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    The book “Julius Caesar’s Disease: A New Diagnosis” is an interesting examination of Caesar’s health. The emphasis of this book is a reassessment of Caesar’s alleged epilepsy. In the preface of the book the authors state, “Discussing health conditions and illnesses of famous characters from a bygone age may indeed be considered a daunting prospect and the advantages stemming from it could be questioned.”

    The authors are certainly qualified to meet the challenge. Both have studied classical history and both are medically qualified to investigate Caesar’s health...

    ...continue to the review of  Julius Caesar's Disease: A New Diagnosis by Galassi and Ashrafian

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    To say that the stories of Arthur are enduring and popular is an understatement. Second only to Jesus as the Once and Future King, he has become iconic in english culture, and so potent was Arthurian mythos that had the elder son of Henry VII survived, he would have been crowned Arthur II. Chris Barber's King Arthur - A Mystery Unravelled, is another attempt to identify the man behind more than a thousand years of storytelling....
    ...continue to the review of  King Arthur: The Mystery Unravelled by Chris Barber
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    Mark Tedesco’s I am John, I am Paul gives life to a story about which little is known: who were the men to whom the Basilica of John and Paul are dedicated? The story is told as a memoir from John’s point of view, as the story of his life in the legions, how he came to his relationship with Paul, and how they came to practice Christianity. The style is conversational and straightforward, with notations about the Latin meanings as needed. These notations alternate between footnotes and parenthetical asides, the latter tending to draw the reader out of the story, but they are useful for one not versed in Roman history...
    ...continue with the review of I am John I am Paul A Story of Two Soldiers in Ancient Rome by Marc Tedesco
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    Okay, so maybe I’m not the best person to be reviewing this book. It’s written for young readers, which is a group that I’m definitely not a member of. I’m much closer to life’s second round of diapering than to its first! But tough titties, as we used to say when I was a member of that age cohort. I read it, I enjoyed it, and now I’m gonna review it! And anyway, as my wife likes to point out, I’ve got a lot of twelve-year old in me!
    This book reminded me of the adventures contained in the pages of the Scholastic Book Club books that I devoured as a wee lad. Of course, I don’t really remember any of those books. But it was the feeling! And this book has all of those elements – smart, brave young protagonists, exotic locales, appropriately sanitized villains, and, most of all, adventure! Oh – and crocodiles...
    ...continue to the review of  Crocodile Legion - A Roman Adventure by SJA Turney
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    Author and historian John D. Grainger tells the story of the Seleucid empire, and as is only fitting for an empire of this size, he tells it in not one but three books – The Rise of the Seleukid Empire, the Seleukid Empire of Antiochus III, and The Fall of the Seleukid Empire. Each of these books is some 250 pages long, and each can be read as a separate volume in its own right, though of course, doing so causes one to miss the entire grand sweep of the author's project...
    ...continue to the review of  The Rise and Fall of the Seleukid Empire by J. Grainger
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    In The Second Jewish Revolt: The Bar Kokhba War, 132-136 C.E., Menahem Mor offers a detailed account in an attempt to better understand the uprising against the Romans. Mor is Professor of Jewish History at the University of Haifa. He has published monographs and articles on Jewish history during the Second Temple Period. In his Introduction to The Second Jewish War he explains that it is an updated version in English of his volume The Bar Kokhba Revolt: Its Extent and Effect published in Hebrew in 1991. He was compelled to write the new book because of the sheer amount of new research now available, in particular information extracted from documents found in refuge caves near the Dead Sea.
    ...continue to the review of The Second Jewish Revolt by Menahem Mor
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    The Roman Empire And The Silk Road by Raoul McLoughlin seeks to describe a situation that existed for a few hundred years in the past. Trade routes across Asia and the societies that interacted along it. He writes in an engaging style without sensationalist questioning. Everything is derived from ancient sources in a factual manner. In most cases, the study of Roman history remains focused on that empire's interior and periphery, but McLoughlin places SPQR in context, in relation to the world around it, and demonstrates convincingly how important how important these contacts were to keeping the Roman Empire economically viable. The emphasis is on one product - silk. It might seem a little myopic but the point is that silk was a hugely valuable and desirable commodity. The Chinese paid their troops in bales of it. Once the Romans discovered this wonder material from a far off land they craved it as a fashion necessity, as a practical material, and as a status symbol...
    ...continue to the full review of  Roman Empire And The Silk Road by Raoul McLoughlin
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    Professor Peter T. Struck’s Divination and Human Nature takes the reader on a guided tour of ancient philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Neoplatonist Iamblichus) and their opinions regarding “natural” divination, as opposed to “technical” divination such as the reading of entrails, described as “the application of…logic to empirically gathered external signs” (p 16). The purpose of natural divination varies, but its nature remains strikingly similar among the philosophers examined: “the immediate apperception of something without the intervention of any reasoning process,” (p 20) knowledge which “arrives to us by ways other than self-conscious, goal-directed inferential chains of thought” (p 31), “an epiphenomenon of human anatomy and cognition (p 177), or, simply put, “intuition.”
    ...continue to the full review of Divination and Human Nature by Peter T. Struck
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    Let me ask you a question. Do you love Roman history? If so, how many of you secretly dream of being there, two thousand years ago, living a life far removed from the modern rat race? Who would you want be I wonder? Perhaps a crafty slave like Frankie Howerd's Lurcio. Maybe a man of action like Russell Crowe's Maximus. Or a sophisticated and sexually ambiguous patrician like Lawrence Olivier's Crassus. Or perhaps like the vast majority of ancient Romans in real life, take on the world and make a success of yourself in latin society. If so, this is exactly the place to be, for Marcus Sidonius Falx has written down his guide to getting somewhere in ancient life - Welcone to Release Your Inner Roman.
    ...continue to the full review of Release Your Inner Roman by Jerry Toner
     
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    Imagine yourself entering the public seats of a Roman arena. Would you expect a days entertainment? Displays of martial courage? Would you become excited and spellbound by the spill of blood? Or stare horrified at the sight of men mauled and mangled by wild animals? All these emotions are attested to in the Roman sources. Today we're alternately appalled and fascinated by the subject, noting parallels with modern attitudes and behaviour, wondering whether the love of violent competition is really so alien to us.
    Welcome to Gladiators & Beast Hunts, a book by Dr Christopher Epplett. The first impression is largely helped by the books cover, showing mosiac imagery many will be familiar with. Presentation maintains the standards we have come to expect of the publisher and the colour photographs in the centre section are both relevant and illuminating...
    ...continue to the review of Gladiators & Beasthunts by Christopher Epplett
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