Author: patrick


The Homes of Henry David Thoreau

“I have learned that even the smallest house can be a home.”  Henry David Thoreau Written and Illustrated by John Roman Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond is his most famous residence, yet historians and scholars also credit several other sites in Massachusetts that served as “home” to this […]

Architectural History

Trigonometry and Math – Egyptian Style

A section of the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus, ca. 1550 BCE.  It consists of reference tables, arithmetic, algebraic and geometric problems including volumes, and fractions (Courtesy of British Museum. London) By Susanne L. Houfek – The ancient Egyptians may not have taken trigonometry in school for entry level to a good university […]

Food History

Albert Seltz Wines in Mittelbergheim, Alsace

By Patrick Hunt – One of the oldest and respected domaines in Alsace, already known for some of the oldest continuing wineries in the world, is Domaine Albert Seltz in Mittelbergheim from 1576, with fourteen generations of wine production for highly sought-after wines. The current patriarch Albert took over from […]


Guillaume de Machaut: Medieval Polymath

By Susanne Houfek – Unless you’re a medievalist you may not know Guillaume de Machaut was an important 14th century French poet and composer. Living from 1300-1377, he was prolific, innovative and influential, creating over 400 poems, 235 ballades, 76 rondeaux, 39 virelais and more, both secular and religious, in […]


Pirates and Patristics

By Timothy J. Demy – The legacies of the classical world and late antiquity are many. In the second century CE the early Christian philosopher from Carthage, Tertullian (ca. 160 – ca. 220), asked an oft-repeated (and misunderstood) question “What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?” (De praescritione haereticorum 7). Two disparate cities—one, a center […]


Baruch’s Tale – A Historical Gem of a Novel

By P. F. Sommerfefdt – Rembrandt’s 1630 painting of the prophet Jeremiah weeping over Jerusalem is an apt image for condensing this historical novel to a singular time and place in history. Historical fiction often falls into one of two pitfalls or both – either too historical and dry in […]

archaeoastronomy and language

Electrum in Antiquity

Mitylene (Asia Minor) hectae electrum coins, ca. 500 B.C. (image public domain) By John Saul – WHY WAS ONE WORD USED FOR TWO SUBSTANCES?  In former times the word electrum designated two substances which to us are very different. One was amber and the other was an alloy of gold […]