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    Josho Brouwers is editor of the Ancient Warfare Magazine, Mediterranean archaeologist and published author. (Henchmen of Ares: Warriors and Warfare in Early Greece)
     
    UNRV Hello Josho, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got interested in ancient history?
    Josho Brouwers:Actually, I started with an interest in palaeontology, back when I was a child. We moved around a bit, and one of the houses we lived in (back in France), in the early 80s, had a driveway with loads of pebbles and other small stones, including fossils. I spent hours looking for fossils there and that probably started me down the path of exploring the past. My interest in invertebrates switched to dinosaurs and reptiles. At some point, though, I decided that humans were perhaps more interesting, and I actually arrived at the ancient world via medieval history and an interest during my earlier teenage years in Arthurian legend (with a heavy focus on medieval Dutch, French, and English literature). It wasn’t until late in high school that I really decided that I wanted to become an archaeologist and study the ancient past, and my first year at university was important in narrowing down my interest to ancient Greece in particular.
     
     
    ....continue to the full interview with Josho Brouwers
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    The Roman Empire (Beginner's Guides) by Philip Matyszak
    Book Review by Alex Johnston
     
    Can a book rightly be considered “sprawling” if it is only two hundred pages long? Actually, not even quite two hundred pages if you strip out the back matter? Hmmm.
     
    The book ostensibly covers “just” the period of time when Rome was an empire. As the author conveniently elaborates in the Epilogue (saving my overworked brain from doing the math), Rome (from its founding to the fall of the last emperor of the west in 476 CE) lasted 2,206 years (and one month and eight days!), but only 507 years of that is what is generally referred to as the “Roman Empire.” No big deal, right? But don’t believe the author and his title. He’s fibbing. His book covers the whole damn 2,206 years (and one month and eight days). So here we have a book, part of a “Beginner’s Guides” series, in which, if you do the math, the author can more or less devote one page for every ten years of history....
     
    ...read the full review of The Roman Empire (Beginner's Guides) by Philip Matyszak
     
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    The Roman Hannibal: Remembering the Enemy in Silius Italicus' Punica by Claire Stocks
    reviewed by Philip Matyszak
     
    Hannibal was famously the greatest, most deadly enemy that Rome ever faced. However, as classicist and academic Claire Stocks points out, we only know Hannibal from the Roman perspective. Hannibal, the cruel, the cunning, the master general and war-leader is seen today through Roman eyes. In this book, the Roman eyes belong to Silius Italicus, a writer of the first century AD whose only surviving work is the seventeen books of the Punica, an epic poem telling the saga of Hannibal's war with Rome. One could describe The Roman Hannibal as something between an academic thesis and a commentary on the Punica...
     
    ...continue to the full review of The Roman Hannibal: Remembering the Enemy in Silius Italicus' Punica by Claire Stocks
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    We are deligthed that author Alistair Forrest has offered his novel "Libertas, the account of Julius Caesar's final victory over the Pompey brothers" to all new UNRV newsletter subscribers for another year. This ebook is absolutely free to download after signing up at smashword and entering the provided code.
     
    If you havent signed up for our newsletter you can do so here:
    http://www.unrv.com/newsletter/roman-history-newsletter.php
     
     
    You can find out more about author Alistair Forrest and his work on his website:
    http://www.alistairforrest.com/
     
     
    Again many thanks to Alistair Forrest for this very special deal!
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    Imagine for a moment that by chance you happened to be at the Roman arena one lunchtime, expecting some light entertainment. What would you see, hear, or experience? Slaves providing their masters with satisfactory performance, proving that even they could be courageous, or perhaps seeing men thrown to beasts, and later, to the whim of the crowd.This sort of imagery is common enough when dealing with the Romans. When the time comes to learn about their culture, their daily business, their daily lives, the arena is unavoidable. It looms large in the popular image, and for that matter, in the Roman consciousness too....
     
     
     
    ...read the full review of Roman Sports and Spectacles by Anne Mahoney
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    Cline’s challenge in 1177 B.C. is to examine the causes of the near simultaneous destruction and disappearance of five flourishing eastern Mediterranean civilizations including their 47 largest settlements. What calamity or series of calamities occurred at roughly the same time? This is the task the author explores using ancient texts, archeology, new technology, new information, and a lot of connecting the dots. Reading this book is much like reading a detective novel. There is suspense, examination of the evidence, reasoning, speculations, and a conclusion...
     
     
     
    ...continue to the full review of 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed by Eric H. Cline
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    Good historical fiction is a two-fer. You can get the facts by reading Polybius and Livy. But you need a Robin Levin to introduce you to Marcus Nemo Nemonides (Marcus Nobody, son of Nobody) - I just love that name! Yep - you get to have fun and learn something in the bargain with good historical fiction, and The Death of Carthage meets both criteria in spades. Robin Levin brings life to the history – even the mundane history...
     
    continue to the full review of The Death of Carthage by Robin E. Levin
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    In ‘The Last Legionary’, Paul Elliott has attempted in an introduction, eight chapters and a ‘post-script’ to describe the routine daily life of a Roman legionary based in Britain in the twilight of the Roman Empire. After the short introduction, each of the chapters focuses primarily on a single aspect of army life, including ‘Joining Up’, ‘Training’, ‘Perks of the Job’, ‘The Fort and Work’, ‘On the March’, ‘Belief’, ‘On Campaign’, and ‘To War!’.
     
    At first the read is a little difficult: the author’s method of interspersing a fictional account of a Roman soldier in Britain with an overview of historical events coupled with archaeological evidence and his own experience of being a re-enactor takes a little getting used to. However, once the reader crosses this hurdle it is possible to settle down to an interesting narrative which sees Gaius, the ‘hero’ of the story, at work in northern Britain – more specifically Yorkshire – in the years up to AD 400...
     
    ...continue to the full review of The Last Legionary: Life as a Roman Soldier in Britain AD400 by Paul Elliott
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    This book explores an intriguing thesis. Basically author Judy Gaughan argues that the basic object of criminal legislation in the Roman Republic was to protect the state. Because one of the most important elements of the state was the family bloc based on the paterfamilias, some deeds – such as murder – were not subject to criminal sanctions, because resolving the issue was in the power of the paterfamilias and not of the state. Indeed, for the state to get involved in trying cases of murder would undermine the power of the family, and thus weaken the state itself...
     
    ...continue to the full review of Murder Was Not a Crime: Homicide and Power in the Roman Republic by Judy E. Gaughan
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