• From the BBC:
Secrets of French Diplomacy
War gets plenty of artistic representation – but what about the art of peace? An exhibition at the Petit Palais in Paris explores the imagery of peace-making over the centuries. For history-lovers, it is a rare chance to see the originals of scores of treaties, concordats and other diplomatic treasures preserved in the French national archives. Hugh Schofield takes a closer look.
• From Slate:
The ebb and flow of human life may be eternal, but this year brought more ebb than flow, as nearly every day of 1016 brought news of the death of another beloved celebrity. Last year wasn’t exactly a cakewalk—we’re all still sad about Æthelmær the Stout—but 1016 seemed worse, somehow. Maybe that’s because the rest of the news was always so surprising and so terrible. Whether it was Mansur ibn Lu’lu’s headlong flight from Aleppo, the ignominious defeat of Khazaria’s Georgius Tzul, or even Emperor Sanjō’s shocking abdication of the Chrysanthemum Throne, the political turmoil made each loss hit a little harder—and that was before the unfathomable rise of the buffoonish Cnut! At times, it seemed like everyone we cared about was dying (can someone please check on Elvira of Castile?) and the year would never end. But the ball finally dropped in Lenapehoking and we made it to the New Year, even if so many of our brightest stars couldn’t be with us. Here are some of the famous people we were forced to say goodbye to in 1016.