Historical

The Brief – Replacing Turkey in NATO

A global geopolitical shift has taken place without the wider audience noticing. Turkey has drifted apart from the US and NATO, it has got much closer to Russia, and… By Georgi Gotev with Sam Morgan | EURACTIV.com Turkey is still a NATO member. But it has repeatedly said it is committed to buying Russian missile defence system, despite warnings from the United States that the S-400s cannot be integrated into the NATO air defence system. Missile defence is not a… ... Read More »

Sue Smith’s Hydra: how love, pain and sacrifice produced an Australian classic

Running through Hydra, the new play by Australian playwright Sue Smith, is the myth of Icarus, the boy who flew so high that his wings melted and he crashed to his death in the sea near the Greek island of Samos. Alastair Blanshard The Conversation It is an easy myth to misunderstand. Moralists think it is a story that reinforces the importance of listening to your parents and sticking to the safe middle path – not flying “too close to ... Read More »

Picking Up the Pieces After Hanoi

The collapse of last month’s summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was perhaps the inevitable result of a process in which the two leaders dominated, optimistic about their personal relationship and confident in their abilities. Richard N. Haass Project Syndicate The question is what to do now. NEW YORK – When last month’s summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without a deal, the result was not surprising. ... Read More »

Music was ubiquitous in Ancient Greece

Now we can hear how it actually sounded Much of what we think of as Ancient Greek poetry, including Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, was composed to be sung, frequently with the accompaniment of musical instruments. aeon And while the Greeks left modern classicists many indications that music was omnipresent in society – from vases decorated with lyres, to melodic notation preserved on stone – the precise character and contours of the music has long been considered irreproducible. However, the UK ... Read More »

Hidden women of history: Australia’s first known female voter, the famous Mrs Fanny Finch

In this series, we look at under-acknowledged women through the ages. On 22 January 1856, an extraordinary event in Australia’s history occurred. Kacey Sinclair The Conversation It is not part of our collective national identity, nor has it been mythologised over the decades through song, dance, or poetry. It doesn’t even have a hashtag. But on this day in the thriving gold rush town of Castlemaine, two women took to the polls and cast their votes in a democratic election. ... Read More »

One Nation wants Aboriginal people to ‘prove’ ancestry with DNA tests

One Nation’s NSW leader wants First Nations people to prove their heritage by undergoing DNA ancestry testing. By Greg Dunlop, Jack Latimore Source: NITV News SBS The far-right political party, One Nation, says welfare ‘rorters and opportunists’ are falsely claiming Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestry and now wants commercial testing… In a media release this morning, the fringe party and its NSW leader, Mark Latham, said blue eyed and blond haired people claiming to be Aboriginal  “weakens the integrity of ... Read More »

Why these Australian women’s rights activists are continuing to fight for equality

A lot has changed since International Women’s Day began more than a century ago – but there’s more to be done. Here, a human rights advocate, an abuse survivor, and a sex worker share their stories. Maani Truu SBS The first International Women’s Day was held in 1911, with more than a million people across Europe demanding women be given the right to vote and hold public office. Now, 108 years later, the world is a very different place. We ... Read More »

Nobody wants a return to war in Northern Ireland but events can create their own momentum

The 310-mile-long border that divides the north from the Irish Republic is a trip wire which has the capacity to trigger a political explosion, writes Patrick Cockburn from Belfast. Independent At the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s I used to visit Crossmaglen, a village in South Armagh close to the border with the Irish Republic and notorious as an Irish Republican stronghold. I would go there with my friend Ben Caraher, a teacher in Belfast who came from the village ... Read More »

Socrates in love: how the ideas of this woman are at the root of Western philosophy

Where did Socrates, the foundational figure of Western philosophy, get the inspiration for his original ideas about truth, love, justice, courage and knowledge? Armand D’Angour The Conversation New research I’ve conducted reveals that as a young man in 5th-century BC Athens, he came into contact with a fiercely intelligent woman, Aspasia of Miletus. I argue that her ideas about love and transcendence inspired him to formulate key aspects of his thought (as transmitted by Plato). If the evidence for this ... Read More »

The Killing Times: the massacres of Aboriginal people Australia must confront

Special report: Shootings, poisonings and children driven off cliffs – this is a record of state-sanctioned slaughter • A massacre map of Australia’s frontier wars – interactive Lorena Allam and Nick Evershed The Guardian The truth of Australia’s history has long been hiding in plain sight. The stories of “the killing times” are the ones we have heard in secret, or told in hushed tones. They are not the stories that appear in our history books yet they refuse to go away. ... Read More »

Calming India and Pakistan’s Tit-for-Tat Escalation

Reciprocal airstrikes by India and Pakistan have been accompanied by shelling, troop reinforcements and small arms fire. Laurel Miller ICG In this Q&A calling for restraint between the nuclear-armed neighbours, Crisis Group’s Asia Program Director Laurel Miller notes that the airspace violations alone were the worst for 50 years. What happened exactly? On Tuesday, 26 February, India claimed that its air force had targeted “the biggest training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed … in Balakot”. The strikes – the most significant ... Read More »

John Dean: I Testified Against Nixon. Here’s My Advice for Michael Cohen.

My appearance before Congress helped take down a president. Will the same thing happen to Trump? By John W. Dean The New York Times There are several parallels between my testimony before Congress in 1973, about President Richard Nixon and his White House, and Michael Cohen’s testimony this week about President Trump and his business practices. Setting aside the differences regarding how we got there, we both found ourselves speaking before Congress, in multiple open and closed venues, about criminal ... Read More »

Climate change: narrate a history beyond the ‘triumph of humanity’ to find imaginative solutions

One reason why people find it difficult to think about climate change and the future may be their understanding of human history. Amanda Power The Conversation The present day is believed to be the product of centuries of development. These developments have led to a globalised world of complex states, in which daily life for most people is highly urbanised, consumerist and competitive. By this account, humanity has triumphed over the dangers and uncertainties of the natural world, and this ... Read More »

New clues to the lost tomb of Alexander the Great discovered in Egypt

Excavations in Alexandria’s ancient royal quarter provide intriguing hints to the famous conqueror’s final resting place. By Erin Blakemore National Geographic It was the last hour of the last day of a long, frustrating dig, and Calliope Limneos-Papakosta was ready to go home. For 14 years the Greek archaeologist had been scouring Shallalat Gardens, a public park in the heart of Alexandria, Egypt, for traces of Alexander the Great, the ancient conqueror-turned-pharaoh who gave the city his name. Now it ... Read More »

Theano of Croton And The Pythagorean Women Of Ancient Greece

2500 years ago, in a small but soon to be revered town in Southern Italy, a group of men and women gathered, united by the proposition that the universe is, at its base, Numbers. Dale DeBakcsy Women You Should Know They were called the Pythagoreans, and their society would last for a millennium while their mathematical discoveries will be part of every geometry textbook in every school for as long as there are humans to read them. And at the ... Read More »

Supreme Court will look at whether a cross is promotion of religion or war memorial

The Supreme Court justices, long divided on the role of religion, are set to decide whether a 40-foot Latin cross sitting at a busy intersection in Maryland is an unconstitutional official endorsement of Christianity or a… David G. Savage Los Angeles Times It will be the first major religion case for Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, and the outcome could signal whether the court’s five conservatives are prepared to give small towns, counties and… At issue is the 1st Amendment’s ban ... Read More »