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To those who studied ancient history at university...
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You are currently reading a thread in /his/ - History & Humanities

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To those who studied ancient history at university (whether just a degree, masters, PHD etc.): what was your capstone essay topic, or to those who pursued higher research, your major thesis topic(s)?

Or to those currently studying, what do you think your topic will be?

I did mine on the role of pets in the Roman household (focused primarily on Empire).
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I don't study history but that's interesting, care to share some of your findings?
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I'm not finished with a degree, but the last research project I did was a 250 word essay on the nature of emancipation in Brazil and the United States, and why the less democratic government was able to come to a more peaceful resolution.
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>>503085

Wasn't ancient history, but I did one on ratios of pilots and aircrew being trained vis a vis airframe production and why all the major powers "overproduced" planes that they didn't have people to actually fly.
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>>503095
Well it was only an undergraduate essay, so I obviously didn't delve as deep as humanly possible.

Doing a tl;dr is a little bit difficult, but I'll try - I covered a lot of different things in the essay (which pets were popular, roles obviously, and some other things).

Basically, though:
>birds
Kept as companions, but also for entertainment. Some were fed alcohol, which the people of the household found humourous).
>dogs
Companions mostly. The most evidence we have are on dogs, and lots of it varies obviously. There are many cases where they are kept as guard dogs - an interesting case is a fresco that says "CAVE CANEM" - beware of the dog, which is cool.

They're basically the main two. There are examples of cats, horses, etc. It was difficult to make the differentiation between horses as a companion or as a "work mule" of sorts.

Basically, it wasn't so different from our current time; naturally there are differences due to the context. Some of my favourites are frescos of children playing with cats. Sadly I couldn't include cats as major themes, because they weren't very prevalent.

Very brief I know, but that's the best tl;dr I can do really.
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>>503112
>250 word essay
the memes are real.
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>>503119
Was this something you actively chose to do because you were interested in it? Was it a modern history degree?
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>>503129

Yes to both.
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>>503112

>250 word essay
>"research project"

Here's your (You)
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>>503141
Forgive the ignorance, but was this like an important thing? Not too versed on modern history, let alone piloting details.
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>>503152

Depends on how you define "important". It mostly became of interest to me in evaluating Speer's "Rationalization" projects. While there does seem to have been a lot of fraud, he also did actually improve production efficiency in factory work (mostly by scrapping a lot of R&D projects and focusing on tested models), but as he didn't have a hand in personnel, was accompanied by no corresponding increase in pilot production.

Net result, you get a lot of planes built with nobody to fly them, often sitting around on airfields or warehouses until Allied bombers smash them on the ground.

Interest piqued, I looked further afield, and while the issues were most pronounced in late 43 onward Germany, all the major powers had them to some extent or another, and that's then, not just one pretty dysfunctional state being dysfunctional, but a widespread pattern of wartime production choice, and I wanted to find out why it kept happening.
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>>503224
>I wanted to find out why it kept happening
Damn straight. That's why I like talking to people about their thesis topic. I find it fascinating how people take interest to seemingly very specific things; compared to something like a science paper, where (as far as I know) you aren't given the freedom like you are in the humanities.
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>>503224
From what understand of WW2 Germany, they knew they were losing and were looking for a silver bullet piece of technology, so anything short of that was a failure. What did you conclude?
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>>503085
My capstone essay/ppt presentation for my Bachelors was a history of currency in Britain.

20 mins of a fat man talking about money, and not one person fell asleep.
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>>503120
That is still pretty cool.
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>>503272
From ancient times to current? Or a specific time period?

>>503273
Yeah, it was great. Shame I started writing it a week before it was due (~4500 words). I could have enjoyed it much more, but oh well. Such is being a student.
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>>503120

Cheers, this was a nice brief read.
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>>503285
>>503273
If you want a bit more further reading, a source I used often is "The Sentimental Education of the Roman Child: The Role of Pet-Keeping" by Keith Bradley. It's on JSTOR if you have access to it. Was thrilling to analyse
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>>503278
oh, sorry, forgot about that. The time span was from the Celts to today. covering Celts, Romans, Saxons, Normans, middle ages, renaissance, Imperial currency, to today. Lotta friggin coins, alsong with the explination that the value of the currency was the precious metals in the coins themselves, debasement of currency, minting, and economic warfare between governments.
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>>503247

Well, again, by the time I wrote it, I was analyzing more than just Germany's production dysfunctions; so I wasn't really focused on the desperate straits Germany was in late-war.

However, concerning them, my biggest conclusion was that the lament you sometimes hear; that if Germany hadn't kept trying to immediately include every new innovation in their production lines, hadn't had such a plethora of different models of the 109 alone, they'd have just churned out a ton of decent planes and dominated the skies, is bullshit. It might have helped them in regards to logistical streamlining, but the amount of planes they were able to field wouldn't have been much, if any higher, because pilot shortages were the real bottleneck, not number of fighters in the sky.
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>>503305
That would have been pretty interesting to research
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>>503112
> 250 words
> ''''research''''
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>>503335
the economic warfare bit was just funny as hell, and the sheer number of trading companies made the semester long research a grind. Yet, the project itself was enthralling. I must admit, my other classes suffered because of the time I was putting into the paper. 20 page paper, 20 min presentation with Q and A, annotated bibliography (one paragraph minimum for each source [Including ppt pictures]), along with my two page thesis and inquiry paper.

