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ANCIENT HISTORY > CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY

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message 51: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I have just found this book is due out for release very shortly: "The Gods of War: The Thracians at War, 1500 BC-150 AD" by Chris Webber.

The Gods of War The Thracians at War, 1500 BC-150 AD. by Chris Webber by Chris Webber

I have not been able to find much information on the book itself but I have ordered a copy and will let those who are interested know what it's like once it has arrived.


message 52: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Stephen Dando-Colins has just released his sixth book covering Roman history, his newest title looks at Caesar's murder and the struggle for Rome:

[image error] by Stephen Dando-Collins
Review:
"Trying to clear away the twaddle that surrounds Julius Caesar, Dando-Collins (Caesar's Legion) provides a page-turner of a history describing step-by-step the events leading to the assassination of Julius Caesar and the impact of his removal on the collapse of the Roman Republic. Caesar's rise to power and his limitless ambitionposed an immediate threat to the survival of the Republic, which caused fear and consternation in those, such as Marcus Brutus, who nobly wished to defend Roman democracy. Brutus and his fellow senator Cassius planned the assassination and, with the help of yet other senators, carried it out on March 15, 44 B.C.E. Public sentiment originally favored the Liberators, as the assassins were known, but, thanks to the scheming of Marc Antony and the fickleness of the crowds, Brutus, Cassius, and others were forced to flee the city. In the months that followed, Antony and his sometime ally, Caesar's heir, Octavian, destroyed the Liberatorsonly to later wage war against each other. Antony's ultimate defeat led to Octavian's installation as the first emperor, Augustus Caesar. The dramatic story examines the roles of soldiers, politicians, philosophers, wives, and mistresses with perhaps too much emphasis placed on the ever-popular Cleopatra." - Publishers Weekly


message 53: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Another new title due out for release in April that may interest readers of Ancient Rome is the new book by Matthew Dennison; "Empress of Rome: The Life of Livia".

Empress of Rome The Life of Livia by Matthew Dennison by Matthew Dennison
Publishers blurb:
Empress of Rome is a brand-new biography of one of the most fascinating, perplexing and powerful figures of the ancient world: the empress Livia. Second wife of the emperor Augustus and the mother of his successor Tiberius, Livia has been vilified by posterity (most notably by Tacitus and Robert Graves) as the quintessence of the scheming Roman matriarch, poisoning her relatives one by one to smooth her son's path to the imperial throne. In this elegant and rigorously researched biography, Matthew Dennison rescues the historical Livia from this crudely drawn caricature of the popular imagination. He depicts a complex, courageous and richly gifted woman whose true crime was not was not murder but the exercise of power, and who, in a male-dominated society, had the energy to create for herself both a prominent public profile and a significant sphere of political influence.


message 54: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new)

Vicki Cline | 2777 comments Mod
I'd like to recommend some books by an author I really like.

Sulla the Fortunate by G.P. Baker Augustus by G.P. Baker Hannibal by G.P. Baker Tiberius Caesar by G.P. Baker by G.P. Baker

They were written in the 30's and the author has a very dry wit that's quite entertaining.

I like his Augustus much better than the more recent book, Augustus The Life of Rome's First Emperor by Anthony Everitt by Anthony Everitt.


message 55: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Vicki, thanks for those posts for G.P. Baker's books. I have not seen them before. I quite enjoyed "Augustus" by Anthony Everitt so I will check out your recommendations.

Augustus The Life of Rome's First Emperor by Anthony Everitt by Anthony Everitt


message 56: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (AndrH) | 2692 comments Mod
Vicki wrote: "I'd like to recommend some books by an author I really like.

Vicki, and anybody else interested in the topic, have you ever heard of this one:

Augustus A Novel by John Edward Williams by John Edward Williams

it's fiction, but very well done, using fictional letters to create a kind of biography.
Some people prefer non-fiction but with only very few reliable facts/reporting still available, why not add a fiction book to the list of writings so often based on tainted "tales" from back in the days.



message 57: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new)

Vicki Cline | 2777 comments Mod
André wrote: Vicki, and anybody else interested in the topic, have you ever heard of this one:

Augustus A Novel by John Edward Williams by..."


Yes, I have read that one, liked it a lot. There's something about epistolary novels that I really like.

Here's another one - Ides of March by Thornton Wilder by Thornton Wilder. You can guess what it's about. (Actually I don't know if this is the right place for novel recommendations.)


message 58: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Hello Vicki,

We are primarily a non fiction group but we do have an historical fiction section where some of these recommendations can be placed. We also have a What are you reading now thread as well. If a book matches the topic of the thread you are on, you can place it there but you have to note if it is an historical fiction book or just the fictional variety or some other historical genre like an alternative historical work.

