Menu
Donate
SIGN IN

Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
The doxxing of Rose Mainville | Aeon
Save

essay

History

The doxxing of Rose Mainville

When a young street vendor found her name in a guidebook to the sex workers of Paris, she couldn’t live with the shame

Amanda E Herbert & David N Woodworth

Life as a Victorian teenager | Aeon
Save

video

History

From manners to mud – two women recall coming of age in Victorian London

10 minutes

Freedom from liquor | Aeon
Save

essay

History

Freedom from liquor

Ken Burns’s account of prohibition tells a popular story of booze in America. The historical record is far more sobering

Mark Lawrence Schrad

History by numbers | Aeon
Save

essay

History

History by numbers

Is history a matter of individual agency and action, or of finding and quantifying underpinning structures and patterns?

Claire Lemercier & Claire Zalc

If you love this planet | Aeon
Save

video

War and peace

A peace activist’s harrowing account of nuclear war is a visceral case for disarmament

26 minutes

The discontent of Russia | Aeon
Save

essay

Nations and empires

The discontent of Russia

Lenin envisioned Soviet unity. Stalin called Russia ‘first among equals’. Yet Russian nationalism never went away

Joy Neumeyer

The smile: a history | Aeon
Save

essay

History

The smile: a history

How our toothy modern smile was invented by a confluence of French dentistry and Parisian portrait-painting in the 1780s

Colin Jones

The AI historian | Aeon
Save

video

Computing and artificial intelligence

How machine learning can help historians decode ancient inscriptions

7 minutes

Cowboy progressives | Aeon
Save

essay

History

Cowboy progressives

You likely think of the American West as deeply conservative and rural. Yet history shows this politics is very new indeed

Daniel J Herman

Virtual ancient Rome: walking from the Colosseum to the Forum | Aeon
Save

video

The ancient world

Walk like a Roman in this digital reconstruction of the ancient city

9 minutes

Souvenir souvenir | Aeon
Save

video

War and peace

When his grandfather won’t talk about the war, Bastien is left to his imagination

15 minutes

Fringe theories stack | Aeon
Save

essay

History of science

Fringe theories stack

Believe in the Loch Ness monster and you’re more likely to believe the Apollo missions were fake. How do weird beliefs work?

Michael D Gordin

Tattoos and trousers | Aeon
Save

essay

History

Tattoos and trousers

Let your imagination take flight to the hunting, riding, adventurous lives of Scythia’s warrior women, the real Amazons

Christine Lehnen

Those born later | Aeon
Save

essay

History

Those born later

How does a nation begin to take responsibility for its past wrongs? The German case suggests courage comes locally

Helmut Walser Smith

The Battle of San Romano | Aeon
Save

video

Art

An artistic collaboration across centuries brings a 1432 battle scene to arresting life

2 minutes

Uncovering Sparta | Aeon
Save

essay

The ancient world

Uncovering Sparta

Mythological home of Helen, war-making polis of Leonidas and now a modest municipality: the city is a palimpsest

Daphne D. Martin

In pursuit of the hole | Aeon
Save

essay

Art

In pursuit of the hole

Dig into the voids, pin-pricks and cut-outs of art and history, and those absences speak volumes about what’s been missed

Kim Beil

How disruptions happen | Aeon
Save

essay

History

How disruptions happen

Major disruptions in world history follow a clear pattern. What can upheavals of the past tell us about our own future?

David Potter

What Big History misses | Aeon
Save

essay

Global history

What Big History misses

Sweeping the human story into a cosmic tale is a thrill but we should be wary about what is overlooked in the grandeur

Ian Hesketh

The elephant’s song | Aeon
Save

video

Animals and humans

A bluesy ballad tells the story of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in the US

8 minutes

Slavery en famille | Aeon
Save

essay

History

Slavery en famille

The story of Marie Aymard and five generations of her family tells an intimate history of slavery in a small French town

Emma Rothschild

Asylum | Aeon
Save

essay

Human rights and justice

Asylum

Patients and psychiatrists at Saint-Alban in France fought against fascism side by side. What can we learn from them?

Ben Platts-Mills

Jefferson’s university | Aeon
Save

essay

Education

Jefferson’s university

Thomas Jefferson founded a university believing it would safeguard republican freedom. Slavery was another matter altogether

Alan Taylor

Captured images | Aeon
Save

video

History of technology

Remarkable historical footage is locked behind paywalls. It’s time to set it free

4 minutes