In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire was ill-prepared to enter a total modern war. This was a war that would be waged primarily against the British Empire and the Russian Empire at the same time. Yet, war is more than just a matter of numbers and statistics. Sometimes, one can beat the odds. Discover the circumstances the Ottoman Empire was up against and why it’s extraordinary they did as well as they did.
The Renaissance is having a big year. Part of what’s fueling scholarly interest is the 200th birthday of Jacob Burckhard, author of what is arguably still the most famous study of the Italian Renaissance, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. Here, read about the life of the man, historian, and author of this seminal work. […]
When we enjoy a traditional holiday meal on a day like Thanksgiving, we might easily imagine that humans have always eaten classics like potatoes, gravy, and sweet corn… but that couldn’t be further from the truth—even if we reduce the scope of our family tree to only modern humans, we’ve been hunter-gatherers for about 190,000 of the past 200,000 years. As odd as it may sound, farming—in the grand scheme of things—is about as “modern” as space travel and the internet. […]
Halfway through China’s most powerful dynasty, the empire was rocked by accusations of sorcery. These accusations of sorcery in the Qing Dynasty involved tales of masons, monks, and others stealing human souls by cutting the hair of their victims. […]
The Christian emperor Constantine was ever pragmatic; he could only push his pagan subjects so far. One act of his, in the end, ensured the position of Christianity: the establishment of a new capital that would be known as Constantinople. […]
Political turmoil in the Ukraine. The struggle of nationalism in Poland. The resurgence of neo-Nazism around the world. The conflicts of Eastern Europe are all over the news today, but beyond the headlines is a long and complex series of events going back more than a hundred years. […]