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Artifacts of Material History History Literature

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 of […]


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 […]


Solon and Justice

By Walter Borden, M.D. The American Founders, including Madison, Jefferson, and Adams in creating our constitution studied the history of republics going back to Carthage, Greece and Rome. Adams in particular cited ancient Greece with long references to Solon, known as “the Law Giver”, one of the Seven Sages, and […]


Pandemic Portraiture

By Hilary Letwin – Sitting for one’s portrait is not the first thing one might expect to do in self-isolation during a global pandemic. But, that is precisely where I found myself on a recent gray Tuesday morning, posed on my balcony in Vancouver at 9 am, my morning coffee […]

Photo Essays

Marlin Lum’s Simplon Pass Switzerland Photo Essay

In 2005 while working with Cultural Heritage Imaging and monastery chanoine Jean-Pierre Voutaz, Archiviste for the Order of the Grand-St-Bernard at the Simplon Hospice in Switzerland’s Simplon Pass, Marlin Lum took these photographs of the local landscape and its environs. Electrum Magazine is proud to feature stunning photographs of our […]


Following The Art Thief

by Melissa Guertin Edvard Munch may not now be screaming over his work’s repeated purloinings (1995, 2004) from several museums, since they’ve been returned, but Isabella Stewart Gardner should be turning over in her grave because the 1990 heist of twelve masterpieces from her lovely Boston palazzo museum is still […]

Short Takes

The New Alexandrian Library

By Andrew Herkovic The ancient Library of Alexandria, real as it once was, is essentially the stuff of myth. What we usually understand as libraries, even the most ambitious of libraries, don’t much resemble the myth or the reality of the original at the shore of the Mediterranean. Though it […]