Teenage military commanders in the Ancient World

It would be unheard of today for a 19 year old to command a major army. Modern military commanders around the world and for centuries past have generally had decades of experience and hold authority partly on the basis of their seniority. Lee, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Cosgrove and Petraeus are all good examples. In the world […]

Refugees and the Roman Empire

In Australia, the issue of refugees, asylum-seekers and boat-people is a perennial feature of the political landscape. In the endless and heated party rhetoric surrounding this issue, the often vulnerable individuals whose lives hang in the balance are often forgotten. So too are statistics and especially the lessons of history.  The more I attempt to […]

ASOR Conference 2012

Just back from the annual conference (14-17 November 2012) of the American Schools of Oriental Research  (ASOR) in Chicago, Illinois. This was a conference of the highest quality and saw 90 panel sessions delivered over four days. In many of the papers newly discovered archaeological material was presented which will increase our understanding of the […]

The end of the Mayan Calendar and the end of the world?

Many of you will be aware of the looming end date of the Mayan Long Count Calendar which is due to take place on 21 December 2012. There is considerable interest in this event which is obvious if you simply type the words “Mayan Calendar” into Google. The release of the movie 2012 starring John […]

Add your thoughts here… (optional) Australian National Maritime Museum There is something intriguing about natural history illustrations. The plants look as though they are sprouting from the page but the animals appear slightly on the edge of reality, with blankly staring eyes and stiffly posed limbs. Perhaps this is because the immobility of plants permit […]

Add your thoughts here… (optional) Australian National Maritime Museum Buccaneer, Explorer, Hydrographer and sometime Captain of the Ship ROEBUCK in the Royal Navy of King William the Third. So reads the memorial to Englishman William Dampier in the village of East Coker, Somerset, England, the place of his birth in 1651. The memorial lists only […]