Tag Archives: History

Historical topics

BNM Armor & Weapons

The Bavarian National Museum in Munich (English overview) holds a vast store of Bavarian and European art and other cultural artifacts. One of its rooms displays late medieval and early modern armor and weapons. A few days ago I took pictures of the most interesting items, which is really most of them – it’s a […]

Munich Jagdmuseum

Last September I visited Munich’s Deutsches Jagd- und Fischereimuseum (German Museum for Hunting and Fishing) and took pictures of some unusual exhibits. When I went to the Museum Starnberger See this January, I realized that its excellent model of the huge Bucentaur lake galley was likely the same one depicted in a Jagdmuseum painting, so […]

Gehlen’s Moral & Hypermoral

Moral und Hypermoral (1969) is the final work of German philosopher Arnold Gehlen (1904–1976), today somewhat forgotten except among German philosophy students and niche conservatives. I confess that I started reading him myself only recently, obviously far too late. He’s well worth a recommendation, and in this spirit I append a translation of the beginning […]

Religion & Life Strategy

The nature and dynamics of world religions by Nicolas Baumard & Coralie Chevallier (2015, also as PDF) examines archaic religions, current world religions, and the ongoing decline of religiosity in rich countries by the light of life history theory, here applied to the varying circumstances of human societies rather than the evolution of different species. […]

Villa Stuck & Friedensengel

Click for Photo Gallery – read on for background information. Nearly forgotten today, Franz von Stuck (1863–1928) was a popular and highly acclaimed artist in his time. Stuck designed his Munich villa (built 1897–98) as a rich homage to European art, from antiquity to contemporary styles. Like most late 19th century attempts to revive historical […]

Tainter’s Collapse of Complex Societies

The Collapse of Complex Societies (Cambridge University Press 1988; paperback 1990, 250 pages, ISBN 978-0-521-38673-9) is Joseph A. Tainter’s magnum opus and deservedly considered a classic. Tainter packs an overview of explanations of collapse, analyses of historical cases, and his own overarching theory into one slim book, soberly argued from quantifiable data yet quite readable. […]

Etruscans & Greeks

Click for Photo Gallery – read on for background information. Munich’s museums lower their ticket prices to €1 on Sundays, a great opportunity to check out interesting special exhibitions. Last Sunday the Staatliche Antikensammlungen opposite the Glyptothek featured a large number of remarkable Etruscan pieces. I took a couple of pictures with the iPhone 5s, […]

King Ludwig’s Walhalla

Click for Photo Gallery – read on for background information. King Ludwig I of Bavaria (1786–1868) was the grandfather of Ludwig II (1845–1886) who eclipsed him in popular memory as the “Märchenkönig:” patron of Richard Wagner, Neuschwanstein castle, mysterious early death. Ludwig I was rather more mundane but left a much greater cultural legacy, simultaneously […]

Return of Patronage

Who will pay for intellectual works that are easily copied over the Internet, and why? I think the strongest component will be voluntary payment, a.k.a. patronage, and it’s already much more common than generally admitted. The core distinction is the following: People will pay after “consuming” (listening, reading, watching, playing) a work if they decide […]

Passau Veste Oberhaus

Click for Photo Gallery (and another) – read on for background information. Founded in 1219 to overlook Passau, Veste Oberhaus is a true medieval fortress at its core. That’s unmistakable when you try to reach the castle: the ascent covering a height of 100 meters resembles Frodo’s journey into Mordor, except with more sunshine and […]