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Benjamin Franklin, Swimmer: An Illustrated History (Transactions Vol 110, Part 1 Lunar Calendars of the Pre-Columbian Maya: Transactions, APS (Volume 109, Part 1)
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Benjamin Franklin, Swimmer Lunar Calendars of the Pre-Columbian Maya

The story of Benjamin Franklin’s lifelong delight in swimming and his influence in making swimming popular in the western world has never been told. This book uses Franklin’s love of swimming to examine the founder’s life, times, and strong, inventive personality through a lens that historians have previously overlooked. Franklin’s personality emerges through the lens of swimming. We see him clearly as a leader, an inventor, and a strong, proud man. As he was in many fields, he was self-taught. He interacted with family, friends, and acquaintances through swimming. Swimming also offered him an entrée into British society.

Franklin discusses swimming in his Letters and in his Autobiography. Friends and family also comment on his swimming. Primary sources for this book include Franklin’s writing, that of his contemporaries, and other artistic and archaeological sources. When Franklin’s grandson Benjamin Franklin Bache was in his care in France he swam in the Seine. Bache’s Journal constitutes another important primary source for this book. The escapades of this engaging literate teenager in France with his grandfather never before have been published.

In 1968 the International Swimming Hall of Fame honored Franklin with membership. The citation mentions his various inventions that made swimming more efficient and his own feats as a swimmer, but most of all his success in promoting swimming as an essential part of any education. Benjamin Franklin’s advice about water safety and his conviction that everyone should learn to swim because it promotes health, hygiene, and safety is still relevant. Swimming has always been “useful knowledge.”

Sarah B. Pomeroy is Distinguished Professor of Classics and History, Emerita, at Hunter College and the Graduate School, CUNY. She is also Lady Joan Reid Author in Residence at Benjamin Franklin House, London, and a Member of the American Philosophical Society. Widely recognized as a pioneer in the fields of women’s history and classical studies, she uses not only textual sources but also artistic and archaeological evidence in order to reconstruct the past. Her publications include Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity (1975, 1995); Women in Hellenistic Egypt from Alexander to Cleopatra (1984, 1990); Spartan Women (2002); The Murder of Regilla. a Case of Domestic Violence in Antiquity (2007); and Pythagorean Women: Their Lives and Their Writings (2013). Her most recent book is Maria Sibylla Merian, Artist, Scientist, Adventurer (2017). Her books have been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, and Chinese. Professor Pomeroy received fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and she is an Honorary Fellow of St. Hilda’s College, the University of Oxford. Like Ben Franklin, she likes to play the harpsichord and to swim.

