncool
, the Space Shuttle will be put to rest
, and Somalia will be the worst country in the world
. And so the Tens
The Economist: The World in 2010
. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Nov 14, 2009 -
Few things in history are as compelling as the duel. Refined and barbaric at the same time, this practice has had a checkered history.
The rules of dueling were codified by the Irish in 1777 in the Code Duello (summarized here
), which was codified at Clonmel Summer Assizes in 1777. As evidenced by these documents
, dueling was in practice prior to the Irish rules being drafted. The procedure and philosophy behind duels is illustrated in this article
Dueling gained some traction in America in the 19th century
, culminating in the famous Burr-Hamilton affair. There are many more resources to find out more here
. For a list of famous duels, you can check out this list
Lest you think men were the only ones dueling, here are a few short anecdotes
of women dueling.
Reportedly, dueling is still legal in Paraguay
, as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
posted by reenum
on Sep 15, 2009 -
From 1864 to 1904, the Russian Empire tried to quelch the nationalism of Lithuanians by ordering all Lithuanian texts to be printed with Cyrillic characters instead of in the Latin-derived Lithuanian or Polish alphabets. But they didn't count on the Knygnešiai - the Booksmugglers
. [more inside]
posted by mdonley
on Jul 12, 2009 -
Freedom on the Fence: The Polish Poster.
While we're at it: The history and culture of the Polish poster
and an analysis of American Films in Polish Posters
. Or, if you'd prefer, The Classic Polish Film Poster
database (where the Disney/Children's film posters
are quite lovely). Also, The Wallace Library
at the Rochester Institute of Technology has a fantastic searchable and browse-able database, with many hi-res images. Finally, some other Polish Poster Galleries. (What's that? You want more? You want artist-specific galleries? Okay. Here's work by Mieczyslaw Gorowski, Piotr Kunce, Wieslaw Walkuski, and Jan Sawka. Oh, you wanted Communist-era Polish propaganda posters? Fine. Here ya go.) [previous MeFi discussion on Polish film posters; also, some of the images from these links may be NSFW, depending on how S your W environment is.]
posted by .kobayashi.
on Mar 13, 2005 -
Ted Rall's posted his 1991 thesis
on the allied occupation of France during and after WWII. A nice jumping off point for the historically minded.
posted by alan
on Feb 16, 2005 -
An interesting article by the ultra-prolific Niall Ferguson obliquely raises the question: wouldn't Europe (and the world) be happier if Islam still had a hold on the West? Al-Qaeda's longings for Andalusia and the Algarve apart, the truth is that Southern Spain (until 1498) and Portugal (until 1297) were very happy under Muslim rule. Isn't it sad that the three great monotheistic religions, plus the great atheist belief, can't live together anymore? [ NYT registration required. Via Arts and Letters Daily.
posted by MiguelCardoso
on Apr 8, 2004 -
On October 17, 1815, following The 100 Days
and Waterloo, Napoleon
on the Island of St Helena
, where he would remain until his death
) in 1821. Discovered by the Portuguese in 1502
, St Helena had a long and interesting history before Napoleon arrived
, but that history was overshadowed
by the story of the Emperor's last years, living in captive exile
at the simple yet beautiful
Longwood House. Victorians had an insatiable interest
for information about the remote island
. Today, the picturesque Island
is a a tiny bit of England
in the South Atlantic, where coffee
(indeed, what some might call pilgrimages
) are the main sources of income.
posted by anastasiav
on Oct 17, 2003 -
Images of medieval architecture.
A great site put together by Alison Stones, Professor of History of Art and Architecture at the University of Pittsburgh. There are two large gazetteers, one for Britain
, and one for France
. Besides photos, there are many plans, sketches and elevation drawings, which help to give an idea of the sheer scale of gothic cathedrals such as the cathedral of Saint-Étienne at Bourges
(scroll down for the human figures at the bottom).
posted by carter
on Jun 29, 2003 -