Oxford Bibliographies (previously Oxford Bibliographies Online) unleashed its latest slate of annotated bibs, this time in the International Relations category.
Articles of EMEMH note include: The War of the Spanish Succession, and the Peace of Westphalia (1648).
There are also a number of more general subjects, such as Battle, Just War Theory, and the Laws of War.
Photo of a baby cannon fired during a 2007 Revolutionary war reenactment at the Nathan Hale Homestead.
The cannon was tiny (you can almost make out the kid in the smoke, with fingers in his ears). I assume it wasn’t intended to be a replica of a real cannon, or was it?
Also, anyone know if this is an accurate representation of how much smoke an early modern cannon would give off? I’m not a reenactor and haven’t attended many events, so I don’t know if original gunpowder recipes are actually used, or if reenactors like to add lots of smoke, à la Hollywood explosions…
[EDIT: Since I raised the question, I might as well give you all a better view of the cannon in question:
A one-pounder perhaps?]
Just found a cool way to measure naval distances. I’m positive there are reference books out there that list distances from port A to port B, and you could always get out your atlas and some string (or a compass) and navigate yourself. But if you’re in a hurry and are digitally inclined, this website might do the trick:
It uses Google Maps and you just add points on the map and it will keep track of the distance for you. Pretty cool.
After looking back over my previous post, I figured now was as good a time as any to present the following poem. It has at least a grain of truth, and it nicely dovetails with my blog’s title:
The Lesson for Yesterday
Historians, rather like primitive moles,
Live purposeless lives in particular holes
Which they dig with their noses, or else with their toeses,
(A few have invented small shovels and hoeses).
They’re burrowing blindly in Byzantine tunnels
Constructed like sinuous serpentine funnels;
They’re burrowing busily, back to the past:
A steady regression to nowhere – fast.
From David Hackett Fisher, Historian’s Fallacies, p. 130.
Making mountains out of molehills – it’s what historians do. But just ask William III how important molehills can be.
One early modern convention leads to another. How self-perpetuating.
In a previous post I’d described the basic knowledge of early modern handwriting (paleography) that one needs in order to do well in the archives. In an attempt to crowdsource my research in the English archives, I included a photo of a particular word that was giving me fits. Several interpretations were offered, with the most plausible candidate (when measured by letter shapes) seemingly disqualified – it looked like that word (more or less), but that word didn’t make any sense in the context of that sentence. Or did it?
Welcome to the world of archaisms. Read More…
And I shot those suckers and I’ll shoot the rest…
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of skulking in archival holes and corners, you’ve no doubt encountered the joy and despair associated with paleography. When I was a kid I wanted to be a paleontologist; little did I know that my future would take me in the slightly-different direction of paleography. Perhaps not as exciting as chasing after a T. Rex (but almost as dusty), being a paleographer means excavating knowledge from handwritten documents slightly younger than fossils. An American history grad student’s first introduction to paleography can be fear-inducing: about to set off on his great European archival adventure, a new professor suddenly introduces him to the concept of difficult handwriting in a class he was auditing. The level of panic only increased when a fellow grad student already across the Pond confirmed the challenge, warning that he had spent several *weeks* in the archives deciphering the handwriting, literally l-e-t-t-e-r by l-e-t-t-e-r, for day after day.
Over the years I’ve researched in numerous archives and therefore gotten pretty good at deciphering the paleography written by French and English hands c. 1700 – enough to impress most HIS 200 undergraduates at least. But paleography varies greatly not only by person, but by place and time as well, so I’ll post what little I’ve learned over the years – undoubtedly serious guides to paleography will discuss these more authoritatively than I can. What follows is a combination of observations and tips: Read More…