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Professor Emeritus, Medieval History, University of Kansas

Professor Emeritus, Medieval History, University of Kansas
Please take into consideration the purpose and audience for which the lecture notes listed above were written. For a good many years, I taught a three-credit-hour freshman survey entitled Introduction to Medieval History to enrollments of room-size - generally three hundred students. During those years, the University of Kansas maintained an open enrollment policy in which all graduates from accredited Kansas high schools were admitted to the University. Since the only history courses required by the State of Kansas at the secondary level were in American History, students enrolling for this course varied widely in their knowledge of the European past. Consequently, my lectures were both basic and episodic, concentrating on major events and topics that would prepare the students for further enrollments in Humanities courses and attempting to demonstrate that the study of History could be both useful and enjoyable.

Related:  Historia

La antigua Roma aún importa A finales del siglo IV d. C., el río Danubio era el paso de Calais de Roma. Lo que solemos denominar las invasiones bárbaras, la llegada de hordas (quizá muchedumbres) al Imperio Romano, podrían calificarse también como unos movimientos masivos de inmigrantes económicos o refugiados políticos del norte de Europa. Y las autoridades romanas tenían tan poca idea de afrontar aquella crisis como las nuestras, además de que, por supuesto, eran menos compasivas. 145 años de cerezas y barricadas: la banda sonora de la Comuna de París La música popular es un buen termómetro de la degradación de una sociedad. El hecho, muy cacareado, es que los movimientos y mareas surgidos alrededor del 15M tienen que recurrir a la banda sonora de las viejas canciones antifranquistas de los 60. Una constatación palpable del abismo que existe entre la realidad de nuestra sociedad y lo que los medios nos hacen llamar "música": mero bien de consumo sin otro valor que los 99 céntimos de iTunes Store. Como mucho, la familiaridad con los nombres y eventos musicales sirve de visado para integrarse en la élite de los entendidos hip, cool o it, es decir, un valor tremendamente reaccionario. En cambio, en Estados Unidos, la lucha de los negros por los derechos civiles tuvo la mejor banda sonora posible de soul, funk y free jazz. Las protestas contra Vietnam contaron con las voces de los folk singers de Greenwich Village cantando las cuarenta al Tío Sam.

‘The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu,’ by Joshua Hammer Photo THE BAD-ASS LIBRARIANS OF TIMBUKTUAnd Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious ManuscriptsBy Joshua Hammer278 pp. Simon & Schuster. $26. In the summer of 1826, a Scotsman named Alexander Gordon Laing became the first European to set foot in Timbuktu, a city that would become synonymous with mysterious remoteness. The inhabitants of Timbuktu would have been amused by the British imperialist assumption that their city had been “discovered.”

La misma bacteria provocó todas las epidemias posteriores a la peste negra Una única cepa de la Yersinia pestis, la bacteria causante de la peste, está detrás de todas las epidemias de esta enfermedad que han castigado a los humanos desde la Edad Media. El ADN bacteriano recuperado de varios apestados confirma además que el patógeno que provocó la pandemia de peste negra en la Edad Media europea vino de Asia. También estaría detrás de la tercera gran epidemia que, tras regresar al continente asiático, se extendió desde China al resto del planeta. La peste es la zoonosis o enfermedad de origen animal que más humanos ha matado.

Moorish Spain: A Successful Multicultural Paradise? Part 1 The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise:Muslims, Christians, and Jews under Islamic Rule in Medieval Spainby Dario Fernandez-Morera Wilmington: ISI Books, 2016 Dario Fernandez-Morera, of Cuban extraction, is associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University. He has previously published American Academia and the Survival of Marxist Ideas (1996), as well as numerous papers on the literature of Spain’s Golden Age. In this new book he tackles one of the anti-European left’s most cherished delusions, viz., that al-Andalus, or Moorish Spain (711–1492 AD), was a successful multicultural society in which Christians, Jews and Muslims flourished together beneath the tolerant eye of enlightened Islamic rulers. These supposed halcyon days of Moorish tolerance are contrasted favorably with both the Visigothic Kingdom that preceded them and the Spain of the inquisition that followed. Advertisement - Time to SUBSCRIBE now!

