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The Demagogues of Ancient Athens

The phenomenon of unscrupulous politicians stoking tensions in society for their own ends is as old as democracy itself. By John Leonard – “[T]he main cause of the overthrow of democracies is the outrageous behavior of demagogues.’  Aristotle, Politics I.1304b.20 As ancient Athens moved away from kingship and Archaic-era tyranny […]


The Homes of Henry David Thoreau

By John Roman – “I have learned that even the smallest house can be a home.”  Henry David Thoreau Although Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond is his most famous residence, historians also credit several other sites that served as “home” to this American literary figure. Looking into Thoreau’s […]

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 […]


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 […]