Your posting of your book was pretty close to what we ask for:


Ides of March by Thornton Wilder Thornton WilderThornton Wilder

When the photo is available of the author, we post the book cover first, then the photo, then the author's link which shows the name.


message 59: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Vicki,

After your recommendations I decided to order a second hand hardback copy of "Sulla the Fortunate" by G.P. Baker.

Sulla the Fortunate by G.P. Baker by G.P. Baker


message 60: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Mar 25, 2010 02:55AM) (new)

André (AndrH) | 2692 comments Mod
Some other books I enjoyed to get a better feel for Roman daily life:

Daily Life in Ancient Rome The People and the City at the Height of the Empire by Jerome Carcopino by Jerome Carcopino

Cities of Vesuvius Pompeii and Herculaneum by Michael Grant by Michael Grant

Roman Sexualities by Marilyn B. Skinner by Marilyn B. Skinner

Looking at Lovemaking Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 B.C. - A.D. 250 by John R. Clarke by John R. Clarke

Gladiateurs Des sources à l'expérimentation by Brice Lopez by Brice Lopez (French)

Gladiator Rome's Bloody Spectacle (General Military) by Konstantin Nossov by Konstantin Nossov

and even Legionary The Roman Soldier's (Unofficial) Manual by Philip Matyszak by Philip Matyszak - although this author sometimes got on my nerves with his over the top sense of humor, the book still delivers.

The Roman Army at War 100 BC - AD 200 (Oxford Classical Monographs) by Adrian Goldsworthy by Adrian Goldsworthy I don't think I need to mention that Mr. Goldsworthy is an excellent author. You should try his other books.

Nero by Michael Grant by Michael Grant


message 61: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Thank you very much Andre for your adds and also thanks Aussie Rick.


message 62: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Mar 25, 2010 04:01AM) (new)

André (AndrH) | 2692 comments Mod
Anytime, Bentley. All we (I mean the entire group) do is try to understand the ones who crowded the planet before us.

- and another one by Goldsworthy, out in July:
Antony and Cleopatra by Adrian Goldsworthy by Adrian Goldsworthy


message 63: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Absolutely the case Andre...thank you so much for all of your great adds.


message 64: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I figured I'd add a few more books to this thread that may be of interest for readers of this period of history:

Hannibal (Wordsworth Military Library) by Ernle Bradford by Ernle Bradford
Publishers blurb:
Hannibal had long known his fate should the Romans ever lay hands upon him. He had taken an army right through Spain and into what is now France, crossed the Alps (at a time of year when no one believed it possible), and invaded Italy. Then, for 15 years, he used the country as his battlefield and his home, destroying Roman armies with an almost contemptuous ease. For centuries after his death, Roman mothers would frighten their children into behaving by telling them: "Hannibal is at the Gates!" Even today, Hannibal stands as one of the greatest generals in the history of warfare and his battlefield tactics are still studied in military academies all over the world. Ernie Bradford presents a biography, exploring the strategies of his greatest triumphs and showing us Hannibal as the soldier, the general, the statesman and the private man - revealing a personal charisma and leadership ability that makes his presence still felt in every country bordering the Mediterranean.

Hannibal Enemy of Rome by Leonard Cottrell by Leonard Cottrell
Publishers blurb:
In the year 216 B.C., Hannibal of Carthage, faced with an opposing Roman army twice the size of his own, outwitted the enemy at Cannae by means of a strategy which has become a classic of its kind. As a result of his famous ”double pincer” maneuver, 70,000 Roman soldiers died within the space of a few hours on a field the size of New York’s Central Park. Yet, as devastating and startling as Cannae was, it was only one of a long list of incredible achievements. Hannibal’s fantastic 1,000-mile march across the Alps from Spain to Italy was one of the wonders of ancient times. He began his hazardous journey with 90,000 infantry, 12,000 cavalry, and 37 elephants. By the time he reached the Valley of the Po, more than 30,000 troops and many of his elephants had perished, but he still managed to stay in Italy for sixteen years.Blending biography and military adventure, Hannibal is a portrait of a military genius who was also a highly civilized man. The son of Hamilcar Barca, a famous general in his own right, Hannibal was a student of the Greek classics. But his father’s lifelong grudge against Rome fostered in the son a deep hatred for that Republic and a fierce determination to subdue it forever. This resulted in the bloody battles of Lake Trasimene, Campania, Nole, Capua, and Zama, all of which Leonard Cottrell describes with vigor and authority. In gathering material for Hannibal, Cottrell traveled the entire route that Hannibal took across the Alps, thus bringing to his account a valuable firsthand knowledge of his subject. With the drama and authenticity for which he is famous, Leonard Cottrell describes Hannibal’s amazing campaign—a saga of victory after victory which fell just short of its ultimate goal: the annihilation of Rome.

