Why It's A Mistake To Call ISIL "Medieval"

"Medieval" is a term we've heard more and more frequently over the years to describe Islamist militants such as Al Qaeda and now ISIL. Given the cruelty of their tactics, it's understandable. But it's also a misleading label that obscures the ideology and motivation of what are, in fact, modern political movements. » 9/29/14 12:44pm Yesterday 12:44pm

What Memories Of Yours Should Be Recorded For Historical Purposes?

Written histories tend to focus on a few large stories, but those stories are actually made up of hundreds of smaller stories that come from the people who witnessed or were part of events as they happened. So what stories and memories do you have that should be preserved as part of the historical record? » 9/29/14 7:00am Yesterday 7:00am

Incredible Restoration of Rusted Turret Cannon from the U.S. Civil War

The USS Monitor, whose cross section is pictured above, was the first iron-clad warship in the US Navy. Built during the U.S. Civil War, it was famous for its revolving turret, fitted out with a cannon. Now, a group is restoring the cannon — and you can see some unbelievable before-and-after pictures below. » 9/26/14 12:35pm Friday 12:35pm

The Inspiration For Disney's Robin Hood Wasn't Actually Robin Hood

Andrew E. Larsen is an historian who specializes in Medieval England and blogs about pop culture and history at An Historian Goes to the Movies. In "Disney's Robin Hood: A Bit More Medieval Than You Might Think," Larsen explores the film's true inspiration, which wasn't Robin Hood but a different medieval tale. » 9/20/14 12:00pm 9/20/14 12:00pm

Though It Seems Crazy Now, the Neutron Bomb Was Intended to Be Humane

Until the day he died, physicist Samuel Cohen declared that his invention, the neutron bomb, was a "moral" and "sane" weapon that would kill enemy combatants, while sparing civilians and cities. But, despite the support of fans like Ronald Reagan, this weapon of not-as-much mass destruction proved to be a hard sell. » 9/19/14 11:00am 9/19/14 11:00am

'Pirate Speak' Is A Myth Perpetuated By Disney

Today is International Talk Like A Pirate Day, but before you get carried away with your ahoys, and your mateys and your timber-shivering, there's something you should know: Pirate-speak, as most of us know it, was invented by Disney; and pirates – real pirates, that is – probably sounded nothing like they do in the… » 9/19/14 10:55am 9/19/14 10:55am

​Lawrence Of Arabia's Hand-Drawn, WWI Map Is Up for Auction

Next month, Sotheby's London will offer for sale T.E. Lawrence's hand-drawn, annotated map of northern Arabia, detailing the route he followed in the days preceding the capture of the Red Sea port of Aqaba in 1917—a victory that would prove decisive in the Arab uprising against the Ottoman Empire in World War I. » 9/17/14 10:47am 9/17/14 10:47am

Israeli Archaeologist Discovers Huge Monument Older Than The Pyramids

For years, archaeologists have been puzzled by a 492-foot-long structure near the Sea of Galilee. While some believed it to be the remnants of a wall, new findings indicate that no city was nearby. Instead, an archaeologist says it was a monument built in the shape of a crescent moon between 3050 B.C. and 2650 B.C. » 9/17/14 7:40am 9/17/14 7:40am

10 Lessons From Real-Life Revolutions That Fictional Dystopias Ignore

Today's genre books are full of future dystopias, which only have one weakness: teenagers. And everybody knows that most dystopias are kind of contrived. But here are 10 lessons from real-life rebellions against repressive regimes, that we wish the creators of fictional dystopias would pay attention to. » 9/15/14 10:11am 9/15/14 10:11am

Archaeologists Have Discovered a Very Naughty Puritan in Boston's Past

Boston is a goldmine for urban archaeologists. The city's history goes back hundreds of years, and construction projects often unearth caches of historical items that are have been almost perfectly preserved. Such is the case with a buried outhouse, which revealed the naughty life of the lady who used it. » 9/12/14 12:33pm 9/12/14 12:33pm

​For Centuries, This Mystical Jewish Sect Lived Hidden In Plain Sight

New research by an Istanbul-based artist has documented hundreds of haunting, sepia-toned photographs belonging to Turkey's mysterious Dönme community—a once-thriving religious sect that practiced a unique set of beliefs based on Sufi mysticism and Judaism. Today, few remain after their true identity was discovered. » 9/11/14 9:00am 9/11/14 9:00am