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Welcome to Bill Thayer's Web Site
where you will find:


[image ALT: The head of the famous Etruscan sculpture known as the Capitoline Wolf.]

LacusCurtius: a large site on Roman antiquity, including a photosampler of Roman and Etruscan cities and monuments (with a very large site on the city of Rome of course); a site for teaching yourself to read Latin inscriptions; the complete Latin texts of Pliny the Elder's Natural History, Quintus Curtius' Histories of Alexander the Great, the Saturnalia of Macrobius, and Censorinus' de Die Natali; Suetonius, the Historia Augusta, Vitruvius, Claudian, Frontinus, Velleius Paterculus, Celsus, and Cato's de Re Rustica in both Latin and English; complete English translations of Caesar, Plutarch's Lives, Polybius, Cassius Dio, Appian's Civil Wars, Dio Chrysostom, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Quintilian, and Oppian; several complete Greek texts in the original Greek; Rodolfo Lanciani's book Pagan and Christian Rome, Christian Hülsen's book on the Roman Forum, Bury's 2‑vol. History of the Later Roman Empire, Bevan's House of Ptolemy, 4 books on Roman Britain, George Dennis's Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria; Platner and Ashby's Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (nearly complete) and most of Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities; about 45% of Plutarch's Moralia; some maps of the Roman Empire, and lots more.

A bare index to the books onsite — just the books, though well over 100 of them — is available here.

In a different category, one pretty specialized item, but for some few people it should be very useful, and it's free for the downloading: Polytonic Greek Typinator Set — a timesaving utility for anyone inputting a lot of ancient Greek.

[ 9/12/14: 3575 webpages, 752 photos,
739 drawings & engravings, 119 plans, 122 maps ]

  But this website isn't all Roman:


[image ALT: an apparently abstract pattern of three V's stacked one above the other — both arms of each V end in a trefoil, and the apex of the V is a small round button; superimposed on this design, three narrow parallel lines extending diagonally from the upper right to the lower left. It is a fairly close rendering of the device on the sleeve of the uniform of a First-Class cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point; and is used on this site to indicate the American and Military History section of the site.]

After September 11, like many other Americans, I found myself drawn to the history of my own country; and as my small wartime contribution, I started an American History site, which has turned into one of the larger ones on the Web. Subsites on American Naval History, American Railroad History, and American Catholic History, several books on West Point (plus over 2900 entries from Cullum's Register), and large sections on Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, and North Carolina are joined by Freeman's biography of Robert E. Lee, books and articles on the history of a number of other States, a book on Washington's presidency and one on Wilson's, a contemporaneous account of the Baltimore Riot of 1812, a book on the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, the log kept by the Spanish commander at the siege of Pensacola in 1781, the journal of a Mormon pioneer, journal articles on a variety of subjects, and many other items. More is on its way.

A bare index to the books onsite — just the books, though well over 100 of them — is available here.

[ 11/23/14: 5014 webpages
— 29,835 pages of print, 1178 photos,
274 maps and plans, 459 other illustrations ]

Onsite link

The History of the Americas section is of course hardly an appendage to United States history, but the other way round; still, I'm a North American, so we can expect the broader part of the site to be smaller. Right now, Bourne's Spain in America, Galdames' History of Chile, and a large section on the History of Brazil, including a full-length book on the subject in addition to a number of journal articles.

[ 10/12/13: 84 webpages (including 3 complete books)
— 1362 pages of print, 20 photos, 7 maps ]

Onsite link

Sidelights on French History is my orientation page gathering Royal Memoirs on the French Revolution, Ernest John Knapton's 1963 biography of Empress Josephine, and a few excerpts from the Souvenirs of the Marquise de Créquy (1710?‑1803); but also several hundred more pages (already counted elsewhere) of material on the Norman history of Sicily, and French colonial and diplomatic ventures in the Americas.

[ 7/25/12: 42 webpages (including 2 complete books)
— 653 pages of print, 3 photos, 3 maps, 4 other illustrations ]

Onsite link

Sidelights on Dutch History is a similar orientation page, with journal articles on Dutch maritime power and the 1667 invasion of England; an additional 50 webpages, 1235 pages of print, fall primarily under the history of the United States and of Brazil.

[ 2/13/14: 12 webpages
— 223 pages of print, 2 maps, 18 photos ]


[image ALT: A large old church, in a field with parasol pines, built on several arches of a Roman bridge: it is the church of S. Giovanni de Butris in Umbria (central Italy).]

My Gazetteer of Italy — currently over 1500 mostly non-Roman pages of churches, frescoes, etc. — is my own favorite part of the site. Since 2003, I've mostly been adding to the Churches of Italy section, which currently (8/17/14) covers 694 churches in 394 pages and 1592 photos; plus, quite separately, three entire books on the churches of Rome, covering about 900 of them, past and present, in great detail; and several books covering many of the churches of Umbria and of the city of L'Aquila in the Abruzzo. (The merest drop in a bucket, by the way: Italy's churches present and past must number at least 500,000.)


[image ALT: One side of a residential street, with its sidewalk, extending 200 meters to the background: lawns and barren trees, and low single-story and two-story houses with pitched roofs. It is a view of the 1700 block of West Arthur Avenue in Chicago, Illinois.]

The United States, my home, I know far less well than I do Italy: for one thing, they're a much larger country. My American Scrapbook for now — 1/21/10 — is mostly about Kentucky (in particular the little town of Jenkins), with a bit of Chicago.


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Also, a few loose ends that will eventually be better organized; in roughly chronological order:

Vahan Kurkjian's History of Armenia.

Some of the work of the 12th‑century Arab geographer Sharif al‑Idrisi: for now only the First, Second, and Third Climates (in French).

Yellin and Abrahams' biography, Maimonides.

Some chapters of King's Handbook to the Cathedrals of England: currently, only Ely, Lincoln, Norwich, Oxford, and Peterborough.

A few collected sundials.

[An onsite link]

About 16 months' worth of my diary. Nothing terribly titillating, really; but it's the laid-back section of this website (read: "easy to put online"), and the raw material for much of the Gazetteer. A bit of London, France, and Kentucky, and lots of Italy: Rome, Milan, Tuscany, Umbria and the Marche, large tracts of which I explored on foot, so that the diary includes details that could be useful if you're planning a trip or a bike tour. Illustrated with photos not usually found elsewhere onsite, cross-linked to Gazetteer pages and external sites, and lavishly supplied with Google maps, it's also partly indexed by place and topic.

In a similar vein, eight Letters from Colombia written in 1993.

[ 6/30/06: 330 pages, 741 photos ]

The newest pages, put onsite in the last 10 days or so:

(Any numbered or lettered links, while good, are reported here just to help search engines pick up all the new pages quickly.)

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23 Nov:

American & Military History:

Cullum's Register:

Oscar Louis Beal (6906) Oliver W. Hughes (6907) Kenneth Wendell Hughes (16079)

For earlier new stuff, see the complete What's New page.


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Site updated: 23 Nov 14