Unprecedented: The Life of Enheduanna, the First-Known Writer
Royal Road (self-published), 2020
The earliest writer known to history by name was a woman. Her name was Enheduanna, and this is her story.
Set in Mesopotamia in the 23rd century BCE, Unprecedented is told in Enheduanna’s own voice as she looks back on her life in a private reminiscence to Inanna, her patron goddess. After her father forces the young princess to leave home to be High Priestess in a strange city, she gradually comes to excel in the role, guided by supporters and anchored by faith. Over the next twenty-five years, Enheduanna survives plots, vendettas and rebellions and lives to see her two brothers and nephew become kings. When the stability of her family’s empire is threatened, she develops an ambitious and unique project, using poetry to unite the people of Mesopotamia. But her greatest work is produced in the darkest hour of her life, when an enemy takes away everything she has.
Your mother needed you to be a prince.
When she gave up her crown and fled into exile, the prophecy was her only comfort. The child in her belly would be a prince, it said, who would wield his father’s sword, avenge his death and take back his throne.
But your mother didn’t have a boy; she had you.
The Thistle with Graceful Leaves: Why Archilochus is My Favorite Rapper of the 5th Century BC
November 29th, 2019
An introduction to Archilochus, the Ancient Greek warrior-bard whose diss tracks were the stuff of legend. Bonus poem at the end.
We’ve Been Debating Foie Gras Since Ancient Times
January 22nd, 2018
The 5,000-year history of force-feeding animals for food (and the controversy that surrounds it).
Eaten: The Food History Magazine (Volume 1)
The surprising history of ambrosia, the modern fruit salad named for the food of the Greek gods. Eaten is available for purchase here.
The History Dish: “Barida,” A Medieval Arab Recipe with Ancient Roman Roots
Four Pounds Flour
June 6th, 2017
My guest post for food historian Sarah Lohman’s blog Four Pounds Flour.