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aiden12

What's the last book you read?

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Well, you can't please all of the people all of the time. I'm puzzled by your response - 'the modern taste' - since that is what all historical fiction does, if it is readable. Would you prefer that I should write my novels in Latin?

 

Oh, good God no! I wasn't meaning this as a literary critique - just a personal comment on the subject matter, which I fully understand must be brought up-to-date to capture a modern audience, especially in an action story. I really did like the main characters though. I think the point I was trying to make was that I want to engage with the historical setting in a novel - perhaps even more than the story. If I tell you that I'm a huge Renault fan, that should give you some idea of where I'm coming from. It's just different tastes. I'm not the greatest fan of battles and armies in any case, so I'm probably not the best judge of novels concerning the Roman Army. :blink: But may I wish you a warm welcome here, Mr. Scarrow.

 

Talking of 'last books read', I am now plodding my way through Sarum once again, by Edward Rutherfurd. First time round (on its publication) I abandoned the book about half way, but I'm sticking with it this time. It's a strange work, and although it has gone down as a masterpiece, I do find huge chunks of it rather dry, and the vast landscape that the author has set out for himself means that his characters are never given full development in many sections. Still, it gives a broad overview of English history, parochial though the setting of Salisbury is, and the research that must have gone into it is staggering.

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Last fiction I read was Thornton Wilder's The Ides of March. It was very silly: Caesar, Clodius, Cicero, Catullus, Cato, Brutus--all hanging out together in 44 BC, trading letters and dinner engagements (which had to be hard for Clodius and Cato, since in 44 they had been dead for years).

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I'm currently reading Tom Holland's "Rubicon". Speaking of Michael Parenti, I attended a talk he gave at California State University. I remember getting into a heated debate with him during the question and answer session. The guy is a self-professed Marxist but a good speaker and very well read.

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Right now, I'm reading The Luckiest Orphans: A History of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum of New York, by Hyman Bogen. I had not previously known that Washington Post columnist, humorist, and Pulitzer Prize-winner (for political commentary) Art Buchwald was an alumnus of the HOA, and the brief background given on Art Buchwald in this book is both poignant and fascinating.

 

And, to loosely tie this to ancient Rome... There is a section of the book which details the effect of various, newly established (19th century) orphanages on the city of New York. I quote: "Among the four unvisited Catholic orphanages, the newest was the New York Foundling Asylum, on East 68th Street, which opened in October 1869. Foundlings were one orphan group that had been neglected by other asylums; thus the new home helped fill yet another gap in the care of dependent children. Before its establishment, infanticide was a common crime in the city. Every month 100 to 150 dead babies were found in various places -- empty barrels or crates, vacant lots, or floating in the rivers. This number declined by 90 percent after the foundling home opened."

 

I can't help but see somewhat of a parallel between infant exposure in 19th century NYC (and, no doubt, other cities as well), and the practice of infant exposure in ancient Rome. Ancient Rome obviously didn't have foundling asylums or orphanages -- at least, none that I am aware of. And, I wonder whether the proposal of such a novelty as a foundling asylum might perhaps have been viewed as a subversive attempt to undermine a father's legal right to dispose of an unwanted child?

 

-- Nephele

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Salve,

 

 

my last was Christian Meier's CAESAR. He doesn't just tell us what Caesar did but goes into the possible tensions within the man, disassembling his motives all the while. Before CM's Caesar I had read Holland's RUBICON, trying to get at the man Caesar once again by understanding the political environment preceding him. I found Rubicon frenetic, but very interesting. He seemed in an awful hurry to get it all in. Still it was fun; for instance the story of the Sybill as part of the history (and other sordid details). That was an excellent way to pose the importance of religion and moral choices to the Romans and how they were sustained by their ancient beliefs. (Caesar: excellent read, head scratching at times)

 

Presently I'm reading two books, Grant's THE JEWS IN THE ROMAN WORLD which tells of the Importance of the jews special relationship with Rome and the dispensation they won from Rome to have their religious days honored even by the Roman occupiers, as to how they would respectfully conduct themselves, spoke of their importance in the Roman world. They of all the Roman-governed peoples tell us their own story, rather than having the usual situation prevail of our hearing the story only in Roman words. This in part also shows us the importance of the Jewish minority in Roman society. Imagine, they have a culture that survives intact and extant after almost 6,000 years. Their talents, the importance of the size of their minority within Rome, and their location at the edge or the frontier of the Roman Empire made them triply important, until, it seems their tendency to revolt required an example be made of their impudence.

