"The maths that saw the US shutdown coming". Peter Turchin (Previously) has a mathematical model that shows why the US is in crisis, and what will happen next. [more inside]
If you follow the 210+ reasons why the Roman Empire "fell", you might be interested in this 60-min interview with author Adrian Goldsworthy about his recent book How Rome Fell. The interview includes a number of fascinating discussions about the nature of writing popular history, his theory on why Rome "fell", and why analogies between modern countries and Rome's fate have it all wrong. Goldsworthy also did introductions for the Rome series which can be watched here/here. ( via New Books in History)
Mechanical Icon is a new project by Marshall Poe (previously). It will eventually be 200 short Ken-Burns-like video meditations on famous photographs from history. The first six-minute "Introduction" in particular is very good.
Reportret: What did they really look like? Charlemagne "..was a large man, with light coloured hair, a long nose, a thick neck, and a quite prominent belly."
New Books In History. Historian Marshall Poe talks with other historians about their newly published books. [more inside]
"What Have We Learned, If Anything?" Historian Tony Judt in the NYRB wonders if we have forgotten the lessons of the 20th century.
The Academy Awards of the history blogosphere have been announced for 2007. The newest edition of the Cliopatria Awards is now out.
Theory of history by Dr. Gregory Clark in his new book A Farewell to Alms 1. The English Industrial Revolution was caused by changes in the make-up and behavior of the population, which was caused by natural selection, influenced by cycles of Malthusian booms and busts between 1200 and 1800. The implications for modernizing other nations through institutions such as the World Bank are like " pre-scientific physicians who prescribed bloodletting for ailments they did not understand".
The Comic History of Rome (1852), illustrated by John Leech (1817-64). Image index. The Victorian Web on John Leech. The John Leech sketch archive from Punch (over 600 images). A recent reprint. via the always great BiblioOdyssey.
Aristophanes: the Michael Moore of his day.
Farming origins gain 10,000 years. Humans made their first tentative steps towards farming 23,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought. Stone Age people in Israel collected the seeds of wild grasses some 10,000 years earlier than previously recognised, say experts.
Three million Germans have voted post-war Chancellor Konrad Adenauer as the greatest German of all time. Reformation Monk Martin Luther came second, with communist philosopher Karl Marx third. Composer Johann Sebastian Bach and writer Johannes Wolfgang von Goethe were also in the running. Adolf Hitler and other Nazis were excluded from the poll.
The fascinating story of how a lone security guard in Afghanistan managed to ensure the safety of the Bactrian hoard.
Mammoths (Mammuthus) have been discussed here before and for those modern explorers who hunt the long extinct tusker in the field there is the 3rd International Mammoth conference where you can learn about things such as Mammoth Hunters and Ice Age Dogs.
The Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World provides beautiful detailed topographical maps of the ancient world. A mammoth undertaking in production over 12 years with 160 scholars and cartographers (with help from MapQuest) and estimated to cost over $5 million it is the largest and most accurate Ancient World Atlas ever. Composed of 99 maps (examples) the Atlas is easily available to the layperson. "If you're gripped by Hannibal and want to sort out which way you think he went through the Alps, you'll have enough of a clear landscape to do it. If you want to follow St. Paul around the eastern Mediterranean, you can."
A bunch of very beautiful Old Japanese Maps has been put online. Java application Insight(tm) required to view and includes a nifty GIS application to overlay old maps on current maps with 3-D animated fly-throughs. State of the art in online map presentation "The digital images are even better than the originals because you can amplify them, rotate them to look at them from different angles," Mr. Zhou said. "In practical terms, this is a better way of using the material than actually coming here to see the pieces."
History of Iraq from the Denver Post. "President Bush speaks of the need to 'defend civilization'.. Then I point out the irony of defending civilization against the cradle of civilization".
Iceman the Bronze Age hunter whose 5,300-year-old frozen body was discovered in the Alps.. cause of death found.. ``Maybe there was a combat, maybe he was in a battle. There is a whole series of new implications. The story needs to be rewritten.''
Oldest liveing organism found in salt cave in New Mexico. 250 million and counting. What gets me is this quote: ``If something can survive 250 million years, what's the difference .. another 250 or longer,'' wonder if digital data can be stored in bacterium.