Category Archives: history

Medieval Scenes and Settings: Heidelberg, Germany

When the Christmas season rolls around, Germany comes to mind. I think this is due to the visual influence of medieval architecture on so many of the villages and ideas we associate with Christmas, with the German carol ‘Stille Nacht’ … Continue reading

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A Queen for our time? Joanna of Naples, Great Characters of the Middle Ages

This is the latest installment in my Great Characters of the Middle Ages series.  Some of these folks are people who are appearing my my work. Joanna, alas, I must set aside–though I am tempted to post some of the … Continue reading

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What’s Your Sign? Ophiuchus!

It’s not the first time I’ve written about the conjunction between astronomy and astrology–for a long time, they were considered to be essentially the same thing. The only reason to study the stars was to understand how they governed those … Continue reading

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A Brief History of Jews in China

Continuing my inadvertent series about surprising cultural connections (and my ruminations on the fact that history so often repeats itself), I recently came across this article in the New York Times about the clampdown on public practice of Judaism in … Continue reading

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The Medieval Engineers of Islam

Many of my historical projects have delved into the technology of the Middle Ages, and it’s a topic I enjoy researching. I am always discovering cool things–sometimes things I’m not, alas, in a position to use.  One fantastic example is … Continue reading

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The Problem of Plagues. . .and other Medieval Usage Issues

I am working my way through my editor’s notes on Elisha Mancer, book four in The Dark Apostle series, and encountering the difficulty of words.  Words are, in a novel, the primary tool for delivering the story.  In a historical … Continue reading

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Anti-technology Fantasy and the Author’s War Experience

This past weekend, I was delighted to spend at Readercon in their new location in Quincy, Massachusetts. Here is the description of one of the panels that got me thinking: If Thor Can Hang Out with Iron Man, Why Can’t … Continue reading

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