Hello, all, and welcome to the 33rd edition of . It's been a while since I've been able to really enjoy looking at blogs, so the theme for this Ancient/Medieval version is "some really cool stuff I wish I hadn't missed the first time 'round." With any luck, you may have missed some of this, too.
Even though it's not always considered history, I thought I'd start out with some prehistorical discoveries. First, and this is absolutely not historical, but I heard it on the news this morning and thought y'all might be equally amazed, here be dragons? Seriously, has anyone done any work on whether tales of dragons and other mythical creatures might have been discoveries by early fossil hunters?
To get to something a bit closer to our time period, Ancarett points us to prehistoric fashionistas. Meanwhile, both The Antiquarian's Attic and The Cranky Professor report on the discovery of a support village for Stonehenge. It might be Neolithic, but I don't think any ancient or medieval historian would debate that these big honking stone circles and the debates over their purpose and their builders haven't affected concepts of pre-Roman civilizations. Not to mention their importance to Asterix and Obelix! And, it appears, to Jeffrey Jerome Cohen.
Digs at more recent archæological sites are also in the news. Over at Memorabilia Antonina, Tony Keen recounts the possibilities, likely and imagined, of finding a Latin Library at Herculaneum. If you're interested in whether or not Alexander the Great was an alcoholic -- and many of my students are, for some reason -- World History Blog has been reading up on the possibility For those of you who are really interested, there's an even older article out there, I think either in The Lancet or in The New England Journal of Medicine that is an attempt at a forensic report based on what our ancient sources tell us about Alexander's life and death. IIRC, the result was that he was probably not poisoned.
I'd like to stay in chronological order, but really, this time I can't. You'll see why. Moving forward to the Middle Ages, though, there are some really interesting tidbits. My favourite all-around cool thing is this very cool video of a medieval church being moved, lock, stock, and barrel -- again, posted by Cranky Professor. And what's a church without saints? Or at least, saints' days? Over at Executed Today, we find that Saint Brice's Day in 1002 was not a particularly good day for Danes living in England. While you're there, you might also check out somewhat macabre tale of Frederick of Isenberg. Ick.
On a possibly less gory note (if we try to ignore those 4000 Saxons, at least), Magistra et Mater looks at the management secrets of the Carolingians. I don't completely agree, but it's good reading, and I'm very glad to have found her blog, because, well ... another blogging female Carolingianist!!!! I found her through Jonathan Jarrett over at A Corner of Tenth Century Europe. Jonathan also has a post up that is drawing some great comments. In the post, he addresses that perennial question: "what is our purpose?"
Apparently, most of our purpose these days is to talk about Beowulf. The movie, not the poem. My Long Distance Whatever and I saw it the other night. Take two early medievalists who are also sff fans and put them in front of a CGI-assisted film version of a poem they've both taught (and he's actually taught an entire course on the damned thing) from a historical perspective and see what happens. And no, X, we did not bore each other to death! Actually, we did both have to cover our eyes a
As a final message, Ralph Luker over at Cliopatria would like me to remind you that The 2007 Cliopatria History Blog Awards are underway. Please check them out and nominate/vote for your faves.
Update: Links now fixed.