Episode 27 of the Burning Archive podcast asks: How did the Byzantine Empire acquire the secrets of silk production from China, and what does it tell us about the history of silk, the diffusion of silk trade across the world, and the Silk Roads of Eurasia?
This year, 2021, may be remembered as a pivot year in world history. Not because of the pandemic. Not only because of the protracted crisis of the American republic. But because of the changed balance of power in international relations brought about by the decrepitude of the American Atlanticist Alliance and the strengthening of the … Continue reading The World Island vs The Atlantic
A tragic sense of history does not limit the depth of the fall of the mighty and flawed, nor does it pretend that prevailing orders degrade in a slow, controlled and managed decline. Collapse of political orders, institutions, empires and cultures as often comes quickly, almost suddenly, and rarely with expert forecasts pre-loaded. So it … Continue reading America’s Coming Century of Humiliation… begins
Could it be that the current unrest in America and the disintegration of its political, social and cultural institutions are the beginning of its own 21st century version of the Chinese Qing Empire's Century of Humiliation - 百年耻辱? Could it even be that the leaders of China - who by the account of Michael Pillsbury, … Continue reading America’s Coming Century of Humiliation
Since posting Is America reliving the 1917 revolution? a few days ago I have noticed numerous other commentators make similar comparisons between this induced insurrection and earlier revolutionary prequels. Just to be clear, in my mind, "revolutionary" is stripped of all romanticism, and is viewed with an historian's tragic sense of life. The admirable thinkers … Continue reading The Red Guards are coming
I am reading Stephen Platt, Imperial Twilight: the Opium War and the end of China's last golden age (Knopf 2018), in which he describes the initial attempt by British traders and soldiers to establish a trading post at Canton via a partly successful military adventure in 1637. The tactical success amounted to little initially since … Continue reading What I am reading … the Opium war and chai