Minoan bull-leaping—fact or fiction? (And does it really matter?)

One of the first things you'll see if you study (or google) the Minoans is the "bull-leaping" fresco. You'll see a guy somersaulting over a charging bull. Pretty neat. And, you would have thought, pretty straightforward. Unfortunately, academics have decided to debate the otherwise rather straightforward explanation and it is this phenomenon I'd like to … Continue reading Minoan bull-leaping—fact or fiction? (And does it really matter?)

History or Fiction… you can’t have both, can you?

"[...] wars or pestilences, in every page; the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all—it is very tiresome: and yet I often think it odd that it should be so dull, for a great deal of it must be invention." Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey.  "I know it is the fashion … Continue reading History or Fiction… you can’t have both, can you?

HEMA—A historian’s perspective

So, to start with, what is HEMA? The acronym stands for Historical European Martial Arts. Fine. What's it all about? Basically, we realised we had a bunch of previously forgotten manuscripts which were dedicated to teaching you how to fight—ranging from the Middle Ages through the Renaissance to the Early Modern Era. Ever wanted to … Continue reading HEMA—A historian’s perspective

Ariadne, like, that princess in the maze with the Minotaur, right?

Minoan Bull Leaper

That's what most people think of when they hear the name. Good old Theseus slaying the dastardly Minotaur in the labyrinth of Knossos. But how much of this actually squares up with history itself? The people of the Bronze Age who inhabited Knossos are called the Minoans, at least by us. Did they have magical … Continue reading Ariadne, like, that princess in the maze with the Minotaur, right?