Hannibal by Serge Lancel by Serge Lancel
Publishers blurb:
This is an historical biography of Hannibal, the military leader of Carthage responsible for waging a dramatic onslaught on Rome during the Punic Wars. One of the few generals of history to be famous for the war he lost, Hannibal's attack in 218 BC - which included his renowned march of elephants across the Alps - ranks amongst the most courageous and ill-fated enterprises in the history of the ancient world. It was after the defeat of Hannibal that Rome was able to assert its strength in the Mediterranean, establishing the Roman Republic as the most formidable force in Europe. The book explores Hannibal's character and career. It shows how his actions as commander of the Carthaginian army in Spain consciously precipitated the Second Punic war in which he intended to exact revenge on Rome for earlier defeats. His march across the Alps, and then his war to wrest control of Italy from Rome - a conflict lasting more than a decade - has an inevitable, tragic fascination. Until now the traditions and the reality surrounding Hannibal have only been told from the perspective of Rome. Here, Professor Lancel brings his unrivalled understanding of the Carthaginian world to explain the complexities of Hannibal's character and the internal dynamics of the period in which he lived. This definitive biography of one of the most fascinating figures of ancient history offers a fresh perspective on the demise of the Hellenistic world and the rise of Rome.


message 65: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) And some more great books for those who have a passion for this interesting period of history. The two books below are some of the best written accounts covering the Punic Wars:

The Punic Wars Rome, Carthage, and the Struggle for the Mediterranean by Nigel Bagnall by Nigel Bagnall
Publishers blurb:
The Punic Wars triggered an era of astonishing human misfortune. Resulting from a mighty power struggle between the military confederation of Rome and the trading empire of Carthage between 264--241 B.C., 218--201 B.C., and 149--146 b.c., the wars were fought over a period of 118 years. Massive man-made devastation on both sides left RB.C.ome’s population radically depleted and Carthage razed and erased from the map.
Sir Nigel Bagnall brings his military experience and a modern professional eye to bear in analyzing the Punic Wars here. He marshals classic military strategists such as Livy, Polybius, and Diodorus to plot the wars’ campaigns in Spain, Africa, Sicily, and the Peloponnese, and follows Hannibal’s daring but unsuccessful strike into the heart of Italy.
But Bagnall goes beyond military strategy to discuss the force, structures, and politics of Rome and Carthage at their heights. And he contrasts their conduct of battle at strategic, operational, and tactical levels to show how they were governed by the same military principles used by nations today. His thought-provoking final chapter relates these wars’ lessons to modern times in an impressive argument for adapting the experience of the past to the needs of the future. While the history of the Punic Wars dates back over 2000 years, Bagnall’s comprehensive account demonstrates that this ancient conflict is remarkable both for its scope and its contemporary relevance.

The Punic Wars by Adrian GoldsworthyAdrian Goldsworthy
Review:
"The three Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage from 264 to 146 B.C. irrevocably changed the course of ancient history. Carthage, with her empire centered in North Africa, was humbled and then destroyed. Before the wars, Rome's power was limited to the Italian peninsula; by the end of the wars, Rome was the dominant power in the Mediterranean and was poised on the brink of even greater imperial expansion. Goldsworthy is an Oxford graduate and clinical scholar with particular expertise in Roman military history. His survey of this pivotal conflict is a masterful account that will appeal to both specialists and general readers who appreciate a superbly told story. Goldsworthy explains complicated military moves in easily understood language, and he conveys the vast scope and carnage of the wars with both insight and objectivity. His portraits of some of the key players, including Hannibal, Scipio Africanus, and Fabius Maximus, are both informative and thought-provoking. This story, of course, has been told before, but rarely as well." - Booklist


message 66: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
My goodness it seems like you have been at this a long time. I guess you have really enjoyed this tremendously if you are ordering Polybius's six volumes.


message 67: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Hi Bentley, I finished all of the volumes from Procopius's 'History of the Wars' and enjoyed them immensely. I have all the volumes available of Polybius and hope to read them soon (when time allows). To be honest I didn't always like these classical accounts but with age I think I appreciate them more.

History of the Wars Books 1-2 (Persian War) (Loeb Classical Library) by Procopius by Procopius

Polybius The Histories, I, Books 1-2 (Loeb Classical Library No. 128) by Polybius by Polybius


message 68: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 25, 2010 07:42AM) (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Yes, if you are in Massachusetts and in Cambridge sometime in the future...by all means take a look at the little display store that the Harvard University Press had in Harvard Square. I heard recently that it had moved so call ahead.

Here is a url to their catalogues:

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/G...

