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Viggen

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Viggen last won the day on February 7

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About Viggen

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  1. Hello Peter, thanks for taking over UNRV, i stay around and help whenever there is help needed! Front page looking nice! cheers viggen
  2. Hello everyone, UNRV has be a part of my life since far beyond 2003 when it officially launched, so to say goodbye is not easy believe me. I struggled the last couple of years with health issues, work and a busy life thanks to my two children born in 2012 and 2015. Time was in the last years always an issue for me, i never had enough time to do the things i wanted to do and eventually there is a point where it is better to find someone who has the time and is able to make hopefully more out of UNRV than i was able to do the last few years... I am giving the site and all that comes with it to Peter Kay who lives in the UK is a professional website manager for a company and has a big interest in history particularly the ancient Roman period. I will stick around of course and will assist Peter as much as i can, none of your already submitted reviews are lost and will eventually be published. It feels weird for the first time ever not be the emperor here anymore but how did they sing in Frozen... Let it go...... Feel free to get in contact with me via this forum or viggen@gmail.com Ladies and Gentlemen, it has been an honor to serve you....!
  3. 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
  4. Thanks @Maty for another great review!
  5. 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
  6. Book Review by Philip Matyszak An Empire worth defending The ancient Romans were brutes. They wantonly invaded a succession of gentle, tree-hugging native peoples and set up a harsh, exploitative empire that did nothing for its unfortunate subjects but expose them to rampant corruption and prohibitively high taxation, and all the while a predatory army and swarms of bandits pillaged what was left. The above paragraph is something of a parody of the way that modern revisionist historians portray the Roman empire. Nevertheless there can be little doubt that views of ancient Rome have recently changed. Perhaps from revulsion at the more unsavoury practices of modern colonial empires, there is a modern trend to portray Rome as uniquely savage, violent and a force for bad in the ancient world. 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? At the start of the book, one is entitled to have doubts. The Romans were not gentle conquerors. As we read of Caesar in Gaul, the callousness and at times downright barbaric behaviour of the Romans is impossible to ignore. However, as Goldsworthy points out, not everyone suffered in the same way. Some leaders sided with the Romans from the outset and were gently and willingly romanized. What this section shows very well is that the Romans were always but one of the players in a highly complex game of regional politics in which a multiplicity of factors influenced the protagonists. Another point which the author makes repeatedly is that we should not make the mistake of judging the Romans by one standard – that of 21st century Europe – and everyone else in the ancient world by another. The Romans were people of their time, and those were not gentle times. The Germans were every bit as warlike as the Romans, and aggressively expansionist too. Those gentle Britons did not live in hill forts because they enjoyed the view, and for a 'peaceful' people they were remarkably skilful and practised when it came to fighting off Caesar's legions. As Goldsworthy remarks, the Romans saw nothing wrong with having an empire. They were very proud of it, and they were unequivocal that this empire was for the benefit of the Romans. Yet no other people before or since were so ready to share being Roman with 'subject peoples', to make once-foreign cities imperial capitals (as Rome ceased to be one), and to serve under emperors whose ancestors had been conquered by those Romans. The section on the Roman frontier is especially revealing in this context. We see the frontiers not as a simple set of fortifications, but as part of a complex and interwoven web of political, economic and military interactions. There is, as Goldsworthy remarks, a certain irony that the frontiers were so effective that some modern critics deem that they were unnecessary. By the end of this book – and it is not a short read – one has a clear idea of how Rome's empire worked. There is no attempt to whitewash Rome into a benevolent and altruistic overlord. But the Romans were above all pragmatists. They had worked out that peaceful provinces were easier to govern, that contented subjects needed fewer soldiers to control them, and prosperous provinces paid more taxes. So the Pax Romana strove for peace, content and prosperity, and succeeded to a remarkable degree. Not because of modern notions of morality, not out of philanthropy, but because it was the most efficient way to run an empire. ...more Book Reviews! Roman Empire by C. M. Wells The Fall of the Roman Empire by Peter Heather Julius Caesar's Disease: A New Diagnosis by Galassi and Ashrafian Adrian Goldsworthy was born in 1969. He was educated up to the age of sixteen at Westbourne House Preparatory School and Westbourne Boys College in Penarth, South Wales. He attended the Sixth Form at Stanwell Comprehensive School for his A-Levels. From there he went to St John's College, Oxford University and took a First in Ancient and Modern History. Remaining at St John's, he was awarded a D.Phil. in Literae Humaniores (Ancient History) in 1994. The topic of his thesis was 'The Roman Army as a fighting force, 100 BC-AD 200'. A modified version of this was subsequently published in the Oxford Monographs series under the title of The Roman Army at War, 100 BC - AD 200 (1996). This remains in print and is one of the best selling works in the series. Philip Matyszak is a British non-fiction author, primarily of historical works relating to the ancient world. Matyszak has a doctorate in Roman history from St John's College, Oxford. In addition to being a professional author, he also teaches ancient history for Madingley Hall Institute of Continuing Education, Cambridge University. Tell us your opinion - Submit your Review - Buy the book! Book Review of Pax Romana: War, Peace and Conquest in the Roman World - Related Topic: Five Good Emperors Bibliography Get it now! Pax Romana for the UK ________________________________ Archive
  7. Viggen

