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published on 13 May 2016
This book is separated into six parts discussing Rome and Constantinople in context, the urban space and development in a comparative perspective, emperors in the city, Panegyrici (public speeches and texts praising the cities and people), Christian capitals, and the epilogue discussing questions of Byzantium’s Roman identity. The introductory section... [continue reading]
published on 12 May 2016
Mathematics in Ancient Egypt traces the development of Egyptian mathematics, from the end of the 4th millennium BC to the end of the Pharaonic Period in Greco-Roman times. Imhausen uses mathematical texts that have been discovered, documents used by administrators to govern the people, various architectural drawings and any other mathematical documents that... [continue reading]
published on 10 May 2016
We know the big names - Cicero, Diodorus, Caesar, Livy - but we forget how periods in Rome's history were recorded by multiple people, mostly at the same time. Many times history books were a not just a narrative but a composed book of first-hand accounts and opinions from that time period. Roman Historiography by Andreas Mehl attempts to aid the reader... [continue reading]
published on 09 May 2016
 J. E. Lendon in his book, Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity, uses Greek and Roman culture to explain fundamental changes in the conduct of war. Lendon persuasively argues that competition and an obsession with the ancient past were the guiding principles of Greek warfare. Likewise, Roman warfare was characterized by... [continue reading]
published on 03 May 2016
While most people think of Middle Eastern cuisine, images of “Persian,” “Turkish,” or “Lebanese” food immediately come to thought. Set between the crossroads of East Africa, South Asia, the Middle East, and the Spice Islands, the Sultanate of Oman offers something different and perhaps even unexpected. For thousands... [continue reading]
published on 30 April 2016
Patricia Southern’s writing breathes wit and entertainment into her treatment of Hadrian’s Wall. Hadrian’s Wall: Everyday Life on a Roman Frontier could easily have been yet another dry interpretation of the archaeological and historical data about the ruins. Instead, Southern takes every aspect of the Wall’s historical supposition... [continue reading]
published on 27 April 2016
Ancient Assyria: A Very Short Introduction provides an incredibly succinct and valuable introduction to ancient Assyria. At 112 pages of readable content, it is easily accessible to the general public, with not too many technical terms or too much theory. For the most part, Radner focuses on the social realities through close examination of tangible figures... [continue reading]
published on 26 April 2016
Blood of the Celts: The New Ancestry Story, by Jean Manco, a building historian and the author of Ancestral Journeys: The Peopling of Europe from the First Ventures to the Vikings, traces the complex story of the Celtic peoples through history, genetic studies, archaeology, and linguistic analyses. In ten chapters and 240 pages, Manco attempts to uncover... [continue reading]
published on 22 April 2016
Patrick Geary is alarmed by the rapid progression of nationalist movements in Europe and the popular support such movements receive. Historians bear the brunt of his displeasure because they are responsible, in his mind, for the re-emergence of these divisive movements. The result of such nationalist tendencies, in Geary’s estimation, is a “deep... [continue reading]
published on 18 April 2016
In the 1830s, a French farmer in Normandy uncovered a hoard of ancient Roman objects – primarily cast in silver, weighing 55 pounds (25 kilograms). The Berthouville Silver Treasure and Roman Luxury, which accompanies the Getty Museum’s 2015 exhibition of the same name, contextualizes the highlights of this remarkable treasure with several essays... [continue reading]
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