"They used to have on display all of the Loeb books":

http://www.hup.harvard.edu/results-li...


message 69: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Apr 25, 2010 09:22AM) (new)

André (AndrH) | 2692 comments Mod
Vicki wrote: "André wrote: Vicki, and anybody else interested in the topic, have you ever heard of this one:


replying to Vicky's message 57:
Somehow I had not noticed your message adding Thornton WIlder.
Although fiction it is far beyond the "usual". As with Williams' Augustus this is one book anybody interested in Roman culture/history should read.
Best wishes.


message 70: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Hi Andre,

As usual top notch comments..I love your posts.

But make sure that you always do your citations:

Augustus by John Edward WilliamsJohn Edward Williams

and

Thornton WilderThornton Wilder


message 71: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (new)

André (AndrH) | 2692 comments Mod
Thanks, Bentley. Love yours too.
I thought because both Vicky and I had already done so I didn't need to do it again.
Reminds me a little of the comic books where it always has to be retold how Bruce Wayne became an orphan and what bit SPiderman (guess you'll get the humor here)
WIll do so the next time.


message 72: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Apr 25, 2010 03:31PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Bentley wrote: "Yes, if you are in Massachusetts and in Cambridge sometime in the future...by all means take a look at the little display store that the Harvard University Press had in Harvard Square. I heard rece..."

Oh dear, you shouldn't have shown me that link to their catalogue, my wife won't be pleased at all! I've just ordered a copy of "Caesar: Alexandrian War. African War. Spanish War".

Caesar Alexandrian War. African War. Spanish War (Loeb Classical Library No. 402) by Aulus Hirtius by Aulus Hirtius
Publishers blurb:
In this volume are three works concerning the campaigns engaged in by the great Roman statesman Julius Caesar (100–44 BCE), but not written by him. The Alexandrian War, which deals with troubles elsewhere also, may have been written by Aulus Hirtius (ca. 90–43 BC, friend and military subordinate of Caesar), who is generally regarded as the author of the last book of Caesar's Gallic War. The African War and The Spanish War are detailed accounts clearly by officers who had shared in the campaigns. All three works are important sources of our knowledge of Caesar's career.

I have Caesar's other two books (although not in this format) and really enjoyed them, for those who are interested:

The Civil Wars by Julius Caesar by Julius Caesar
Publishers blurb:
Caesar (C. Iulius, 102–44 BCE), statesman and soldier, defied the dictator Sulla; served in the Mithridatic wars and in Spain; pushed his way in Roman politics as a 'democrat' against the senatorial government; was the real leader of the coalition with Pompey and Crassus; conquered all Gaul for Rome; attacked Britain twice; was forced into civil war; became master of the Roman world; and achieved wide-reaching reforms until his murder. We have his books of Commentarii (notes): eight on his wars in Gaul, 58–52 BC, including the two expeditions to Britain 55–54, and three on the civil war of 49–48. They are records of his own campaigns (with occasional digressions) in vigorous, direct, clear, unemotional style and in the third person, the account of the civil war being somewhat more impassioned.

The Gallic War (Loeb Classical Library) by Julius Caesar by Julius Caesar
Publishers blurb:
Caesar (C. Iulius, 102–44 BCE), statesman and soldier, defied the dictator Sulla; served in the Mithridatic wars and in Spain; pushed his way in Roman politics as a 'democrat' against the senatorial government; was the real leader of the coalition with Pompey and Crassus; conquered all Gaul for Rome; attacked Britain twice; was forced into civil war; became master of the Roman world; and achieved wide-reaching reforms until his murder. We have his books of Commentarii (notes): eight on his wars in Gaul, 58–52 BC, including the two expeditions to Britain 55–54, and three on the civil war of 49–48. They are records of his own campaigns (with occasional digressions) in vigorous, direct, clear, unemotional style and in the third person, the account of the civil war being somewhat more impassioned. There is no rhetoric.


message 73: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Oh dear...isn't their catalogue the best.


message 74: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) It is, I've just ordered some more books!



Arrian Anabasis of Alexander, Books I-IV (Loeb Classical Library No. 236) by Arrian and Arrian Anabasis of Alexander, Books 5-7. Indica. (Loeb Classical Library No. 269) by Arrian by Arrian
Publishers blurb:
Although written over four hundred years after Alexander's death, Arrian's account of the man and his achievements is the most reliable we have. Arrian's own experience as a military commander gave him unique insights into the life of the world's greatest conqueror. He tells of Alexander's violent suppression of the Theban rebellion, his defeat of Persia and campaigns through Egypt and Babylon - establishing new cities and destroying others in his path. While Alexander emerges as a charismatic leader, Arrian succeeds brilliantly in creating an objective portrait of a man of boundless ambition, who was exposed to the temptations of power.


message 75: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Rick, I found their store in Harvard Square to be absolutely the best source for the Loeb books. They had them all on display!


message 76: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I think it would be like walking into a candy store for me, I'd love it!


message 77: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 25, 2010 09:16PM) (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
André wrote: "Thanks, Bentley. Love yours too.
I thought because both Vicky and I had already done so I didn't need to do it again.
Reminds me a little of the comic books where it always has to be retold how Bru..."


