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Paleopathology and the Destruction of Sennacherib’s Army Besieging Jerusalem in II Chronicles 32, II Kings 19

Peter Paul Rubens, The Defeat of Sennacherib, ca.1612-14, Alte Pinakothek, Munich (Image in public domain) By Patrick Hunt – Historians know disease often stalks armies in history. [1] The specter of invisible pathogens...

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Verrocchio: Where Leonardo Obtained His Skills

Andrea del Verrocchio, Bust of Giulano de’ Medici, 1475-8, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC By Andrea M. Gáldy – The art world likes to regard Leonardo as someone born a genius with pen and brush in his hands...

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Medieval Stave Churches of Norway

Hopperstad Stave Church above Vik on the Sognefjord (Photo P. Hunt) By P. F. Sommerfeldt – In the 10th-11th century when Norway was transitioning from a pagan Viking land to embrace early Christianity, churches were built out...

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Otzi the Iceman’s Medicine Kit Included Sloe Berries (Prunus Spinosa)

Otzi the Iceman’s Medicine Kit Included Sloe Berries (Prunus Spinosa)

Sloebewrries or Blackthorn Berries – Prunus spinosa (image public domain) By Patrick Hunt – Otzi the Iceman from the Alpine Tyrol, found at the Similaun-Tisjoch summit of the Otztal Alps in 1991, is now the most famous...

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Long Live Leonardo (at 500)

Leonardo’s Self-Portrait, ca. 1512, Royal Library, Turin  (Courtesy of University of Tübingen, University Museum) By Andrea M. Gáldy –  Leonardo is dead,...

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Paleopathology and the Destruction of Sennacherib’s Army Besieging Jerusalem in II Chronicles 32, II Kings 19

By Patrick Hunt – Historians know disease often stalks armies in history. [1] The specter of invisible pathogens haunting ancient warfare may have at times seemed instead like a punitive deity taking sides. Sometimes it’s merely a much simpler question of contagion and the inability to protect against it. While there is insufficient documentation to […]

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Verrocchio: Where Leonardo Obtained His Skills

By Andrea M. Gáldy – The art world likes to regard Leonardo as someone born a genius with pen and brush in his hands and plans for superlative works of art already forming in his brain. Nonetheless, Leonardo like everyone else had to learn his trade. He was apprenticed to a master able to teach him […]

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Medieval Stave Churches of Norway

By P. F. Sommerfeldt – In the 10th-11th century when Norway was transitioning from a pagan Viking land to embrace early Christianity, churches were built out of wood in much the same way ships were constructed. I was recently in Norway (June 2019) on a National Geographic Expedition and marveled at how these churches were […]

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Otzi the Iceman’s Medicine Kit Included Sloe Berries (Prunus Spinosa)

Otzi the Iceman’s Medicine Kit Included Sloe Berries (Prunus Spinosa)

By Patrick Hunt – Otzi the Iceman from the Alpine Tyrol, found at the Similaun-Tisjoch summit of the Otztal Alps in 1991, is now the most famous “mummy” of all time, eclipsing the mummy of Ramses II from New Kingdom Egypt (circa 1300 BCE) not only in what science can reveal from examining his preserved […]

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Long Live Leonardo (at 500)

By Andrea M. Gáldy –  Leonardo is dead, but he has never been as popular as now. Almost exactly 500 years ago, he died in France. By then, Leonardo had long left his native Vinci, had been apprenticed to Verrocchio in Florence and had spent time working in Rome, Milan and Venice as well as […]

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Giovanni Battista Piranesi: Pioneer Archaeologist and Engraver

By P. F. Sommerfeldt – Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-78) is well known as a Neoclassical engraver of Roman monuments and shadowed architectural fantasies (such as invented or imaginary carcere or “prisons”). But his work as a pioneer in archaeology is not as familiar, although his work provides ample details about the state of Roman ruins […]

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The Throne of Charlemagne: Carolingian Symbolism

By Patrick Hunt – Aachen Cathedral (also known in German as the Kaiserdom) is one of the most important monuments in the Early Medieval World, begun circa. 796, and symbolically identified with the end of the Dark Ages when literacy was finally resurgent in the Carolingian Age. Charlemagne built Aachen’s palatine church and adjacent palace […]

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Naughty But Nice: The Renaissance Nude

By Andrea M. Gáldy – Thomas Kren with Jill Burke and Stephen J. Campbell (eds.), The Renaissance Nude, Getty Publications: Los Angeles 2018. The Renaissance Nude, The Royal Academy of the Arts, London, 3 March to 2 June 2019, organised by the J. Paul Getty Museum  and the Royal Academy of the Arts The current […]

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Schlosshotel Kronberg – Modern Classic Fairy Tale Castle

By P. F. Sommerfeldt – When you are first driven through the park gatehouse for the Schlosshotel Kronberg nestled in the lower forested slopes of the Taunus Mountains of Germany above Frankfurt and see its  grandeur of towers and steep roofs, it is fairly obvious it was originally a royal residence. Chauffeured in one of […]

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High Praise for the Better Cromwell: Review of Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Thomas Cromwell

By Patrick Hunt – How many books do we read that fulfill three major vital requisites: open up realms of unexplored territory, correct long-held misapprehensions, and unearth and carefully document sources of some of what we take for granted? When Hilary Mantel [1] states Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Thomas Cromwell (Viking, 2018) is a book awaited four […]

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