Valentine’s day is boring. Instead, let’s celebrate the anniversary of Native Hawaiians killing the fuck outta douchebag English explorer Captain James Cook, on February 14, 1779.
anti-colonialism and indigenous resistance 8ever.
Dark Ages, Schmark Ages. The De-Textbook cuts through that and so much more fake-fact bullshit.
cloudy with a chance of witch burning
I am 10000% here for the Islamic Golden Age* and its technological and academic advances over medieval Christendom, but I want to burn the term "the Dark Ages", and the idea that it was Peak Witch-Burning Time, at the stake.
I have not perused the book linked in the post above, so I don’t know what it’s arguing with regard to “fake-fact bullshit” and the “Schmark Ages” … but if they’re using this graphic we have some serious accuracy problems. First off, the so-called “Dark Ages” are usually considered to be roughly ~4-500 to ~1000 CE, depending on where we’re talking about. The Islamic Golden Age is usually dated to around 800-1300 CE. Calling these the same time period is like saying that 1200-1800 is the same as 1600-present.
Second, the Church in the “Dark Ages” (which I’d much rather call the Early Medieval) thought that the idea of witches was ridiculous. Of course you shouldn’t persecute or kill people on accusation of witchcraft, because come on. Witchcraft itself was not considered heresy (because authorities did not believe it existed), but persecuting a supposed witch was (as it indicated that you believed in witchcraft, counter to the teachings of the Church). I haven’t checked out these sources myself, so take this with the standard grain of Wikipedia salt: it looks like a pretty good, and also hilarious, summary of the Church’s attitudes towards witch trials before 1000 — the so-called Dark Ages. Basically, “are you joking, witches are not a thing, no you cannot burn this nice old herbalist in the town square, cut it out already.”
Things start to heat up, as it were, in the 1400s — the late Middle Ages by most timelines. The first official/recorded witch trials took place in the 1320s; De heretico comburendo (one of the better-known pieces of legislation authorizing heretics to be burned in England) was passed in 1401, and a similar Papal bull finally categorizing witches as heresy was written in 1484. These pieces of legislation, in conjunction with a rash of political, religious, and environmental instability, precipitated a rise in trials and executions that peaked in the 1600s. That’s right, the 1600s — a period firmly considered Early Modern/”Renaissance”, not Medieval, and definitely not the “Dark Ages”. Remember, the late-blooming Salem Witch Trials were not until 1692, when Harvard’s first graduating class could have been celebrating their 50th reunion!
So that’s “with a chance of witch burnings”— more like “no chance whatsoever”. But speaking of environmental instability, what is up with “cloudy”? As it happens, the early Medieval was a peak in climate unmatched until the 20th century! On the whole, it was such great weather and agricultural conditions that it’s usually referred to as “the Medieval Warm Period”. That is, until the 1410s, when it suddenly got really freaking cold, wet, and thanks to increased volcanism, yup, cloudy, for several hundred years. Not to be pedantic or anything. (What am I saying, always to be pedantic about the medieval climate, it is the reason I wake up in the morning.)
Finally, it’s unclear to me why Central and Eastern Europe are not included in said “Dark Ages” on this map. They absolutely would have been considered part of Christendom at the time, just as they are now considered part of Europe. To the best of my knowledge their witchy history reflects that of Western Europe precisely, with the King of Hungary scoffing at witches in the 1100s, but major waves of persecution in the 16th and 17th centuries. [Edited to add: and the Iberian peninsula is not part of the Islamic empire? GOODBYE] So basically, this graphic does nothing right, not even whatever wacky projection it’s using. Greenland is 1/14th the size of Africa, ok goodbye.
*Re: Islamic Golden Ages: Is there a more accurate term for this period? It seems to be what I’m finding in most references, but please correct me if this is outdated terminology… the last thing I want to do is perpetuate the very thing I’m railing on about!!
About Asha: Asha is a 21-year-old recent Wellesley grad and a young nonprofit professional just getting her feet on the ground. Why We Need Your Help: Days before the New Year, we learned that Asha has 3 health issues requiring surgery, the most pressing of…
Hey folks, one of my close friends needs a life saving surgery. I’d really appreciate if folks could help her out by donating anything they can or sharing/reblogging this post. Thanks!
ASHA IS THE BEST, let us continue to bask in her presence, this here is a fine way to do so
The Vision of a Lamb (detail), ca. 1255-1260, English, probably London. J. Paul Getty Museum.
This lamb must have such good Vision because it has so many EYES???
[The Cadaver Synod, it’s a thing.]
[St. Foy ain’t playin’.]
[Roland: total badass.]
A hat tip to the estimable Peter Heather, who gets it.
James Corden, Dominic Cooper - The History Boys - National Theatre 50 Anniversary
HAPPY ST. CRISPIN’S DAY! Last year I posted Kenneth Branagh’s version. This year, you get Jamie Parker’s, because it is quiet and intense and spine-tinglingly beautiful.And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day until the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon St. Crispin’s Day.
If it be a sin to covet Jamie Parker’s version, then I am the most offending soul alive.
Saint Crispin’s Day Speech from Henry V
I’ve done some sunrise-time-calculating with this handy thing and some queue-scheduling and have timed this post very specifically: it coincides with the precise time (give or take a couple minutes, let’s allow for a margin of error) of the sunrise in the northern region of France on October 25, 1415. So as you read this, it’s 597 years ago exactly that the sun was rising over the fields of Agincourt.
annual reblog AAHHHHHH *598 years
In honor of Food Day, and of this being the Last Food Day during which Mayor Menino will be in office, we have pulled together some of our office’s accomplishments during the last several years. Mayor Menino, who created the office, has long been devoted to issues of food access and hunger. Here’s what we have done so far - what would you like to see next?
in 1978 sirius discovers that warren zevon has written a song that is the perfect revenge, and for three weeks all musical instruments or radios in their apartment blast werewolves of london and nothing else
he gets really into it. he brings beef chow mein home and makes hundreds of pina coladas. keeps commenting on how remus’s hair is perfect. remus sleeps on james and lily’s couch for a week
then that one time he says “little old lady got mutilated late last night”, and remus just looks at him and that’s the end of that particular phase.
I’m reminded of when I’ve been in England and people have been like “Where’s your accent from???” and I’m like “The United States” and they’re like “Where in the US???” and I’m like “Have you been to the US?” and they’re like “No” and so then I’m like “I really don’t know how exactly to explain that I am from New York and yet also impress upon you that I am not from anywhere near New York City. Give me that napkin and let me diagram this out….”
This is so agonizingly true. My usual response was “New York — the Canada part!”, which was sufficiently confusing to just shut that whole thing down. Or, the hand map.