Hey Andre,

Did not see your response sandwiched in the middle of the other posts.

Yah...very funny. You have no idea how folks miss even consecutive posts and the software also notes how many folks were involved in a specific discussion about a book; another stat to populate the site and if the citation is not made the counter doesn't count. You make a valid point but the software only works with the links.

Also, if someone is following your comments and I am sure that some folks do; if only your comments are read without citations it makes it difficult for them to track the books that you were referring to.

There is a lot of cross pollination going on with these links and at the beginning of the group's creation, we did not realize it and missed out. Once we realized how the software cross populates all of the threads in the group; we realized how best to make it work for our members.

Thanks for the comment..it made me smile.

Bentley


message 78: by André, Honorary Contributor - EMERITUS - Music (last edited Apr 26, 2010 01:40AM) (new)

André (AndrH) | 2692 comments Mod
Thanks Bentley.
Of course I can see your point.
Also, with so much going on in all the different threads, it's amazing you manage to keep up with it all.
Best wishes,
André


message 79: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
You are welcome Andre. I appreciate your kind words. Some days are better than others for keeping up (smile)


message 80: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here is a book I came across the other day which I think sits OK in this thread; "The Secret of the Great Pyramid".

The Secret of the Great Pyramid How One Man's Obsession Led to the Solution of Ancient Egypt's Greatest Mystery by Bob Brier by Bob Brier
Publishers blurb:
A decade ago, French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin became obsessed by the centuriesold question: How was the Great Pyramid built? How, in a nation of farmers only recently emerged from the Stone Age, could such a massive, complex, and enduring structure have been envisioned and constructed?
Laboring at his computer ten hours a day for five years—creating exquisitely detailed 3-D models of the Pyramid's interior—Houdin finally had his answer. It was a startling revelation that cast a fresh light on the minds that conceived one of the wonders of the ancient world.
Written by world-renowned Egyptologist Bob Brier in collaboration with Houdin, The Secret of the Great Pyramid moves deftly between the ancient and the modern, chronicling two equally fascinating interrelated histories. It is a remarkable account of the step-by-step planning and assembling of the magnificent edifice—the brainchild of an innovative genius, the Egyptian architect Hemienu, who imagined, organized, and oversaw a monumental construction project that took more than two decades to complete and that employed the services of hundreds of architects, mathematicians, boatbuilders, stonemasons, and metallurgists. Here also is the riveting story of Jean-Pierre Houdin's single-minded search for solutions to the mysteries that have bedeviled Egyptologists for centuries, such as the purpose of the enigmatic Grand Gallery and the Pyramid's crack.


message 81: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Below is a new release from the U.K. covering a very interesting subject, "Carthage Must be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization".

Carthage Must be Destroyed (Allen Lane History S.) by Richard Miles by Richard Miles
Publishers blurb:
The devastating struggle to the death between the Carthaginians and the Romans was one of the defining dramas of the Ancient World. In an epic series of land and sea battles both sides came close to victory before the Carthaginians finally buckled and their capital city, history and culture were almost utterly erased. The last great threat to Roman supremacy across the entire Mediterranean had gone, fulfilling Cato the Elder’s insistent demand that ‘Carthage must be destroyed’. Carthage Must Be Destroyed brilliantly brings to life this lost empire – from its origins among the Phoenician settlements of Lebanon to its apotheosis as the greatest sea-power in the Mediterranean, with interests stretching from the Middle East to southern Spain. Roman ferocity tried to remove Carthage from history, but it is possible nonetheless to create an extraordinary narrative of a civilization which left an indelible, if often hidden legacy for those that followed. At the heart of all attempts to understand Carthage must lie the extraordinary figure of Hannibal – the scourge of Rome and one of the greatest, most charismatic and innovative of all military leaders, but a man also who ultimately led his people to catastrophe. Drawing on a wealth of new archaeological research, Richard Miles makes Carthage vivid as it has never been before.

