• Viggen

    Pax Romana is a rather gentle but comprehensive refutation of this view – or at least a solid thesis by the author that 'the pendulum has swung too far'. In this book author and scholar Adrian Goldsworthy looks at Rome and its empire in a series of detailed studies – from conquest, to administration and frontier defences – and asks 'Did the Pax Romana really exist?' And if it did, was it beneficial for the people who lived under it...?

    ...continue to the review of Pax Romana: War, Peace and Conquest in the Roman World by Adrian Goldsworthy

    Viggen
    This detailed, carefully argued book shows how Christian bishops used their mastery of moral, social and spiritual power, along with law and tradition, to guide the formation and governance of the Frankish kingdoms. The period covers the Gallic period, the conversion and baptism of Clovis I (c 508 AD), the deposition of the Merovingians in 751, the missionary conquests of Charlemagne (King 768-814, Emperor 800-814), and the breakup of the unified empire after the death of Charlemagne’s son Louis the Pious in 840...
    ...continue to the review of  A Sacred Kingdom: Bishops and the Rise of Frankish Kingship by Michael E. Moore
    Viggen
    It took me a long time to get round to reading this, and , in short, I'm kicking myself I didn’t do it sooner. So, I hope this review whets the appetite for anyone who has this volume on their TBR list!
    'Legio XVII: Roman Legion at War' is unusual and unique in its style in that it is written from a distant third person point of view. In ways it reminded me of the style employed in the colourful and thrilling 'docudramas' of the History Channel. But the unique part comes with Mr Timmes' ability to shed that distant perspective and swoop down like an eagle and perch close to - almost upon the shoulder of - the protagonists in moments of extreme stress or emotion.  And there were plenty such moments…
    continue to the review of Legio XVII: Roman Legion at War by Thomas A. Timmes
    Viggen
    This book, awarded the 2008 Lakedaimonian Prize of the Academy of Athens, is political and military history at its best. In an era where the Spartans are idealised in popular culture through films such as 300 (2006) and 300: Rise of an Empire (2014) and, in contrast, are often dismissed or even derided by many classical scholars of the ‘Spartan mirage’ variety, Miltiadis Michalopoulos has provided a history of Sparta that is balanced, well researched, and fascinating...
    ...continue to the review of  In the Name of Lykourgos by Miltiadis Michalopoulos
    Viggen
    Crossing the Rubicon, when warfare was about to supersede Roman politics, opens one of the most fascinating periods of Roman history with bloody battles fought in the Balkans, North Africa and Spain. I have been an addict since living at (what may have been) the site of Caesar’s last battle, Munda in Spain, and researching and writing my first novel around the momentous events of 49-44 BCE. I had to have this issue of Ancient Warfare and devoured it in one session, then revisited time and again for the fresh insights and superb battle maps and graphics... ...continue to the full review of Ancient Warfare Magazine Vol XI Issue 3 (Roman Against Roman – Caesar and Pompey in the Balkans)
    Viggen
    I am privileged to interview Dr. Francesco Galassi on behalf of UNRV. He and his co-author Huton Ashrafian wrote the interesting and thought-provoking book, “Julius Caesar’s Disease: A new Diagnosis.”
    Guy S. für UNRV: Dr. Galassi, how did you become interested in the study of paleopathology (the study of ancient diseases in man and animals)? More specifically, what inspired you to reevaluate the health of Julius Caesar?
    Dr. Galassi: Ever since I was a child I have always been fascinated by ancient civilizations and languages. With a medical background, the possibility to combine different sources of information in order to investigate the historical presentation and evolutionary course of diseases through time is particularly captivating. Caesar has always been a historical character that captivated me because of his capacity to change the course of history through his lightning decisions and moves...
    ...continue to the interview with Francesco Galassi!
    Viggen
    Adding to the rapidly-extending corpus of books on Late Antiquity comes the Oxford publication on the Late Roman/Early Byzantine Empress, Theodora, wife of Justinian. The author of the book, David Potter – Francis W. Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan – here attempts to find the real person behind the scheming woman portrayed by Procopius in his ‘Secret History. The Contents of the book clearly illustrate that Potter is approaching his theme using a roughly chronological approach...
    ...continue to the review of  Theodora: Actress, Empress, Saint by David Potter
    Viggen
    L.J. Trafford is a polished storyteller who quickly immerses the reader into the little explored world of common Roman slaves who executed the day-to-day tasks of managing the emperor’s palace. Galba’s Men, published in 2016, is the second book in Trafford’s four-book series, The Four Emperors. Galba’s Men is preceded by Palatine and is followed by Otho’s Regret and Vitellius’ Feast.
    The inglorious death of Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (his imperial title) at age 30 in 68 A.D. instigated by his own Praetorian prefect, Nymphidius Sabinus, introduced a short period of civil war into Roman history. This upheaval lasted only a year but witnessed four separate individuals accede to the Roman throne. The story of Galba’s Men is told from the palace slaves’ unique point of view from Galba’s arrival in Rome from Spain, and his short occupancy as Emperor, the pinnacle of Roman power...
    ...continue to the full review of Galbas Men by L.J. Trafford
    Viggen
    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
    Viggen
    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
  • Web www.unrv.com