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Viggen

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  1. Welcome all to the UNRV History Board! Our intention is to make the greatest history site on the planet. Please introduce yourself in this thread! Stay on topic, and support Primuspilus in his duty as Moderator! Enjoy yourself for great discussions on Roman History. regards Viggen "Admin"
  2. Battles can make or break states and change the destiny of nations forever. As such, they represent some of humanity’s most important events. While there have been dozens of important, interesting battles over the past five thousand years of recorded warfare, here are five that changed history forever, though by no means is this list exhaustive. Instead, I have selected a wide range of battles from across different regions and times and have specifically avoided focusing on more well-known modern battles, many of which will be covered by The National Interest soon to mark the end of the Napoleonic Wars and World War II. Milvian Bridge (313) Manzikert (1071) Second Battle of Tarain (1192) Battle of Ain Jalut (1260) Battle of Cajamarca (1532) via National Interest Whats on your list?
  3. ..so fellow Brits, apparently in about 500 years it is all over.... Britain is experiencing the same decline as Rome in 100BC, with the collapse of civilisation inevitable, a scientist has warned. Dr Jim Penman, of the RMIT University in Melbourne, believes Britons no longer have the genetic temperament to advance because of decades of peace and a high standard of living. He claims that the huge success of the Victorian era will not be repeated because people in the UK have lost the biological drive for innovation. via The Telegraph
  4. ...fascinating article, The Augustan-era geographer Strabo also mentioned these tamers of the crocodile: "When crocodiles were brought to Rome to be exhibited, they were attended by some of the Tentyritæ. A reservoir was made for them with a sort of stage on one of the sides, to form a basking-place for them on coming out of the water, and these persons went into the water, drew them in a net to the place, where they might sun themselves and be exhibited, and then dragged them back again to the reservoir." Possible depictions of these men are often seen in the popular Nilotic scenes from the late Republic and early empire, the most famous of which is called the Palestrina mosaic, from a city just to the East of Rome. via Forbes
  5. At an archaeological dig near Lake Küçükçekmece in Istanbul, Turkish researchers are working at uncovering the ancient city of Bathonea, but it’s an Amber necklace uncovered in the process that’s causing a lot of excitement for historians and archaeologists. Not just any necklace, the Viking-period Amber necklace may provide the long sought after evidence of a Viking presence in ninth century Turkey. via New Historian
  6. 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....!
  7. Hello Peter, thanks for taking over UNRV, i stay around and help whenever there is help needed! Front page looking nice! cheers viggen
  8. Interesting paper Alaric I (c. 370-410AD), King of the Visigoths, sacked Rome for the second time in over eight centuries of history. Historians suggest that malaria, probably contracted either in Rome or in the Pontine Marshes, was responsible for his sudden death in Cosenza (Calabria) in the autumn of 410AD, where he was allegedly buried in the River Busento. In this article, we aim to examine this hypothesis through a full pathographic reassessment of the most likely cause of Alaric's demise. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26970917 ...should be interesting for late antiquity gurus like @sonic
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Thanks @Maty for another great review!
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. Viggen