Never do your capstone with an emeritus for ten years and STILL tenured professor of English history. Holy crap he rang me through the ringer and I loved it.
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Not doing ancient history but I just started my capstone essay for my undergraduate degree.

I'm writing about why Japan progressed so quickly after Perry opened them up for trade/diplomacy in 1854. I have a number of primary sources, a couple of really interesting journals. How did you space out the writing of the paper and what databases, if any, did you use?
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>>503351
Well, in general, the more sources, the better. But the crux of the paper has to be your main idea/focus and in your own words. So the question you have to ask yourself before you write (but after you read everything): Why did Japan progress/modernize quickly? What were the external/internal things going on to promote the rapid modernization?
Make your argument, use the sources to compel the reader to your train of thought, and extrapolate your theory/argument and the sources that you have. Why is going to be the meat of your paper, with how the bread, and who, what, where, when being the mayo, veggies, bag of chips and side cola.
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>>503351
oh, fuck, Ebsco, Jstor, and a few others.
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>>503344
sorry for memeing of fucking 4chan


>>503351
The biggest problem I have when writing is straying from my original path. You can put off writing for a while, but you need to digest the source material for a long time, because you will change your mind about things and it will show in your work if you aren't attentive. The best strategy for me is to start working in the body and worry about conclusions and set-up later.
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>>503378
>>503388
>>503406
Thank you all

>>503378
Out of curiosity, are you an educator?
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>>503438
I'm trying to be!
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>>503449
Good luck! I am also trying to be in that field.
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>>503085
I did mine on the fall of the Western Roman Empire. I said that civil wars were the primary cause of its decline and fall and not barbarian invasions or any other Gibbonian meme jokes like that. Went out of my way to challenge all the revisionists who had been fucking with the transition to Late Antiquity by focusing on the cultural and artistic achievements of the post-Roman world.
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>>504677

ooh, that is a damn good one!
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>>504689
Thanks.
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>>504677
>went out of my way to challenge all the revisionists

If that was written even in a mediocre way, that would have been a damn good essay. I find that when you can challenge an 'accepted'/very popular theory and can pull it off, markers will will eat that shit up
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PhD thesis was on the development and constitution of political cliques in the second half of the 1st century AD

Basically, Seneca's apparent actions under Nero gave rise to both the Flavian and Antonine dynasties.
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>>507351
Did you include anything on Agrippina the Younger?
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>>504677

So edgy and original - is that you Bryan Ward-Perkins?
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>>503085
>capstone essay topic
masonic thrash
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>>507360
The only thing I had to add to her history/biography is the almost completely overlooked fact that she had a 3 husbands before Claudius: Domitius Ahenobarbus, Crispus Passienus, and (likely after Passienus) Sulla Felix (cos. ord. 33).
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>>507702
I have never heard of Sulla Felix. How does one read "cos. ord. 33" so I can look further into this?
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>>503119
I mean to be fair, this will always be a problem for aviation. Just common logic. To be a decent pilot you passion/interest in aviation from a young age, no major physical defects, good eye sight, and a hefty amount of competence and common sense.
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>>503085
How the concept of mos maiorum assisted Caesar in taking over the Republic
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>>503120
Interesting, would read. Then examine books sources by viewing their table of contents to see if my interest/desire to know more goes further.
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>>503112
>a 250 word essay

jesus, my abstract was longer than that.
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>>507722
It's usual protocol in scholarship to list the year (if known) of a Roman's highest office. This is because Roman onomastic practice produced numerous homonyms—between the father and most often his first son.

In the Republic there were only two consuls a year, so it would be unnecessary to note that someone was one of the ordinary consuls (abbreviated ord.)—i.e. the first pair, after whom the year was named (during the Principate this position was reserved for patricians). But this becomes a necessary note to make during the Principate, when there are various ‘suffecti’, suffect consuls, who get to hold the office after the ordinary pair.

Thus: cos. ord. would mean he was the ordinary consul for the year 33.
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>>503085
Thesis title: "Steel beams, jet fuel, bush, and 9/11"
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>>507722
If you go to 'The Augustan Aristocracy' you'll find him in the appendix listed a 'disrespectful young nobleman'. Forget what page, though; and it's too high up on my bookshelf to reach right now.
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I did my capstone on the Chinese' view of the relationship between man and nature as revealed by the Tienkung Kai Wu
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>>503112
What grade are you in, seventh?
t. an american shitposter
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>>503120
Interesting
But those you cite are mosaics, not frescoes
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>>511600
Care to summarize it in a post or two? I'm intrigued
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>>507346
>If that was written even in a mediocre way, that would have been a damn good essay.

Well I won't pretend I was writing anything more than an academic dissertation, but it felt good to get a chance to stick it to people who since the 70s have religiously stuck to their guns about how the end of the Roman Empire in the west led to new freedoms and an end to tyranny, oh and awful German scholars obsessed with the blonde Germanic master race dismantling the stagnant empire and moving into its borders.

>>507520
>So edgy and original

I'm not pretending i'm that, there is a slight counter-revolution going on nowadays thankfully, with him being a prime example.
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