Emilia Bassano Lanier and Hamlet

Portrait of an unidentified woman by Nicholas Hilliard, who many have suggested could be Emilia Bassano Lanier. Source: Wikipedia Commons (Public domain). Note: The three primary works which provide background for this essay are Shakespeare’s Dark Lady, by John Hudson, The Reckoning, by Charles Nicholl, and Four and Twenty Fiddlers, by Peter Holman. All should … Continue reading Emilia Bassano Lanier and Hamlet

Abel Cone, D. 1843, Houston County, GA

Abel Cone first appears on the census, as head of a household, in 1830 in Washington County, Georgia, and he's listed as between 20 and 29. Near him on the census are Levi Cone (age 30-39) and Thomas Cone (age 20-29) who are also listed as heads of households. In his household are also two … Continue reading Abel Cone, D. 1843, Houston County, GA

A Soldier’s Story

My great-grandparents, James David and Sarah Ella (Harp) Lupo. In all probability, my great-grandfather had no memory of his father, who died in the Civil War at age 25, when my great-grandfather was three. Note: This essay has been updated and expanded in Words Words Words, available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble. An earlier … Continue reading A Soldier’s Story

The End of History 

While many might believe life on Earth would be simpler if we could all be brought together under a single, unifying philosophy, no one can come to any sort of agreement on what that should be. Every social, political, economic, and religious movement since the dawn of civilization has sought to unite people under a common set … Continue reading The End of History 

The Bible Tells Me So

Some years ago, the Reader's Digest caused quite a stir by issuing a condensed version of the Bible. Televangelists were up in arms, some going so far as to burn the book and calling for an all out boycott of the Reader's Digest organization. Despite all the outrage, no one seems to care that there … Continue reading The Bible Tells Me So

Real Bible Studies: Genesis, Isaac

Isaac is almost a footnote in the history of Israel. He's born; he's almost sacrificed by his father; he marries Rebekah; he buries Abraham; he fathers Esau and Jacob; he almost gives Rebekah to Abimelek; he's tricked into giving away Esau's blessing to Jacob; then he reconciles with Jacob and dies, all in the span … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: Genesis, Isaac

Real Bible Studies: Genesis, The Birth of Isaac

Throughout the book of Genesis, YHWH has been telling Abraham that his descendants will one day possess the land of Canaan, which usually meets with skepticism from Abraham. His sometimes sister, sometimes wife, Sarah, is barren and said to be well beyond the age when women could produce children. YHWH has gone so far as … Continue reading Real Bible Studies: Genesis, The Birth of Isaac

Sol Invictus

To disseminate a new belief system, it's sometimes necessary to employ the trappings of an earlier system to help followers make the transition. The early Christian church realized that people were unwilling to give up their feasts and celebrations surrounding the Solstices and Equinoxes, so rather than force them, the Church redefined the celebrations to … Continue reading Sol Invictus