Last week I stopped by 1A on NPR with my colleagues Matthew Gabriel and Cord J. Whitaker to talk about the trouble with racists and medieval history. Have a listen.Continue reading “Radio alert – Going Medieval on White Supremacists on 1A”
I sat down with the lovely ladies of History Hack once again to discuss the myth of the “Dark Ages”, what was actually going on in the early medieval period, and how when I see Voltaire in Hell it is on sight. Enjoy!Continue reading “Podcast alert: The myth of the “Dark Ages” on History Hack”
When you are in my line of work, well firstly, you don’t have any. (Zing! LOL, help, join my Patreon.) Secondly you spend a bunch of time fighting against the myths about a thousand years of history or so that we have created to feel better about ourselves. One of the really rampant myths that I deal with on a regular basis is about life expectancy in the medieval period. What gets trotted out, over and over, is the idea that “the average life expectancy in the medieval period was 35, so when you were 32 you were considered an old”. Friends, this is extremely not true, and this myth is also damaging to us now. Allow me to elaborate.Continue reading “On the myth of short life expectancy, and COVID complacency”
Because of who I am at a fundamental level I have a new podcast with a mate of mine called We’re Not So Different where we will be intermittently discussing the ways that our lives and society is not that different to those of people in the past. Come hang out with Luke and I while we clear up common misconceptions about the medieval period and talk about the regular lives of boring people. It’s fun, I swear.Continue reading “Podcast Alert: We’re Not So Different”
I had the distinct pleasure of talking to Christopher Ryan, whose work has been a huge influence on my own, on his Tangentially Speaking podcast. We talked about the misuse of history, how no one has ever been considered old at 35 ever, and of course George Michael. Check it out!Continue reading “Podcast alert: Medieval sexuality on Tangentially Speaking”
For my last post of this garbage year I wanted to write you something festive. Maybe about commemoration, or compilation, or Christmas traditions of some kind. Then I logged into twitter and well lord forgive me, but it is time to go back to the old me.
You see, the first thing I was presented with as my poor tired eyes struggled to adjust to the weak light of a December morning was this:Continue reading “On treating sex with the utmost reverence”
An idea that well-meaning people with no background in medieval history often bring up to me when attempting to relate is that the medieval period was certainly a glowing time for civilization – if one is explicitly and only discussing the Arab world. This idea gets hurled at me when I am pointing out what the term Dark Ages means, or discussing the bathing habits of medieval Europeans, or just trying to have a quiet pint in peace for the love of Christ. As I say, I do think it comes from a place of wanting to correct an inaccurate and overly European historiography. People want to prove that they understand there is more to the world than one peninsula and that multiple histories are available. They want to show that they understand that non-White people are capable of innovation. They also want to show that they have learned something and are able to critique dominant historical narratives. While all of this is all very charming, it is also inaccurate, and ironically ideas like this – far from elevating Arab history – simply play into a colonialist narrative in history, but from another angle.Continue reading “On colonial mindsets and the myth of medieval Europe in isolation from the Muslim world”
Dan Snow was nice enough to have me back once again last week. This time we discussed medieval education, just in time for back to school. Don’t worry, I also yelled about the misuse of the word “medieval” some more as well. Check it out!Continue reading “Podcast alert: A medieval Education on History Hit”
This week the thing I got mad at on twitter was people’s conception about the delivery of sermons in Latin. Because I know how to have fun, that’s why. Specifically the thing that I got mad about was that one of the Quillette writers a) continues to exist, and b) was using her precious time on this mortal coil to write stupid takes like this:Continue reading “On sermons and the vernacular”
Look it is hot here in London. The sort of hot that London is not supposed to be and was also not built for. Your girl doesn’t like or function well in the heat. As a result, my brain is very tired and slow. Also, petty. So, this week despite the fact that this blog has called for the abolition of the police, I am back on my Plague Police bullshit. This is because we all live in hell, and as a result are dealing with the generalised basics who are still, still, still, even now going around saying stupid things about the plague. Presumably this is just to wind me up when I am already in a bad mood about the heat.
Well congrats, bitches. Here’s a rant about how you are wrong and I hate you.Continue reading “Plague Police round up, or, I am tired, and you people give me no peace”