Pre-Columbian Maya interest in the waxing and waning of the Moon is well documented. This rare example of interdisciplinary scholarship brings together a deeply penetrating knowledge of positional astronomy and Maya hieroglyphic writing, two highly disparate areas of study, and synthesizes them into a thorough interpretation of the relationship between astronomical concepts in the Maya codices and monumental inscriptions. Prompted by the recent discovery of the Xulum 10K-2 lunar table, this volume is a logical follow-up to work published in 2011 by the Brickers, “Astronomy in the Maya Codices.” It is a comprehensive study of the Maya lunar calendar. Illus.
John Milton’s Roman Sojourns, 1638-1639: Neo-Latin Self-Fashioning: Transactions, APS (Volume 109, Part 4) What Ever Happened to the U.S. Congress's Portraits of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette? Retracing the Events that Led to the Conflagration of the Capitol and the Loss of the Pictures on 24-25 August 1814: Tran. of the American Philosophical Society V
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John Milton’s Roman Sojourns What Ever Happened to the U.S. Congress's Portraits
This study examines the impact of Rome and its vibrant culture upon Milton in the course of two two-month sojourns in the city in 1638-1639. Focusing on his neo-Latin writings pertaining to that period, it presents new evidence of the academic, literary, and musical contexts surrounding Milton’s proactive integration into seicento Rome. Highlighting Milton’s self-fashioning as one who was hospitably embraced by Catholic Rome, this volume traces his networking with distinguished Italian humanists (upon whom he left no slight an impression). Not least, we read of Milton’s attested presence in the hub of Catholicism, the Vatican itself, and his language is fulsome, even excited. One of the greatest unsolved mysteries in American political culture is what became of the United States Congress’s state portraits of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette during the British invasion of the Capitol, Washington, D.C., on the night of 24–25 August 1814. Conceived by Benjamin Franklin during a diplomatic mission, requested by the American delegates at the height of the War of Independence, and granted by the French king after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, these official full-length images of the French monarchs arrayed in ceremonial magnificence were recently identified as atelier copies after Antoine-François Callet’s Louis XVI and Élisabeth Vigée Le Brun’s Marie-Antoinette (both 1783) and traced through Congress’s successive assembly rooms at New York City (1785), Philadelphia (1790), and Washington (1800). The fate of the royal portraits has been difficult to determine due to the incomplete documentary record and conflicting eyewitness accounts. Larkin initially takes a telescopic approach to the problem, moving from British and French production of state portraits to assert political claims in North America and despoliation of Western European countries of their art treasures, to show British and American interests at stake in the practice of looting and incendiary warfare waged across the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay prior to the destruction of the public buildings in Washington, D.C. He then pursues a microscopic approach, analyzing period documents, letters, images, and plans to test the viability of two theories—that the royal portraits were burned by British troops during their occupation of the capital or looted by American scavengers during the chaotic aftermath. While physical evidence of the portrait artifacts remains elusive, this study of the images as objects of desire, danger, and loss breaks new ground for scholars desirous of constituting an art and material history for the War of 1812.
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T. Lawrence Larkin is Professor of Seventeenth- to Nineteenth-Century European Art at Montana State University, Bozeman. He has published on aspects of early modern French and American art and culture, with a two-fold interest in the portrait patronage and mythical permutations of Queen Marie-Antoinette and the trans-Atlantic diplomatic gifts and political culture of French, British, and American governments during the Revolutionary and Imperial Eras. His books include a monograph, In Search of Marie-Antoinette: Stefan Zweig, Irving Thalberg, and Norma Shearer (Palgrave-Macmillan), and an edited volume, Politics & Portraits in the United States & France during the Age of Revolution (Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press), both published in 2019.
The Tower of the Winds in Athens: Greeks, Romans, Christians, and Muslims: Two Millennia of Continual Use: Memoirs, APS (Vol. 270) Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939 (Transactions 105, Part 1)
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Tower of the Winds in Athens Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939
The Tower of the Winds has stood in the shadow of the Acropolis in
Athens for more than 2,100 years. This tall octagonal building, one of
the best preserved monuments from the classical period, was built by the
architect-astronomer Andronikos of Kyrrhos
as a horologion for keeping time. Almost all its features have been
attributed to the period of construction by the Greeks or renovations
made by the Romans. The building, however, was in use almost
continuously for two millennia, which includes Byzantine
and Ottoman phases. Pamela Webb, a classical archaeologist, examines
the Tower throughout its entire functional existence. A series of
appendices helps to put the Tower in broader context for the
post-classical periods. Winner of the 2016 John Frederick Lewis
Award. Illus.

Johannes Höber left Nazi Germany for America in November 1938. His wife Elfriede was unable to leave for another year, after the outbreak of World War II. Fifty years later, their son discovered the letters this brilliant couple exchanged during the tumultuous months they were separated. Against Time: Letters from Nazi Germany, 1938-1939 collects those letters with an introduction, notes and an epilogue that set the letters in the context of their time. Together, the letters portray the intense relationship of a fascinating couple in a critical period in world history.




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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson

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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson
The Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson and the American Philosophical Society, by Patrick Spero, With research assistance by Abigail Shelton and John Kenney.


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