Reviews:
"Mr. Miles has skilfully fused the works of ancient historians such as Polybius and Livy, a wide range of modern studies and recent archaeological research to create a convincing and enthralling narrative." - The Economist

"Richard Miles’s Carthage Must be Destroyed is a refreshing addition to the debate." - Philip Parker (Financial Times)

"This is a lively and compelling, chronological account of Carthage from its Phoenician foundation to its reception in Emperor Augustus’s Rome." - Literary Review (Paul Cartledge)

"Richard Miles tells this story with tremendous élan, combining the best of modern scholarship with narrative pace and energy. It is a superb achievement, a model for all such endeavours. He is even better on the little-known background to this tale." - Peter Jones (Telegraph)

"The dramatic story of these events is set out in gripping detail." - The Scotsman


message 82: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Thank you very much Aussie Rick..I am glad that you are able to get on line for a bit. Hope your computer is improving.


message 83: by Don (new)

Don (FallingWaters) | 64 comments My goodness there are some great recommendations here!

I just finished reading Lords Of The Sea by John Hale. It looks at ancient Athens during the height of its naval power, what the navy meant to Athenian society, and how the navy was closely tied to their democratic government. It covers the times a little before to a little after the Peloponnesian Wars. There are some really great depictions of naval battles and the strategies used in them.

It's a fairly easy read, only coming in at around 300 pages hardcover, but I really enjoyed it. It's also a good tie in with the current nautical theme we have in our Historical Fiction group read of Master and Commander.

Lords of the Sea The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy by John R. Hale by John R. Hale

Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin Book 1) by Patrick O'Brian by Patrick O'Brian Patrick O'Brian


message 84: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Great connection Don. It sounds like a great read. Thank you for adding it.

Bentley


message 85: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Well I couldn't help myself and I have ordered copies of Josephus "The Jewish War".


Josephus The Jewish War, Books I-II (Loeb Classical Library No. 203) by Flavius Josephus & Josephus The Jewish War Books III-IV (Loeb Classical Library No. 487) by Flavius Josephus & Josephus The Jewish War, Books V-VII (Loeb Classical Library No. 210) by Flavius Josephus by Flavius Josephus
Josephus, soldier, statesman, historian, was a Jew born at Jerusalem about 37 CE. A man of high descent, he early became learned in Jewish law and Greek literature and was a Pharisee. After pleading in Rome the cause of some Jewish priests he returned to Jerusalem and in 66 tried to prevent revolt against Rome, managing for the Jews the affairs of Galilee. In the troubles which followed he made his peace with Vespasian. Present at the siege of Jerusalem by Titus, he received favours from these two as emperors and from Domitian and assumed their family name Flavius. He died after 97.


message 86: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Did you order them from the Harvard Book Store connection link I sent you?


message 87: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) No, bookdepository.com, can't beat the prices and no postage to Australia which is a real saving. I like to check out the Harvard Store to see what titles are available though :)


message 88: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
I see....it is sort of your research library for books you want to buy somewhere else (smile)


message 89: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I'm afraid so, with the amount of books I buy I have to try and make savings somewhere :)


message 90: by Megan (new)

Megan (kitten425) | 12 comments A few months ago I saw an interesting show on the Science Channel entitled "Machines of Malice" which about ancient torture devices, etc. The show was excellent and I'm interested in learning more about these devices. Does anyone know any good books about ancient torture devices?

Thanks,

Megan


message 91: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited May 26, 2010 03:52PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Megan wrote: "A few months ago I saw an interesting show on the Science Channel entitled "Machines of Malice" which about ancient torture devices, etc. The show was excellent and I'm interested in learning more..."

Hi Megan,

Not something I have read much about, if anything, but here are a few suggestions:

The Instruments of Torture, Revised and Updated by Michael Kerrigan by Michael Kerrigan

The History of Torture and Execution From Early Civilization through Medieval Times to the Present by Jean Kellaway by Jean Kellaway

You might get a better response from posting your request in the 'I'm looking for a book on' thread:

Coffee, Tea & Conversation


message 92: by Megan (new)

Megan (kitten425) | 12 comments Thanks Rick for the 2 book suggestions - I'll try to see about posting in the Coffee, etc. thread.

Much thanks,

Megan


message 93: by Don (new)

Don (FallingWaters) | 64 comments Since Rick is giving our recommendations :) do you have any good books you can recommend on the Spartans? I'm fascinated by their culture and am looking for some good books on the subject.


message 94: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Aussie Rick is the best.

Pressfield's books are great reading though novels (fairly well researched)

Gates of Fire An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae by Steven Pressfield Steven PressfieldSteven Pressfield

Also,

The Spartans The World of the Warrior-heroes of Ancient Greece by Paul Anthony Cartledge Paul Anthony CartledgePaul Anthony Cartledge

The above was the companion book to the PBS production on Sparta.


message 95: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
You might be interested in this site:

http://elysiumgates.com/~helena/


Also this book:

Are They Singing in Sparta? by Helena P. SchraderHelena P. Schrader


message 96: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Don wrote: "Since Rick is giving our recommendations :) do you have any good books you can recommend on the Spartans? I'm fascinated by their culture and am looking for some good books on the subject."

