Showing posts from December, 2013

Medieval Novgorod Through the Eyes of a Child

The Art of Onfim: Medieval Novgorod Through the Eyes of a Child By Paul Wickenden of Thanet
Introduction One of the most fascinating archeological finds in Russia has been the discovery of hundreds of "birchbark documents" (messages written on the bark of birch trees with a sharp stylus) that were created from the 11th to the 15th century.
The birchbark documents of Novgorod are a major source for information about life in Medieval Novgorod because they are not the writings of church theologians or political leaders, but rather, personal messages, IOUs, love letters, shopping lists, and so on. One of the most fascinating items, in my mind, is a collection of children's drawings that have been unearthed.
Children's drawings in the Middle Ages?! Even if such things were created in period, how could they have survived to the present day? After all, finger paints, magic markers, and crayons were not yet in use, paper was far too valuable of a commodity to waste…

SOUTHERN HISTORY TODAY-Moving Tom Watson: A battle over bronze and over memory

Southern history Not even past A battle over bronze and over memory Dec 7th 2013 | ATLANTA | From the print editionMoving Tom Watson FOR more than 80 years, a bronze statue of a stern-faced man in a frock-coat, one clenched fist at his side and one held over his head as though he were in mid-declamation, stood before the front entrance to Georgia’s capitol building. The statue is of Tom Watson, a fiery populist who in the late 19th and early 20th centuries served in Georgia’s legislature and both houses of Congress. He was also a publisher, essayist and vice-presidential candidate.
At first, Watson was a progressive agrarian populist, winning the support of rural blacks and whites alike. He came to abandon those ideals, writing vicious diatribes in his magazine against blacks (“an inferior being…not any more our brother than the apes are”), Jews (“thick-lipped rakes [who] glut their eyes upon handsome Gentile women”) and Catholics…