Category Archives: History

Patrick Wyman’s book is a compelling historical narrative of Europe from 1490 to 1530, shot through with colorful stories about people and politics.

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Recently The New Yorker had a long feature on the German social experiment from the 1970’s to early 2000’s which placed homeless boys in foster care with pedophiles. The whole […]

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Here’s a podcast on the Indo-Iranians from Patrick Wyman.

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As you may know, I’ve been thinking about the Indo-European expansion a lot. I did a lot more archaeological reading than I’m wont to for my Substacks, Steppe 1.0, Going […]

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Over at his Substack, Robert Wright puts in a defense of Charles Darwin against a comment in Science, “The Descent of Man,” 150 years on. On the whole, I agree […]

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My offhand reference in the open thread to continuity of devotion to the Babylonian God Tammuz to the 10th century elicited a fascinating email from a long-time reader about paganism […]

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Why Civilization Is Older Than We Thought: The Calusa of southwestern Florida might provide a natural experiment for thinking about our Turkish neolithic site: a complex hierarchical society that built […]

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In 2015 Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe and Population genomics of Bronze Age Eurasia were published. These two papers were game-changers. They […]

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I’m spending a lot of time reading about the Corded Ware for my series on the steppe. The Corded Ware is a culture that appeared that abruptly in Northern Europe between 2900 and 2800 BC, covering a vast territory of Central and Eastern Europe in a century. The name derives from the unique marks left …

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There is a narrative that Yelu Chucai, and advisor of Genghis Khan and his son, was responsible for the saving of much human life by making the case for taxation […]

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Patrick Wyman’s Tides of History podcast is tackling South Asia and prehistory. He wrote up a Substack for it too, Ancient South Asia – Farming and People in India and Pakistan. I agree with Patrick here, though my confidence is low: …It seems unlikely that a group living 1400 miles to the east would have …

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I have written an introductory post (it’s free), Entering Steppelandia: pop. 7.7 billion, to a series of posts (mostly paid) that I will write about the Eurasian steppe. So I’m thinking and reading a lot about this topic. This is relevant to “Brown Pundits” because we subcontinental people have been stamped by the steppe. First, …

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The Brown Pundits Clubhouse channel hosted a discussion on “the Mughals” yesterday that went on for a while. There seem to be two polarized extreme views 1) The Mughals were great Indians! Long live the Mughals. 2) The Mughals were genocidal colonizers and induced inter-generational trauma. Most people occupy a position in the middle. As …

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On Substack, Made in China – Does it matter who writes history if no one reads it?
Readers of this weblog care about China. But know too little about it. Become less ignorant.
Clubhouse at 7 pm PDT https://www.joinclubhouse.com/event/MKlLwwoo

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BPer Mukunda and I were having a discussion on Twitter, which I want to elevate and push to the blog, because it’s somewhat important. When I was young (20th century) I read stuff about how the Indo-Aryans described the natives of the subcontinent as dark and “snub-nosed.” That their arrival in some ways was a …

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A very long piece in New York Times Magazine, He Wants to Save Classics From Whiteness. Can the Field Survive? – Dan-el Padilla Peralta thinks classicists should knock ancient Greece […]

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Victor Lieberman in Strange Parallels: Volume 1, Integration on the Mainland: Southeast Asia in Global Context, c.800–1830 that one reason the “Indian model” of statecraft and culture was more favored […]

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Peter Bellwood in First Farmers presents a hypothesis for the expansion of the Dravidian languages into southern India in the late Neolithic through the spread of an agro-pastoralist lifestyle through the western Deccan, pushing southward along the Arabian sea fringe. At the time I was skeptical, but now I am modestly confident that this is …

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Razib Khan