    The Fall of the Roman Empire by Peter Heather

    ...this review has now been updated to the new layout!
  15. The Fall of the Roman Empire by Peter Heather The fall of the Western Roman Empire is a topic that is at the heart of any complete analysis of Roman civilization and one that has held immense fascination for centuries. Its causes are a contentious and well-traveled path scholars (and amateurs) have argued since Gibbon. It is a daunting task, even for an established professor of classics to tackle, and Peter Heather tackles it with an intelligent, well-argued work of over 450 pages that takes the reader on an examination of the military and political aspects of that era. The layout is also well thought out even containing 19 pages of succinct biographies of key individuals mentioned, a timeline, a glossary of important terms of late antiquity, a healthy amount of notes one would expect from a scholar and a bibliography. Perhaps my only disappointment is with the bibliography, seeing the attention to detail given in the layout of this work I wished Heather would have included a narrative bibliography rather than a mere listing... ...read the full review of The Fall of the Roman Empire by Peter Heather
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. Book Review by Gordon Doherty 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… The story follows the soldier, Manius Tullus, through the second Punic War, a time when the Italian peninsula was occupied for 14 years by the mighty Hannibal Barca. It could be said that it was during that time the unshakeable confidence of the (later) Roman Empire emerged: cities and entire vassal peoples on Italian were defecting to the seemingly unbeatable Carthaginian general, and battle after battle delivered defeat after defeat to Rome's legions - yet still the Republic of Rome held firm. The book opens with an in-depth prologue, set in the near-present day, which describes the discovery of hidden scrolls following an earthquake in Israel. The archaeologists determine that these scrolls were written by a young Jewish man by the name of Joseph who served with (and was perhaps mentored by) Manius, and that they chronicled the Second Punic War from Joseph's point of view, charting soldier's eye level details of the proceedings. Now these scrolls and their contents are entirely fictional, but plausible nonetheless, and it is here that the story leaps back in time (where it remains) to follow Manius and Joseph's adventures. Things begin in media res with our hero, Manius, clinging onto life amidst the dead on the crimson fields of Cannae - probably Rome's most famous reverse against Hannibal's forces. The imagery here is visceral and hooked me quickly. With Manius rescued from the dead and nursed back to health, the author then takes us back in time for a while - on a journey through Manius' early years as a soldier, his rise through the ranks, then to the disaster at Cannae itself. But it is what happens after Cannae that is - in my opinion - the making of the protagonist. Cannae has hardened him and robbed him of any naivete. With a sharp eye for the finest details that can affect the outcome of a battle, he finds himself leading a vital 30-month campaign to quell the unrest in northern Italy - where many tribes threaten to roam southwards in support of Hannibal or simply make war against Rome themselves. Manius' adventures are absolutely packed with nuggets of battlefield nous and campaign strategy. As the author's note and the narrative itself show, Mr Timmes - a decorated and celebrated veteran - is clearly a master of this field. And I found it most interesting when the author indicated in places where the heroes, in the moments, days or even years after battle, might have suffered psychological phenomena, such as PTSD and Survivor Guilt, which we - ignorantly, in my opinion - consider as purely modern afflictions. I've read a few reviews of this work and noticed that one of the criticisms levelled at this story is its use of modern terminology. Indeed, Mr Timmes does use terms such as 0600 hours, yards, minutes and more and with great frequency. Now I can only give my own opinion on this approach - which is that I found it a little jarring at first, but then extremely helpful later on, especially when the complex tactical manoeuvres were stacked so closely together that vague terms such as 'late morning' etc, or historically-correct Roman times such as 'The Seventh Hour' would have been either insufficient or would have got in the way of the story's flow. Concisely, I think the author has chosen wisely here, offering accessibility at the slight sacrifice of authenticity. As the book progresses, Manius' adventures take him far from home, into modern-day Austria and to the edge of disaster. We have ambushes, tense night raids, shrewd deceptions, colossal battles and welcome dashes of wry humour from time to time. There are also elements of interesting and convincingly-portrayed speculation over inventions such as proto-stirrups and Gallic ballistae. All these ingredients comes together strongly as the Second Punic War reaches its climax and Manius faces his destiny against the tribes of the north. This is a unique read deserving of recognition both for the highly-enjoyable fiction and the hard work put into mining the facts which support it. All I can say is read it and see for yourself. ...more Book Reviews! Galbas Men by L.J. Trafford Release Your Inner Roman by Jerry Toner Empire Of Pleasures by Andrew Dalby Thomas A. Timmes is the author of the Legio XVII series. His fourth book, Legio XVII: The Eagle Strikes, was released in July 2016. Tom earned military and civilian awards including the Medal for Exceptional Civilian Service, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Combat Infantryman`s Badge, holds a Master`s Degree in History, and is a member of the National History Honor Society. Gordon Doherty is a Scottish writer, addicted to reading and writing historical fiction. His love of history was piqued during spells living and working close to both Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall, sites of rich history winding back through thousands of years. The later Roman Empire and Byzantium hold a particular fascination for him. There is something quite special about the metamorphosis from late antiquity into the 'dark ages' and the medieval period. For more about Gordon Doherty and his novels, you can visit his site. Tell us your opinion - Submit your Review - Buy the book! Book Review of Legio XVII: Roman Legion at War - Related Topic: Roman Legion Bibliography Get it now! Legio XVII for the UK ________________________________ Archive
  20. great stuff @Legio17 and thanks to @Gordopolis for this wonderful review!
  21. 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
  22. Viggen

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

    great stuff @Legio17 and thanks @Gordopolis for the great review!
  23. ..this review has now been updated to the new layout!
  24. The Moral and Political Tradition of Rome This is another book published by Cornell University Press. The author is Donald Earl who wrote this book back in 1969... don't count on intense speculation but only what is completely known for sure to be examined deeply. The subject of this book is clearly about the 'Roman tradition', which is defined as the Roman aristocracy and its ideologies. Specifically, it focuses on the so called development of this tradition... ...read the full review of The Moral and Political Tradition of Rome by Donald Earl cheers viggen
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