Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Peace treaties that changed the world

From their remotest origins, treaties have fulfilled numerous different functions. Their contents are as diverse as the substance of human contacts across borders themselves. From pre-classical Antiquity to the present, they have not only been used to govern relations between governments, but also to regulate the position of foreigners or to organise relations between citizens of different polities.

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The road to hell is mapped with good intentions

Antebellum Americans were enamored of maps. In addition to mapping the United States’ land hunger, they also plotted weather patterns, epidemics, the spread of slavery, and events from the nation’s past.

And the afterlife.

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Mapping the American Revolution

By Frances H. Kennedy
The American Revolution: A Historical Guidebook takes readers to 147 sites and landmarks connected with the American Revolution. From Bunker Hill and Valley Forge to Blackstock’s Plantation and Bryan’s Station, these locations are integral to learning about where and how American independence was fought for, and eventually secured.

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A map of Odysseus’s journey

Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey is a classic adventure filled with shipwrecks, feuds, obstacles, mythical creatures, and divine interventions. But how to visualize the thrilling voyage? The map below traces Odysseus’s travel as recounted to the Phaeacians near the end of his wandering across the Mediterranean.

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Maps of the world

With Google maps and GPS instructions at the ready, it isn’t often that we step back to look at maps of the wider world. Long gone are the days when you had to flip open a physical map on your cross-country trip, to say nothing of the wealth of maps that exist today, from satellite imagery to geographic surveys, cityscapes to political maps.

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Mapping world history

Porcelain, sealskin, powder-horn, buckskin, silk, and parchment: these are what history is made of. Celestial histories — subway, radio, or Internet histories. Histories found in stick charts and ordnance surveys. From the Paleolithic Period to digital age, maps have illustrated and recorded history and culture: detailing everything from wars and colonization, to religious and jingoistic worldviews, to the textures of the heavens and the earth.

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Maps of The Iliad

While The Iliad is a fictional tale of the Trojan War between the Trojan and Achaean warriors during the Late Bronze Age (circa 1500-1200 BC), it is set in a real location: the eastern Mediterranean, along the Aegean Sea. We present a brief slideshow of maps from Barry B. Powell’s new translation of the ancient epic, which illustrate the geographic regions mentioned, from towns and cities, to character origins, and even allied battle grounds.

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Urban warfare around the globe [interactive map]

What is the future of warfare? Counterinsurgency expert David Kilcullen’s fieldwork in supporting aid agencies, non-government organizations, and local communities in conflict and disaster-affected regions, has taken him from the mountains of Afghanistan to the cities of Syria. His experience in the last few years has led to new ways of thinking about the face of global conflict.

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