Hi Don,

I have not read one decent account on Spartan culture but have read some very good books that cover Sparta in general and offer some very good back-ground information. Some that I could recommend would be:

The Peloponnesian War Athens and Sparta in Savage Conflict 431-404 BC by Donald Kagan by Donald Kagan
Publishers blurb:
The Stalingrad of the ancient world, this is an immensely readable, brilliant, brutal and vivid history of the greatest and bloodiest war of ancient Greece. The Peloponnesian War, fought 2,500 years ago between oligarchic Sparta and democratic Athens for control of Greece, is brought spectacularly to life in this magnificent study. Kagan demonstrates the relevance of this cataclysmic event to modern times in all its horror and savagery. As two uncompromising empires fight a war of survival from diametrically opposing political, social and cultural positions, the seemingly invincible glory of Athens crumbles in tragedy. Athenian culture and politics was unmatched in originality and fertility, and is still regarded as one of the peak achievements of Western civilisation. Dramatic poets such as Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes raised tragedy and comedy to a level never surpassed; architects and sculptors were at work on the Acropolis; natural philosophers like Anaxagoras and Democritus were exploring the physical world, and philosophers like Socrates were dissecting the realm of human affairs. All this was lost to this bloody conflict. In this work of brilliant scholarship, Kagan illustrates his remarkable ability to interpret these events as a part of the universality of human experience. His clear expertise in both the ancient world and the wars of the 20th-century are combined with his storytelling gifts to give an unforgettable portrait of this pivotal war that has shaped the world as we know it.

Persian Fire The First World Empire and the Battle for the West by Tom Holland by Tom Holland
Publishers blurb:
In 480 BC, Xerxes, the King of Persia, led an invasion of mainland Greece. Its success should have been a formality. For seventy years, victory - rapid, spectacular victory - had seemed the birthright of the Persian Empire. In the space of a single generation, they had swept across the Near East, shattering ancient kingdoms, storming famous cities, putting together an empire which stretched from India to the shores of the Aegean. As a result of those conquests, Xerxes ruled as the most powerful man on the planet. Yet somehow, astonishingly, against the largest expeditionary force ever assembled, the Greeks of the mainland managed to hold out. The Persians were turned back. Greece remained free. Had the Greeks been defeated at Salamis, not only would the West have lost its first struggle for independence and survival, but it is unlikely that there would ever have been such and entity as the West at all. Tom Holland's brilliant new book describes the very first 'clash of Empires' between East and West. Once again he has found extraordinary parallels between the ancient world and our own. There is no competing popular book describing these events.

Thermopylae The Battle for the West by Ernle Bradford by Ernle Bradford
Publisher blurb:
An impressively accessible narrative depicting the three-day battle for the pass at Thermopylae (the Hot Gates)--a critical contest in Xerxes's massive invasion of Greece. The bloody stand made there by Leonidas and his small Spartan army in 480 B. C. has been hailed ever since as an outstanding example of patriotism, courage, and sacrifice.


This following book I have not read so cannot offer an opinion on its qualities but it covers the subject your interested in:

The Spartans by Paul Anthony Cartledge by Paul Anthony Cartledge
Publishers blurb:
Paul Cartledge argues that the Spartans are our ancestors, every bit as much as the Athenians. But while Athens promoted democracy, individualism, culture and society, their great rivals Sparta embodied militarism, totalitarianism, segregation and brutal repression. As ruthless as they were self-sacrificing, their sucessful war rituals made the Spartans the ultimate fighting force. The battle of Thermopylae epitomises all that is Sparta. While slave masters to the Helots for over three centuries, Spartan women enjoyed an unparalleled freedom indulging in education, dance and sport. From this environment was born Helen of Troy. Interspersed with the personal biographies of leading figures, "The Spartans" tracks the people from 480 to 360BC charting Sparta's progression from the great power of the Aegean Greek world to its ultimate demise.


message 97: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here's a new book on the market that apparently offers an interesting insight into ancient Italy and the Spartacus rebellion. Needless to say I have already ordered a copy!

