Posts Tagged: history


44,000 Year-Old Cave Painting in Indonesia Is World’s Oldest Figurative Art

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A Genealogy of Blue

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Maps of the spread of the Agricultural & Industrial Revolutions

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Phoenicia: An imaginary friend to nations in need of ancestors

‘Phoenician’ was just a generic label invented by ancient Greek authors for the Levantine sailors they encountered in their own maritime explorations. Although some of these Greek writers entertain a mild stereotype of these Phoenicians as rather cunning or tricksy, they never use the term as a description of a distinct ethnocultural community. The historian Herodotus, for instance, talks frequently – and with considerable admiration – about the Phoenicians, but he never gives an ethnographic description of them as he does for other groups including the Egyptians, Ethiopians and Persians.

So Smith didn’t just get the Phoenicians wrong; he got them perfectly backwards. The Phoenicians don’t illustrate the ancient ethnic origins of modern nations, but rather the modern nationalist origins of at least one ancient ethnicity” (Josephine Quinn).

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28 years, two months and 27 days

“The Berlin Wall has now been down longer than it was up.”

 

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The vanished grandeur of accounting


In the wake of decades of financial scandal—much of it linked to creative accounting, or to no accounting all—the Dutch tradition of accounting art suggests it might be us, not the Dutch, who have misjudged accounting’s importance in the world. Accounting in the modern sense was still a new idea in the 1500s, one with a weight that carried beyond the business world. A proper accounting invoked the idea of debts paid, the obligation of nightly personal reckonings, and even calling to account the wealthy and powerful through audits”.

[…]

Double-entry accounting made it possible to calculate profit and capital and for managers, investors, and authorities to verify books. But at the time, it also had a moral implication. Keeping one’s books balanced wasn’t simply a matter of law, but an imitation of God, who kept moral accounts of humanity and tallied them in the Books of Life and Death. It was a financial technique whose power lay beyond the accountants, and beyond even the wealthy people who employed them”.

(Jacob Soll, writing for the Boston Globe.)

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