Category Archives: Teaching

End of Semester Reflections

Another semester winds to an end. Looking back, how do I think it went? I continue to be thrilled with my online sections of Western Civ, both sprint and semester-length. I require so much more work from online students, its not … Continue reading

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The Pax Romana

Pax Romana. War, Peace and Conquest in the Roman World by Adrian Goldsworthy arrived from the library just as I was scheduled to lecture on the topic! How very frustrating. I immediately began reading the book in my typical ADD-style … Continue reading

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The Viking Saga

I have earlier on these pages linked to sources addressing the current fascination with Northern peoples. I highly recommend to anyone interested Northmen. The Viking Saga AD 793-1241 by John Haywood.

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Why did we choose to industrialize?

This Saturday, I had the great pleasure of participating in a book roundtable on Robert Sweeny’s Why Did We Choose to Industrialize? at the Social Science History Association conference in Chicago. Robert is an incredibly engaged and engaging scholar. We (Martin … Continue reading

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Opening Christ’s Tomb

I found this several weeks ago and have been waiting to post it. When I was in Jerusalem in June, I went multiple times to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It is such an inspiring and interesting place on … Continue reading

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Roman economic difficulties 

Here is an excellent, if problematic, article that purports to show how Roman central planners destroyed the Empire’s economy. He is absolutely dead-on regarding Diocletian’s reforms, so beloved of textbook authors. Students interested in the decline/transformation of the Roman world … Continue reading

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A History of the World in Maps

Shocking really, what you can find on the Internet. I found this incredible video on one of the blogs that I follow. It charts world civilization, displaying political entities year-by-year. Utterly fascinating. (BTW, it displays much better on a laptop … Continue reading

Posted in Digital History, HST 121, HST 122, HST197, Teaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

New Books

This weekend, the Wall Street Journal reviewed two new books on evergreen topics that are sure to be of interest to students. The first is a biography of the Duke of Monmouth, the bastard son of Charles II who put … Continue reading

Posted in Georgian England, HST 122, Reviews, Stuart England, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

In defense of the college lecture

Finally! I decided to become an academic historian because of a brilliant lecturer and Bede scholar, Roger Ray. My whole career, I have attempted to emulate Roger and taken every opportunity to improve content, delivery, engagement, etc. I wrote about … Continue reading

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Israeli archeologists uncover a Philistine cemetery 

Haaretz reports that a team of archeologists working at Ashkelon have excavated Philistine cemetery, the culmination of 21 years of work by the Leon Levy expedition. The site has implications for both Biblical and Egytpian archeology. Students will find reference … Continue reading

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Our deadly species

While on vacation, I saw links to two article detailing our wonderful propensity to kill each other. Here in tabular form the deadliest conflicts in human history. If cutsie Millennial websites are your thing, perhaps this article from American … Continue reading

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Research in the Holy Land

I have been back one week from a quick research trip to Jerusalem. As part of my work on Peasants & Jews, I needed to track down the records of East Fresian Jews who survived the Holocaust. As part of this, … Continue reading

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The Beginnings of Agriculture

I found this very interesting figure in a non-scientific article on the Neolithic agricultural revolution. I tried for several hours to track down the paper it referenced without success. The hypothesis is interesting: agriculture arose at different places around the … Continue reading

Posted in Environmental History, HST 121, Origins | Leave a comment

The latest on Bronze Age Greece

My students might be forgiven if they get the notion that I believe the entire world revolves around my Western Civ classes. Sometimes, however, it does. Yesterday I found online the announcement of of two incredible finds from Bronze Age Greece, … Continue reading

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A Dictionary from Uruk

This Tweet came across last night and I immediately thought of our class discussion last Tuesday. Ancient dictionary from Uruk, thought to be one of the first. Dates to the middle of 1st millenium BC. 📷Louvre Museum — Bibliophilia (@Libroantiguo) … Continue reading

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Has Nefertiti’s tomb been found?

One of the mysteries of the Amarna period is where did the bodies of the heretic pharaoh Akhenaten and Nefertiti go? Nicholas Reeves, a respected Egyptologist at the University of Arizona, thinks he has an answer. (See his academic paper here.) The … Continue reading

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Did Dog-Human Relationship Drive out the Neanderthal?

My Mom has a bookshelf full of National Geographics going back to the 1960s. They have recently published some serious pieces on genomic discoveries of early humans. There work and illustrations on the Neanderthal have been particularly good. (You can … Continue reading

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Stab-in-the-Back manuscript to publisher!

This evening I sent the text of The Stab-in-the-Back Myth. A History in Documents and Visual Sources off to Bloomsbury Press. In cooperation with Mark Sadler (my friend and former Honors student), I have been working diligently on it for the … Continue reading

Posted in Germany, Great War, HST 122, Nazi Germany, Research, World War 1 | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The early modern nobility in the context of Western Civilization

Jane Austen’s home When I started in history, the nobles and the nobility were ignored except in a negative fashion or where their existence impinged upon larger political issues. Well, in history, everything runs in cycles. Peasants – the idols … Continue reading

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Reflections on the Agricultural Revolution

This past Thursday, I completed my umpteenth lecture on Peasant Life in early modern Europe. Because of changes in Miami University’s time schedule, my lecture period has moved from 70 minutes to 80 minutes. Somehow, despite more time, I felt this … Continue reading

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