• Viggen

    This is a fabulous book for historians. It is a serious, yet gripping, book of history, the story of a man little known in this century although much loved 200 years ago. You may not recognise the names of either of these two co-authors. They both graduated from Duke University in North Carolina, USA, nine or ten years ago. Both have been political speech writers at one time or another since then, so are well versed in the customs and practices of the paraphernalia of modern Government in the United States. Both have cooperated on a number of pieces for various publications including (according to Wikipedia) Politico, The Huffington Post, Business Insider, AdWeek, and The Atlantic, and others, as well as the subject book of this review...

     

    ...continue to the review of Rome's Last Citizen by Goodman & Soni

    Viggen
    In God`s Generals, retired U.S. Army officer and current professor Richard A. Gabriel analyzes Moses, Buddha and Muhammad as military leaders. Gabriel`s outlook is philosophically materialist, and it is from that limited empirical stance (i.e., that the spiritual and supernatural do not exist) that he filters the evidence through the "dark and clouded glass of time" to reach what he hopes are "reasonable conclusions" (p 126)...
     
    ...continue to the review of Gods Generals by Richard A. Gabriel
    Viggen

    By Viggen, in News,

    The study of Inner (Central) Asia has long been the preserve of historians from those regions. As a result, much of the information they have gleaned from their (admittedly meagre) sources has remained unread by many in the West, especially those, like myself, who can struggle with reading works not written in English. Thankfully, historians are now emerging who are bringing this research to the eyes of the English-speaking world.
     
    One of these is Hyun Jin Kim, Lecturer in Classics at the University of Melbourne, Australia, who has previously published The Huns, Rome and the Birth of Europe (Cambridge, 2013). In his new book, Kim has attempted to outline the history of the Huns from their origins as part of the Xiongnu Empire (c. 200BC - AD 200) based in the northern regions inside and outside modern China, to their evolution into the Huns and similar entities...
     
    ...continue with the review of The Huns by Hyun Jin Kim
    Viggen
    The Romans dominated the Mediterranean and even called it Mare Nostrum, or 'Our Sea'. How did this come about? The fleets of the Greek states, Pirates, Phoenicians and their later cousins the Carthaginians, had made the Mediterranean the strategic battleground it would later resume. The story goes that the Romans conquered the seas as latecomers, forced by necessity to create a navy from scratch. But they did conquer the Mediterranean - and that brings up questions of how and why. Rome Seizes the Trident seeks to answer these questions, to describe the rise of Roman naval supremacy, and to understand what naval battle was about....
     
    ...continue to the review of Rome Seizes The Trident by Marc G. Desantis
    Viggen
    A couple of years before his violent death on the order of the Second Triumvirate, Cicero wrote a charming essay on the subject of growing old. Rogue and hypocrite he may have been in the eyes of some, but you can’t help feeling he deserved the chance to live out his old age in peace and tranquility. He was 63. The philosopher, politician and orator wrote his treatise, Cato Maior de Senectute (Cato the Elder on Old Age), after retiring to his country estate. He chose Cato into whose mouth to put words of wisdom on old age in a fictional monologue – Cicero greatly admired the Roman senator from the previous century...
     
    ...continue to the review of How to Grow Old by Marcus Tullius Cicero
    Viggen
    Within minutes of opening the book, I could sense that Mr. Clews is an exceptionally gifted writer whose ability to immediately captivate the reader is far and above the best I’ve seen in a long time. Here are two samples of Mr. Clews’ writing: “Form the men up, and do it fast,” Gaius muttered, and glanced skyward. Thunderous black clouds scudded south on a gusting wind; and while the rain was no longer heavy, it lashed hard at the skin and stung the eyes.” (page 1) “Yes, sir.” Rufus offered a gap-toothed grin, framed by a helmet that dripped rain onto a lorica that wept streaks of rust.” (page 2)...
     
    continue to the review of Eboracum: The Village by Graham Clews
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    Third and final part in our emperor series on Elagabalus` life. Thus,with the empire at peace and as economically stable as it could be given the third century macro-economic situation, the populace were free to sit back and take in the antics of their new emperor. These antics can be loosely put into two groups – the emperor's unconventional religious beliefs and his unconventional sexuality...
     
    continue to Elagabalus - Conduct Unbecoming
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    Let us start with the main point – if you are looking for a book which tells you what happened immediately after the Peloponnesian War which ended in 404 BC, this is probably the best book for the job.
     
    Godfrey Hutchinson, author of Xenophon and the Art of Command (Greenhill Books 2000), returns to the works of Xenophon and basically re-examines the material covered in that old general's history, the Hellenica. However, Hutchinson does not uncritically accept Xenophon's account, but offers alternative material from other sources such as Diodorus and the Oxyrhynchus papyri to give as clear an explanation of events as the general reader is likely to find. Those with a more technical understanding of the topic might prefer Paul Cartledge's Agesilaos and the Crisis of Sparta (Hushion House 2000). This covers much the same ground, but makes much less allowance for the general reader than does Hutchinson's book...
     
    ....continue to the review of Sparta: Unfit for Empire by  by Godfrey Hutchinson
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    There’s nothing like ancient Roman literature to help put things into perspective. Here in the United States, our attention is riveted on the capricious and outrageous proclamations and actions of our prospective leaders. “He’s going to build a WALL! She sent illegal EMAILS! He’s friends with Putin! She will undermine the very fabric of our republic, and destroy society as we know it! He won’t even show us his tax returns!!! Canada’s too close – I’m moving to Neptune! We want Bernie!”
     
    Yawn. Americans. Bunch of pansies. Lightweights. You want to talk about depravity and conspiracy from your leaders? How about our boy Nero? His mom marries the local mover and shaker. She cuts his natural born son out of the family business and maneuvers her son into position. To express his gratitude, Nero kills her, and the previous heir to boot. He kills a couple of his wives, and then decides that maybe a boy would me more to his liking, after certain, uh, modifications are made. He plays at being an actor and musician instead of doing his job, and makes all of his rich and powerful associates do likewise – under threat of death. He kills a bunch more people. Torture. Incest. Matricide. Murder...
     
    ...continue to the review of The Emperor Nero: A Guide to the Ancient Sources by Barrett, Fantham and Yardley
    Viggen

    By Viggen, in News,

    This one-volume mini-encyclopedia will tell you everything you need to know about Flavius Josephus (37-100 AD), the aristocratic Jewish priest and general who surrendered to the Roman commanders Vespasian and Titus in 67 AD and became an author of 30 volumes of works (The Jewish Wars, Jewish Antiquities and others), all written in Greek, the lingua franca of the Roman Empire’s intelligentsia. References in this review to the text will be made by page number, and not by author and title of article, since the style and overall assessment of Josephus are quite consistent.
     
    ...continue to the review of A Companion to Josephus by Chapman and Rodgers
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