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This week is the 1-year anniversary of my blog. Huzzah for the blog!

I figured that in a spirit of reflection, I would talk about a few things I’ve learned from blogging about medieval movies. WordPress gives me a variety of statistics about the traffic on my blog, including the search terms that get people here, where they’re from, and which posts they look at. And that gives me food for thought.

My top five most popular posts, by number of views:

300: Beautiful Straight White Guys vs. Everyone Else                           6,089

Disney’s Robin Hood: A Bit More Medieval Than You Might Think            5,649

Dracula Untold: Don’t Go See This Movie                                             1,908

Braveheart: Why Braveheart is Actually a Porn Film                              1,537

Braveheart: How Not to Dress Like a Medieval Scotsman                       1,418

Clearly, there is interest in analysis of big-budget historical action films. Maybe all those bro-dudes secretly care about history after all.

On the other hand, my 5 least popular posts that are about specific films:

Vision: The Difference between Historians and Film-makers                    55

Amistad: What It Gets Right                                                                 65

Amistad: Joseph Cinqué and All the Other Nameless Blacks                     67

The Imitation Game: Thoughts on Its Oscar Win                                     76

The Duchess: What We Don’t See                                                          80

Apparently films about 12th century German nuns don’t have a large constituency.

Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, Somalia, and Greenland apparently really don’t like analysis of historical films, because they’re some of the only countries that I haven’t gotten any traffic from. Also, there’s a place called Mayotte that has internet access. Who knew?

Search terms reveal some rather interesting things about what gets people to my blog. The most important search terms that get people to my blog are mostly variations on “300”, “300 Spartans” and “300 movie”, apart from “Reign”. They’re all in the top 10.

It turns out there’s quite a bit of interest in Commodus’ political skills (all search terms reported exactly as phrased and spelled):

“Why was Commodus a bad emperor”

“5 reasons commodus was a bad emperor” (at least three people got to my blog with this one, so apparently some high school teacher gave an assignment on this topic)

“Emperor commodus good or bad” (as well as “ commodus good or bad”, “was commodus good or bad”, and “was commodus a good or bad emperor”)

“Why was commodus bad”

“emperor commodus bad things” (as well as “commodus good points”)

Some people have really good questions:

“An historian or a historian” (at least 45 times!)

“What was Commodus problems”

“Was king Philip of France gay”

“Did babington actually shoot Elizabeth 1st

“guy de lusignan in Jerusalem same in ironclad?”

“Where did the jannisaries go”

“What if commodus does not become emperor”

“Russian ark movie explain”

“Was William Wallace speech real”

“Why is Hercules year 358 BC” (I really don’t know the answer to this one)

“Who is Joseph Cinque and what did he accomplish during the middle passage”

“What might have happened if Columbus crew had convinced him to turn around?”

“What is a magistra of nuns”

“Did the Normans use forks”

“Did Scotsmen were leggings under their kilts qhen it was cold”

“What was the purpose of christopher columbus voyage”

“Did gladiators wear groin protection”

“In the movie 300 did the spartans queen really stab the one guy that had all the coins”

“marriage as apolitical tool in lion in the winter”

Was sir francis drake a hero or a villain?”

And some people are a little confused:

“Why didn’t hildegarde von bingen ever marry?” (Because she was a nun sworn to celibacy?)

“Robin hood movie name of fox in animation version” (Ummm…robin hood?)

“impact of winter on lions”

“13th century film actors”

Some people have a little trouble distinguishing fact from fantasy:

“Dracula untold inaccurate” and “Dracula untold historical accuracy” (this is a film about a 500 year old vampire, people!)

“Gladiator did it really become a republic after the death of commodus”

“Why did Commodus declare marriage illegal”

“Why did artemesia hate greece”

“Did the endless pit in the movie 300 actually exist”

“Where is Ragnar Lothbrok buried”

There’s definitely interest in film stars’ physical attributes:

“Sullivan stapleton penis size” (and also “Sullivan stapleton panis”)

“Allen Leech butt”

“mel gibson penis porno free”

“gibson cock kilt”

Also, it turns out that there is some untapped interest in historical porn films:

“Braveheart porn” and a couple misspellings thereof

“historical scottish adult movies”

“Hot guys in 300”

“Porn gladiator” (as well as “gladiator porn emperor” and “gladiator porno film”)

“porn film” (as well as “film porn” and “pornfilm”)

“darakula.rape.sax.movy” (at least, I think that’s expressing interest in porn…)

“monk and nun in love in films”

“did antonio banderas have sex on the 13th warrior”

“Actually a porn”

“film porno on faithful”

“historian porno film”

“prima film sex”

“up a scotsmans kilt porn”

“artemizja sex”

“place they had sex in a film called ironclad”

“alex kingston porn”

“xxx pic in the movie brave heart”

“Movies,wilyame,walas,sex”

“history porn full movie.medieval”

“movie 300-2 sex part” and “300-2 sex and fuck”

“braveheart penis scene”

“plot in details of the porn movie ‘conquest’ (please tell me there isn’t a porn film about Christopher Columbus…)

“a film called ironclad any sex”

“300 roman soldier porn”

“inquisition torture methods porn”

“greek warrior women porn hd movie”

“historical princes porn”

“avenge him 300 rise of an empire porn hot”

“Themistocles throwing his dick into artemesia” (twice!)

“how to look up porn using hoplites” (is there supposed to be a hyphen after ‘porn’?)

“Helen Mirren in bondage”

and my personal favorite (although it has serious competition): “300 part1 the king is fighting for spartan but queen gorgo was having sex with theron so sad for the king leonidas”

And then there are the searches that baffle me, both in what they want and why they got to my blog:

“torture a robust woman soldier porn”

“queen fuck gradians tent in jungle movie”

“bow babe sexy”

“mother you were wrong”

“Make sissy boys screen porn”

“filad your filam.pron”

“enlightenment propaganda middle ages babies died nero’s shadow”  (Perhaps the best word salad ever!)

“isabella loves to get completely” (Completely what? I need to know! Is this another porn search, or is it something else?)

And then there’s this little gem, which makes me wish I could give a prize to the person who searched for it.

“british principle of prima gentalia in Scotland”

To get serious for a moment, what some of these search terms (and others I haven’t mentioned) indicate to me is that there really is interest among the general public in knowing how accurate the historical films they watch are. It’s common for historians to lament that people aren’t really interested in knowing the truth behind an action film like 300, but I don’t think that’s the case. A search like “historical accuracy of Braveheart vs the real world” demonstrates that people understand that Hollywood films aren’t reliable and want some help separating the fact from the fiction. It’s a big part of what I do on this blog, and it’s gratifying to see that so many people think it’s worthwhile enough to read. Thanks for a good year, everyone!

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