On the Spartacus Road A Spectacular Journey through Ancient Italy by Peter Stothard by Peter Stothard
Publishers blurb:
In this inspiring and original book, former editor of The Times, Sir Peter Stothard, re-traces the journey taken by Spartacus and his army of rebels. In the final century of the first Roman Republic an army of slaves brought a peculiar terror to the people of Italy. Its leaders were gladiators. Its purpose was incomprehensible. Its success was something no one before had ever known. The Spartacus Road is the route along which this rebel army outfought the Roman legions between 73 and 71BC, bringing both fears and hopes that have never wholly left the modern mind. It is a road that stretches through 2,000 miles of Italian countryside and out into 2,000 years of world history. In this inspiring and original memoir, the former editor of The Times, Peter Stothard, takes us on an extraordinary journey. The result is a book like none other -- at once a journalist's notebook, a classicist's celebration, a survivor's record of a near fatal cancer and the history of a unique and brutal war. As he travels along the Spartacus road -- through the ruins of Capua to Vesuvius and the lost Greek cities of the Italian south -- Stothard's prose illuminates conflicting memories of times ancient and modern, the simultaneously foreign and familiar, one of the greatest stories of all ages. Sweepingly erudite and strikingly personal, "On the Spartacus Road" is non-fiction writing of the highest order.

Reviews:
"Haunting, erudite and beautifully written...a fusion of memoir, history and travelogue that is unlike any other book ever written about Spartacus and all the more precious for being quite so unexpected." - The Spectator

"An intriguing book that is impossible to categorise...Stothard's real passion is for the process of thinking about Spartacus, both for the Ancients and for us...compelling." - The Times

"A wonderfully rich and endlessly thought-provoking brew...reminiscent of the writing of W.G. Sebald...Beautifully written, musing and far-sighted...it's an astounding success." - Literary Review


message 98: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) Here is a brand new book covering one of the greatest battles in antiquity and one of Rome's greatest defeats:


[image error] by Robert L. O'Connell
Publishers blurb:
For millennia, Carthage’s triumph over Rome at Cannae in 216 B.C. has inspired reverence and awe. It was the battle that countless armies tried to imitate, most notably in World Wars I and II, the battle that obsessed legendary military minds. Yet no general ever matched Hannibal’s most unexpected, innovative, and brutal military victory—the costliest day of combat for any army in history. Robert L. O’Connell, one of the most admired names in military history, now tells the whole story of Cannae for the first time, giving us a stirring account of this apocalyptic battle of the Second Punic War, and its causes and consequences.

O’Connell shows how a restive Rome amassed a giant army to punish Carthage’s masterful commander, who had dealt them deadly blows at Trebia and Lake Trasimene, and how Hannibal outwitted enemies that outnumbered him. O’Connell describes Hannibal’s strategy of blinding his opponents with sun and dust, enveloping them in a deadly embrace and sealing their escape, before launching a massive knife fight that would kill 48,000 men in close contact. The Ghosts of Cannae then brilliantly conveys how this disastrous pivot point in Rome’s history ultimately led to the republic’s resurgence and the creation of its empire.

Piecing together decayed shreds of ancient reportage, the author paints powerful portraits of the leading players: Hannibal, resolutely sane and uncannily strategic; Varro, Rome’s co-consul who was so scapegoated for the loss; and Scipio Africanus, the surviving (and self-promoting) Roman military tribune who would one day pay back Hannibal at Zama in North Africa. Finally, O’Connell reveals how Cannae’s legend has inspired and haunted military leaders ever since, and the lessons it teaches for our own wars.

Superbly researched and written with wit and erudition, The Ghosts of Cannae is the definitive account of a battle whose history continues to resonate.


message 99: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 35737 comments Mod
Whoa..you are still at in...this is great..I think you are doing fabulous. Isn't the Loeb library fabulous.


message 100: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (AussieRick) I've just stumbled across this new release which I had to order for myself and in case anyone else is interested in the subject here it is:

Marathon How One Battle Changed Western Civilization by Richard A. Billows by Richard A. Billows
Publishers blurb:
The Battle of Marathon in 490 B.C. is not only understood as the most decisive event in the struggle between the Greeks and the Persians, but can also be seen as perhaps the most significant moment in our collective history. 10,000 Athenian citizens faced a Persian military force of more than 25,000. Greek victory appeared impossible, but the men of Athens were tenacious and the Persians were defeated. Following the battle, the Athenian hoplite army ran 26.5 miles from Marathon to Athens to defend their port from the Persian navy. Although they had just run the great distance in heavy armor, the Athenians won the battle and drove the Persian forces from Attica. Greek freedom ensued and the achievements of the culture became much of the basis for Western civilization. In this comprehensive and engrossing treatment, Richard A. Billows captures the drama of that day 2500 years ago and the ramifications it has had throughout Western history.


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Books mentioned in this topic

Archaic Greece: The Age of Experiment (other topics)
A Handbook of Greek Art (other topics)
A History of Greece: From the Time of Solon to 403 BC (other topics)
Persian Fire: The First World Empire and the Battle for the West (other topics)
The Punic Wars (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Gisela Marie Augusta Richter (other topics)
Anthony Snodgrass (other topics)
George Grote (other topics)
Tom Holland (other topics)
Adrian Goldsworthy (other topics)
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