Posted inCulture, Modern Era

Hamnet, Shakespeare’s Son Whose Childhood Death May Have Influenced His Father in the Creation of Hamlet and Other Works

Are there any descendants of William Shakespeare today? The answer is no. It is known that the family endures through another line, that of his younger sister Joan, but the famous playwright’s line has died out. This is because, despite having three children with his wife Anne Hathaway, two were girls and thus took their […]

Posted inAge of Exploration

“The Book of Five Rings”, Written by the Ronin Miyamoto Musashi in the 17th Century and whose Philosophy the Japanese Apply to their Work

The speed and consistency with which Japan recovered politically and materially after its defeat in World War II, overcoming the enormous destruction from aerial bombings, two atomic bombs, and a severe demographic drain, is often a source of amazement. Part of this effort was due to the aid received and the cultural influence exerted by […]

Posted inCulture

Books from the Library of the Brothers Grimm Discovered in Poland May Provide Clues to their Method of Selecting Fairy Tales

The brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm are known for their fairy tales, which have entered the literary canon. However, they spent almost their entire lives developing Germanic philology. New discoveries of previously lost books from their private library may help in investigating their work. Twenty-seven books, believed to have been lost after World War II, […]

Posted inAncient Rome, Culture

Researchers Read for the First Time the Contents of One of the Charred Herculaneum Scrolls, an Epicurean Treatise

A team of researchers from around the world has achieved the feat of reading fragments of text from one of the charred scrolls of the ancient library of Herculaneum, buried 2000 years ago by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. These scrolls were discovered by chance in the Villa of the Papyri in Herculaneum in the […]

Posted inAncient Rome, Culture, Middle Ages

When the Codex Overtook the Scroll as the Format for Books

Recently, following the article we published about the origins of the books in the Library of Alexandria, a somewhat finicky (and indeed quite mistaken) reader confronted us on a social media platform, asserting that those were not books but rather handwritten scrolls. What he evidently didn’t know is that scrolls are simply one form of […]