    The Fall of the Roman Empire by Peter Heather

    ...this review has now been updated to the new layout!
  8. A man stumbled across a Roman villa in his back garden which is being hailed as the most significant discovery of its kind for a decade. Luke Irwin, from Wiltshire, was laying an electricity cable in his barn when he uncovered a mosaic underground... The find has been proclaimed by Historic England as “unparalleled in recent years”. After an eight-day dig, archaeologists uncovered more of the ‘elaborate’ and ‘extraordinarily well-preserved’ villa, thought to be one of the largest ever found in the country. ...via Independent
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Book Review by Michael Mates Michael Edward Moore received his higher education at the University of Michigan, taking a B.A. in 1984 (Phi Beta Kappa) and a Ph.D in 1993. At Michigan he studied with Czeslaw Milosz and Hans Küng. Dr. Moore's research centers on ecclesiastical, legal and scholarly traditions of Europe from late antiquity through the Carolingian Empire. His work encompasses the history of medieval politics, the history of scholarship, the papacy, liturgy, royal law, canon law, and the "history of history." Recently he has begun to study the history of philology and hermeneutics. 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. Moore cites nearly 100 bishops’ councils during the period, and dozens of royal laws and edicts. Moore argues that the church’s “power to shape and guide a society rather than coerce it,” (p 2), was based on: • the elite (and urban) origin of bishops (drawn mostly from the aristocracy); • their status as an ascetic ordo (order) charged with protecting the kingdom and the poor by prayer and alms; • the general respect accorded the church by the people and the aristocracy; • the church’s monopoly of spiritual power and authority; • the provision of sanctuary to those fleeing persecution or prosecution; • the wealth gained by churches and monasteries from donations of the pious; • the permanence of written in contrast to oral law; • the architectural dominance and attractive beauty of basilicas; • bishops’ eagerness to defend their own diocesan turf; • the steady accretion of legal and moral codes in hundreds of church councils; • the adaptation of laws and traditions (tribal, Roman, Biblical) to current situations; and • their circular tonsure, which made them look older and therefore more authoritative. In one of his many brilliant and well-expressed metaphors, Moore summarizes the bishops’ success over five centuries in developing a Christian kingship: “so much royal fabric seemed to absorb an episcopal dye” (p 7). “Kings were offered a lofty role they could play only in concert with bishops” (p 140). Kings and nobles did from time to time attempt to enforce their authority against that of the church. The most intriguing story concerns the henchmen of King Childebert (496-558), and their pursuit of an enemy of the king who had taken refuge in a church. Mindful that it was unlawful to invade the holy place, and following the letter if not the spirit of the law, the men climbed on the roof, tore off tiles, and threw them down on the victim, killing him (p 192). But overall, the “integration of royal and episcopal power” (p 254), under the guiding hand of the church, continued apace, reaching its apogee in the reign of Charlemagne as emperor (800-81). Near the end of the united empire, the highs and lows stand out. Louis the Pious negotiated on equal terms in the 820s with the Byzantine Emperor Michael in their condemnation of the Pope’s excessive veneration of icons. Later, in 833, Louis made public penance before bishops at Compiègne, where he had to be physically restrained by bishops as they removed his sword belt (p 335). The penance related to Louis’s alleged misdeeds in an era of “treason, royal rebellion and civil war” (p 332). ...more Book Reviews! The Late Roman Army by Pat Southern The Oxford Classical Dictionary by Hornblower and Spawforth Empire Of Pleasures by Andrew Dalby As always with this historical period, it is a pleasure to encounter again the splendidly barbarian names (Sisebut, Grimoald, Wamba), and to read the odd examples of decayed Latin, such as that of the Bobbio Missal. However, for the most part, and in tribute to their maintenance of literary standards in often rough times, the bishops wrote a generally solid legal and Christian Latin, which Moore translates extensively, with the original in footnotes. (Very occasionally, Moore cites some Latin and French without translation.) It is an even greater pleasure to read the grand sweep of over half a millennium, supported by, but never bogged down by the details that support the thesis. Michael Mates earned his PhD in 1982 at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena CA, writing his dissertation on St. Patrick and the British Church. After seminary, he taught in Pakistan, and then worked as a U.S. diplomat with the Department of State, serving in Islamabad, Canberra, Karachi, Cluj (Romania), Columbia (District of) and Chisinau (Moldova), before retiring in 2011 to Monroe, Washington State, and starting a new career as co-landscaper at his hectare of gardens, lawns and forest, and brewer of black-fudge garden compost. Tell us your opinion - Submit your Review - Buy the book! Book Review of A Sacred Kingdom - Related Topic: Germania Inferior - Germania Superior Bibliography Get it now! A Sacred Kingdom for the UK ________________________________ Archive
  12. great stuff @Legio17 and thanks to @Gordopolis for this wonderful review!
  13. 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
  14. Viggen

    Legio XVII: Roman Legion at War, by Thomas A Timmes

    great stuff @Legio17 and thanks @Gordopolis for the great review!
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