Book Review: Sacred History by Van Liere et al.

Van Liere, Katherine, Simon Ditchfield, and Howard Louthan, eds. Sacred History: Uses of the Christian Past in the Renaissance World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. What if ecclesiastical history in the era after the Reformation was not just a detour or even an impediment to “modern” secular history, but rather a...

spacer
spacer
spacer

The Printing Revolution: Miracle of the Standardized Text

In my first article on the printing revolution, I explored Elizabeth Eisenstein’s assertion that what rendered printing a powerful new commercial industry was the reduction of man-hours needed to produce a high volume of copies. Now I want to turn my focus to how printing transformed the intellectual culture of Europe. Between...

spacer

My New Favorite Latin Lexicon

You are proficient in a language not when you can translate it into your own, but when you no longer need to.  As a historian of Christianity from roughly Augustine (4th century) to early modern Europe (17th century), I find myself reading a lot of Latin. Call it immersion...

spacer

Livy, Progenitor of Modern History

I am a historian by profession and introspective by temperament. This combination naturally leads me to questions such as, “What am I actually doing when I’m doing history?” After all, if a basic dictum of history is that all human activity is contextual, contingent, and mutable, these qualifiers must...

spacer

The Printing Revolution: Commercial Consequences

Just how much did the rise of printing change the Western world? Elizabeth Eisenstein spent most of her career attempting to answer that question. I’ve picked up her book The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe, which is a judicious abridgment of the two-volume work that made her career. Over a series...

spacer