(290 pages; Notes; Some books; Tables; Index)

 

The second book I alternate to and from is Henry Ashby Turner, Jr.'s THIRTY DAYS january 1933 (Hitlers Thirty Days to Power) details all the luck and calculatingly bold moves made by the fanatic Hitler during the thirty crucial days that brought him to power. Everyone who uses this monster as an example of what can happen in America should read this book and think again. (184 pages; aAppendix; Abbreviations; Notes; Bibliography; and Index)

(Very illuminating and detailed so far)

 

 

Valete

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Presently I'm reading two books, Grant's THE JEWS IN THE ROMAN WORLD which tells of the Importance of the jews special relationship with Rome and the dispensation they won from Rome to have their religious days honored even by the Roman occupiers, as to how they would respectfully conduct themselves, spoke of their importance in the Roman world. They of all the Roman-governed peoples tell us their own story, rather than having the usual situation prevail of our hearing the story only in Roman words. This in part also shows us the importance of the Jewish minority in Roman society. Imagine, they have a culture that survives intact and extant after almost 6,000 years. Their talents, the importance of the size of their minority within Rome, and their location at the edge or the frontier of the Roman Empire made them triply important, until, it seems their tendency to revolt required an example be made of their impudence.

(290 pages; Notes; Some books; Tables; Index)

 

That's a great book! In fact, awhile back in the Libri forum (in "Recommendations") that was my recommended reading! :hammer:

 

-- Nephele

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I've just begun the Colleen McCollough series myself. Finished "First Man in Rome" and have just begun "The Grass Crown." Prior to that, my last books were "The Family" by Mario Puzo, and "Worker's Compensation Claims Law" :)

I failed to mention another fascinating book I'm reading now, "Foundations of Risk Management, Insurance, and Professionalism." :hammer: Ugh!

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Presently I'm reading two books, Grant's THE JEWS IN THE ROMAN WORLD

Faustus, is there any detailed account of the two great Judean revolts in that book ?

Edited by Gladius Hispaniensis

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Presently I'm reading two books, Grant's THE JEWS IN THE ROMAN WORLD

Faustus, is there any detailed account of the two great Judean revolts in that book ?

 

Salve Gladius,

 

In answer to your question, yes. On the first Revolt 16 pages as prelude, 17 pages on the actual revolt, and on the second 19 pages.

 

In the first place one of the primary reasons I bought the book was to learn what I could about the revolts, which have always interested me because of their lasting effect on the history of the Jewish people, and the diaspora that resulted. This was the start of the nomenclature Syria-Palestina I believe. All this fell into place for me after watching I CLAVDIUS finally, after having had it given to me as a present some twelve years before.

 

My experience was serendipitous about that. I had suggested "IC" as a gift for me at Christmastime, and on getting it I watched the first 10 minutes and decided I didn't have time. IC had to wait until I "semi retired" last year, when bouncing off of Rome-I. I then crammed IC into a solid "viewing marathon". Then seeing IC sent me to TACITUS to verify some of the subtleties of the events depicted in the film, and so I was fortunate enough to come across The Jews in the Roman World, which filled the bill for me.

 

I have long been aware of the Rome/Jerusalem/Athens trinity, but the family connections between the Roman Imperial family and that of Herod and the position of Agrippa-I living there practically as a foster child (hostage?) was one of those subleties I hadn't before been aware of.

 

This is really a terrifically interesting book!

 

Sorry, I just now saw your comment/question.

 

Valete

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Embarrasing enough not a roman book, but I just finished Ugly Americans, a wonderful book for someone like me who`s interested in "doing the market" :angry:

 

cheers

viggen

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I'm about 250 pages into Tom Holland's Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic. It's a quick read, really well written, but having blown through Adrian Goldworthy's Caesar: Life of a Colossus, it's not doing a whole lot for me. Holland's books is narrative non-fiction and doesn't include as much historical analysis as I would like to see. Still, it's a good, and quick, read.

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I've just finished Roma Eterna by Robert Silverberg, The Roman Empire never fell. Driven by political ambition and internal dissent, thrown into turmoil by rebellion and civil war, it changed and adapted, but it never fell. It's basically a book of short stories following different characters through the trials and tribulations of the empire's fight for survival all the way through to modern times.

 

I was a bit disappointed with the book really, just as I was getting to know and like the characters, that particular era would come to an abrupt end and then the story would jump forward a couple of hundred years to the next set of characters and storyline. Some of the stories were excellent and some of them to be honest I found pretty dull, and the ending for me was a big let down, it was the kind of book that when you get to the end you think to yourself "well I'm glad that's over!"

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Since the summer I have been re-reading C.S.Foresters 'Hornblower' novels. Anyone who likes Simon Scarrow's books will like these. In fact, Hornblower and Bush do remind me a bit of Cato and Macro. I am currently up to 'The Commodore' in which Hornblower's relatively small naval action in the Baltic tips the balance which leads to Bonaparte's disastrous retreat from Moscow, and the beginning of the end for the French Empire of Napoleon.

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Currently reading 'Tacitus: Agricola' with text, introduction and commentary by Ogilvie and Richmond.

 

A very rich source of info about Roman Britain in general and Agricola's campaigns in particular.

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Currently reading Goldsworthy's "The Punic Wars". Whew! That was the best description of Cannae yet.

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