The Emperor’s Historians: John Kinnamos, Niketas Choniates, and the Reign of Manuel I Komnenos


Michael Goodyear

University of Chicago



Manuscript miniature of Manuel I (Wiki)

The reign of Manuel I Komnenos was a critical time in the history of the Byzantine Empire.[1] Lasting from 1143 to 1180, this was a time in which Byzantium had to find its place in the face of increasing globalization between East and West; yet only twenty-four years after Manuel’s death, the Byzantine Empire was greatly weakened and had succumbed to conquest by the Fourth Crusade causing modern historians to trace the causes of Byzantine decline to the reign of Manuel. Manuel is a controversial figure in Byzantine history whose memory has retained the old and naïve views of Byzantium as a land of intrigue, infighting, inefficiency, and opulence.     His complex foreign policy is well known to modern historians primarily due to the work of two historians, Niketas Choniates and John Kinnamos.[2]  Modern historians, Continue reading


The Vikings in the North Atlantic: The Rise and Fall of the Greenland Colony


Caitlyn Floyd Geiger

Armstrong State University



Eirik the Red from Arngrimur Jonsson’s Gronlandia (1688). Source: Wiki

Even as a young man, Eirik the Red was involved in “slayings” with his father.[1] According to The Vinland Sagas, they were outlawed and fled from Norway to start anew in Iceland.  Eirik made a new home in Iceland, but he found himself involved in violence with neighbors whose deaths made him an outlaw once again.[2]  Narrowly escaping punishment with the help of friends he sailed west from Iceland with the intent of finding uncharted land which had been glimpsed by fellow Norseman, Gunnbjorn, when off course at sea.[3]  He entered this place “under the glacier called Hvitserk,” or Gunnbjorn Fjeld, in what is now known as the Watkins Range.[4]  From this bleak starting point Eirik sailed around Greenland’s most southern coast where he landed and positioned his holdfast, Brattahlid, around 982 in what would become the Eastern Continue reading

A Cradle of Sandstone: The Origins of Industry in Northern Ohio


Christian York Ellis

Baldwin Wallace University (Berea, Ohio)



“The history of this growth will command the attention of all future generations.” In his succinct statement in 1916, eminent geologist and historian George Frederick Wright recognized the significance of the rapid expansion of industry in nineteenth-century northern Ohio.[1] His prediction rings true a century later. The region once led the United States in several manufacturing fields, but little has been written about the origins of this success. An incredible story can be explored quite literally just under the surface. Indeed, northern Ohio’s industrial identity persists into the twenty-first century due to a transformation sparked by sandstone quarries. Substantial attention has been given to the local histories and technical functioning of the quarries themselves, but what impact did they have on the people and other industries around them?

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Changing Understandings of the American Civil War in Border Communities: The Cases of Augusta and Franklin Counties

Zachary Brown

Stanford University


On August 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln wrote to political ally Horace Greeley summarizing the Union’s wartime purpose: “I would save [the Union] in the shortest way under the Constitution… my paramount struggle is to preserve the Union….not either to save or destroy Slavery.”[1] Less than five months later, in his Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln would declare the destruction of slavery fundamental to the Union purpose: “All persons held as slaves within the rebellious states are, and henceforward shall be free…as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing [the] rebellion.”[2]  In less than half a year, the scope of the war had transformed, and the heart of the Union cause reformed if not completely reconstructed. The battlefields of the Civil War were only one part of a greater drama – what the war, and subsequently union and disunion, would come to mean.

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Great Strides: A History of Henson Aviation during the 1980s

Jennifer Dennis

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach, Florida)



Richard A. Henson (Wiki)

The aviation industry has witnessed a profusion of mergers following the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. The growing demand for affordable fares and destination options clashed with the decision to lessen federal control over the airline industry. As a result, many commuter and regional airlines either diminished or merged with larger corporations out of necessity or as a method of survival by eliminating potential competition. Modern day Piedmont is not an exception to mergers and carries a long history of successful mergers from the business perspective of Richard A. Henson (1910-2002). In his aviation career, Richard Henson successfully established commuter and regional airlines such as Hagerstown Commuter and Henson Aviation while merging with larger companies, Allegheny (later USAir) and Piedmont Airlines following the 1978 act which allowed for gradual expansion along the East Coast. This allowed Henson to operate through a time of deregulation within the airline industry while demonstrating the effectiveness of his business practices in the areas of employee training, customer satisfaction, and fleet maintenance, which resulted in progressive revenue through slow, continuous growth in order to compete with other regional airlines.

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Colonial Controversy: Examining the British Perspective on the American Revolution in Undergraduate American Government Textbooks

George Kotlik

Keuka College (Keuka Park, New York)


According to conventional accounts of the American founding, the Sons of Liberty and other high-minded Patriots rallied Americans toward the noble goal of independence from the oppressive British crown in the late eighteenth century. This account is particularly evident in college level American government textbooks, which commonly introduce the origins of democracy in the United States as intimately tied to the cause that drove those who fought in the Revolution. Recent critical perspectives on the motivations of the Patriots have become increasingly common in the historical literature on this period, with significant attention being paid to the British perspective of the American Revolution. Looking at the Revolution from across the Atlantic, scholars have called attention to the elites who led the struggle, including the Sons of Liberty and many who would later be influential at the Constitutional Convention, and have charted their role in manipulating the masses in order to secure the political situation—independence—that would best advance their own material and political gains. Indeed, there is a long-standing emphasis on elite theory in the study of American politics, with some classic contributions, such as that of Charles A. Beard in An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States, drawing attention to the vested interests of the founding fathers and the entrenchment of those interests in constitutional design.

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The Master’s Teachings Are Not Far: The Analects of Confucius and Its Modern Relevance

Editorial Introduction

kongzi2The Analects of Confucius is believed to have been written by his disciples around 2500 years ago, and has remained one of the most influential texts in China to this day. This text was written in order to provide people with the teachings of Confucius. His disciples did this by writing down their questions along with the answers that Confucius gave them. In this series of questions and answers various terms that Confucius believed people should live according to are continuously referred to. What is the Dao the master was pursuing? How to become a junzi or superior man? Are the Confucian values such as filial piety and trustworthiness still relevant today? Is Confucius’s political goal still meaningful? The three papers here are contributed by students from HIST 3200 Traditional China, an upper-level history course taught by Dr. Hongjie Wang at Armstrong in the spring semester of 2017. These authors try to answer the aforementioned questions from their respective perspectives based on their reading of the ancient text. Continue reading