Category Archives: history

“I kissed her, and it tasted like chocolate”

This is just adorable. On my afternoon peregrination around Hyde Park, I came across this new historical marker, which sits in front of the former location of Baskin-Robbins. Although my photo cut it off a bit, you can read what it’s about: This is the kind of historical marker I like. Transcript: “On our first date, […]

Family tries to include cat in 1911 census

Don’t ask me anything about this; it was tw**ted by Dapper Historian  (who noted “An extra family member was added here in 1911 but an angry enumerator has scratched it out & added “this is a cat”!), and sent to me by Matthew Cobb. For reasons lost in the mists of history, some family wanted […]

Remains of Richard III identified: oldest forensic ID yet

You remember these famous words from Shakespeare: Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York; And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house In the deep bosom of the ocean buried. They are of course the opening lines of “Richard III,” and are spoken by the nefarious […]

“Yours in distress”: a letter from Alan Turing

From Letters of Note we get a poignant letter from Alan Turing (1912-1954) written to the mathematician Normal Routledge in 1952, shortly before Turing pleaded guilty to “gross indecency” for having sexual relations with men. (It’s hard to imagine that being a crime, but of course it was the situation for many years in England; it was, in […]

Once again: did Jesus exist?

UPDATE: Several readers have said in the comments that this is a non-issue: why should anyone care whether a historical Jesus existed?  I would have thought the answer was obvious, but I’ll let Sajanas, who has already commented, give it: But so much of Christian philosophy is based around the argument for authority, that Jesus […]

Sic transit gloria mundi

by Greg Mayer We don’t often note events of general (as opposed to scientific) history here at WEIT, but today, August 19, 2767 AUC, is the 2000th anniversary of the death of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, better known as Augustus, arguably the most significant individual in Western and, indeed, world history. The grand nephew and […]

New Republic published my “Noah’s Ark” post

Yay for The New Republic, which has just purchased and posted a slightly rewritten version of yesterday’s piece on the discovery of a pre-Biblical cuneiform account of an animal-filled Ark.  The TNR piece is called “A newly deciphered Babylonian tablet details plans for ‘Noah’s Ark,’” and can be found here.

Was Jesus made up by the Romans?

I guess this “news” has been circulating for over a year, but it’s been off my radar screen. We all know about the squabbles dealing with the existence of Jesus: was he really a divine, wonder-working son of God (WIlliam Lane Craig), an apocalyptic preacher who wasn’t divine at all (Bart Ehrman), or was there […]

Matthew’s new book gets plaudits

In the latest Times Literary Supplement, guest writer Matthew Cobb’s new book, Eleven Days in August: The Liberation of Paris in 1944, gets a very positive review by Robert Gildea, professor of history at Oxford. Sadly, the review is behind a paywall, so I’ve asked Matthew to give me a precis: Outs me as ‘Professor […]

Common misquotations

John Green from Mental Floss corrects 50 common misquotations. I must say, I’ve misquoted at least a dozen of these. Let’s not have any of these on this site, or at least any of these distorted or misattributed!

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