Book: Guns, Germs and Steel Fascinating.460 pages, ★★★★★ Guns, Germs and Steel does three things: It counteracts the misconception that “since the fifteenth century, enlightened Europeans have colonised simplistic New World natives”. Historians and the surplus approach An interesting feature of the literature in history, particularly when related to ancient history, is that ideas that are clearly in the tradition of classical political economy, that is the developments from William Petty to Marx including mainly, but not uniquely Quesnay, Smith and Ricardo, are often used in contrast with the dominant supply and demand approach of the literature in economics. The typical discussion of development presumes that it was the surplus obtained with the domestication of plants and animals, and the transition from hunter/gatherer to agricultural societies, that allowed specialization (the division of labor) and the development of social classes. The figure below comes from William McNeill's classic The Rise of the West, and the essential concept of surplus is at the center of the stage.

The deep causes of the Great Divergence: or why China fell behind In the last post, I suggested that Kenneth Chase's explanation of why China invented, but did not pursue the development of gunpowder and guns to its ultimate consequences, could be seen as the very deep cause of the so-called Big Divergence, i.e. of the rise to dominance by Western Europe. Chase explains the lack of interest in the development of firearms in China as the result of geographical conditions and how they affected warfare. He argues that two types of warfare developed after the invention of firearms. "Where there were technologically advanced agrarianate societies that were not threatened by steppe or desert nomads, we find the combination of firearms and pikemen, with an emphasis upon infantry (western Europe, Japan). Where there were technologically advanced agrarianate societies that were threatened by steppe or desert nomads, we find the combination of firearms and wagons, with an emphasis upon cavalry (eastern Europe, the Middle East, India, north China)."

Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World Italian fisherman recovered this statue from the Adriatic Sea in the 1960s. Commemorating a successful athlete, the figure stands in the conventional pose of a victor: he is about to remove his victory wreath of laurel or olive leaves and dedicate it to the gods in gratitude. His eyes were originally inset and his nipples are inlaid in copper, which would have appeared red in contrast to the once golden brown color of his bronze flesh. Why the Mongols? The real question about the Mongols is, “Why did they win, and why did they win so big?” The Mongol empire is the great singularity in human history (though I’m sure that there are others in human prehistory): how did two or three million nomads — a nation without cities or writing — manage to conquer over half of Eurasia in less than a century? Invasions and raids on wealthy states by their poorer neighbors are a historical constant, but nobody asks “Why the Petchenegs?” or “Why the Xianbei?”, or “Why the Sarmatians?”.

Rethinking the Social Structure of Ancient Eurasian Nomads: Current Anthropology Research : Nature First Posted: Feb 24, 2012 02:49 PM EST Rethinking the social structure of ancient Eurasian nomads: Current Anthropology research (Photo : Prehistoric Eurasian nomads are commonly perceived as horse riding bandits who utilized their mobility and military skill to antagonize ancient civilizations such as the Chinese, Persians, and Greeks. Although some historical accounts may support this view, a new article by Dr. Michael Frachetti (Washington University, St. Louis) illustrates a considerably different image of prehistoric pastoralist societies and their impact on world civilizations more than 5000 years ago.

Race May Be a Social Construct, But Racism is Very Real “Race is a social construct.” I saw this sentence on the projector in my Race and Ethnic Relations class and jotted it into my notebook. Figuring that the statement was simply being used as an indication of how ridiculous and harmful racism is, I was on board with it. I even used it in conversation a couple times. During a discussion in another course, a fellow student of color mockingly repeated the phrase, “Race is a social construct.” At first, I had to wonder why this phrase was worthy of mockery.