Bloody Mexica

We may never fully fathom other cultures, so claims this Nautilus essay. To bolster its case it presents Friar Sahagun’s ethnography of the Mexica civilization. It’s gruesome and bloody, with lurid tales of a mountain of human sacrifice. But it’s also part of a strange culture with a hierarchy of nobility that the article equates to upper crust England.

The Misunderstood Machiavelli

Rather than a handbook for tyrants, Machiavelli wrote The Prince as an ironical work, according to political scientist Erica Benner. Machiavelli was an ardent Republican during the time of the Medicis, de facto rulers of Florence, when the swing towards monarchy was strong. Read this way, The Prince can be seen as a cautionary work into the workings of tyranny and how best to recognize and fight it.