Monthly Archives: January 2012

Renaissance Art and Modern Banking

Italian Renaissance bankers arguably invented the concepts and tools of modern banking, including bills of exchange, letters of credit, deposit banking, branch banks, and double-entry bookkeeping. A recent exhibition on Money and Beauty: Bankers, Botticelli and the Bonfire of the Vanities … Continue reading

Posted in Early Modern Europe, Early Modern World, European History, History in the Media, Noble Culture and History of Elites, Renaissance Art and History | Leave a comment

Playing Politics with History

Politicians frequently use historical references and analogies to support their political positions and policy programs. Sometimes legislative bodies act to interpret historical events, attempting to reshape the historical memory of controversial periods of the past. Recently, French politicians have been … Continue reading

Posted in European History, European Union, French History, History in the Media, Human Rights, Political Culture | Leave a comment

Religion, Politics, and Money

Religion, politics, and money are often intertwined in curious ways. Religious and political alliances between Jewish Zionists and Christian Evangelicals are baffling to many people. My students frequently express confusion about intersections between Jewish and Protestant messianic and apocalyptic beliefs. … Continue reading

Posted in European Wars of Religion, Political Culture, Religious Violence | Leave a comment

Movement for De-Baptism in France

A movement promoting de-baptism is growing in France, challenging the authority of the Catholic Church and presenting quandaries for historians who use baptismal records as sources. A French man named René LeBouvier has sued the Catholic Church in order to … Continue reading

Posted in European History, European Union, European Wars of Religion, French History, French Wars of Religion, Human Rights, Religious Violence | Leave a comment

English Translations of the Iliad

Homer’s The Iliad has been translated and re-translated into English numerous times.  Willis G. Reiger, director of the University of Illinois Press, points out that “according to The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation, the Iliad is among the … Continue reading

Posted in Civil Conflict, Empires and Imperialism, European History, History in the Media, History of the Book, Mediterranean World, Noble Culture and History of Elites, War, Culture, and Society, Women and Gender History | Leave a comment

Commemorating Frederick the Great

Germans are commemorating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Frederick II “the Great”, king of Prussia in the mid-eighteenth century. Frederick the Great is known above all for his generalship in a series of wars against the Habsburgs over … Continue reading

Posted in Early Modern Europe, European History, History in the Media, War, Culture, and Society, Warfare in the Early Modern World | Leave a comment

Vada a bordo, cazzo!

Almost every major disaster seems to have its heroes and its villains.  The Costa Concordia disaster off Isola di Giglio has made Captain Francesco Schettino a villain for allegedly abandoning his ship and Livorno Port Authority Commander Falco a hero … Continue reading

Posted in European Union, Globalization, Italian History, Maritime History, Mediterranean World | Leave a comment