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published on 23 November 2016
Written by Andrew Robinson and published by Reaktion Books in 2015, The Indus is an introduction to the Indus Valley Civilization. Who were the Indus? Where and when did they live? Maybe these two questions are the first to come to the reader’s mind when starting this book. As Robinson writes in the introduction, "The Indus civilization was... [continue reading]
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published on 14 October 2016
Nickel begins by setting up the historical background for his narrative. He explains that Xenophon is invited on a journey to Persia by his friend Proxenus in 401 BC. This journey was actually to become the military adventure known as the march of the ten thousand. Nickel states that while Xenophon did join the expedition, his reasoning is not to find... [continue reading]
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published on 09 October 2016
The author starts by giving an overview of who the Vandals were, what they did, the sources we have regarding them, and their origins. He then begins to tell their story. He starts in the mid-fourth century with the Germanic tribes being thrown into disarray because of the Hun expansion westward and the problems that were caused. He then moves to the end... [continue reading]
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published on 29 August 2016
In Lords of Asian Minor, Annick Payne and Jorit Wintjes provide a wonderfully clear and accessible introduction to the Lydians. Through the succinct exploration and presentation of five major aspects of ancient Lydia, the reader is left with a solid, introductory knowledge of Lydia’s history as a minor regional power, then major regional power, and... [continue reading]
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published on 24 August 2016
The Roman Barbarian Wars: The Era of Roman Conquest by Ludwig Heinrich Dyck is not a historical novel, but an exhaustive study on one of the most interesting topics of the Roman Era: the Roman conquests. And, in particular, the Barbarian wars. At the beginning, Dyck uses the first pages to introduce the term “barbarian” and explain who were those “Barbarians&rdquo... [continue reading]
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published on 21 August 2016
It feels slightly ironic to be writing a review of a book that is essentially a collection of reviews. As Classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement, Mary Beard draws on the wealth of material at her disposal to give her readers a snapshot of some of the ongoing debates mobilising present day academia – from biographies of Sir Arthur Evans (discoverer... [continue reading]
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published on 21 July 2016
Guy de la Bédoyère brings Roman Britain to life through a quite brilliant study of many individuals who escape the overall narrative of historians, but leave glimpses into their lives through traces of the archaeological record. He works with inscriptions, writing tablets, treasure hordes, and mosaics, and through these he recreates... [continue reading]
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published on 19 July 2016
The Oxford Handbook series has some wonderful history entries such as The Oxford Handbook on the Bronze Age Aegean and The Oxford Handbook on Engineering & Technology in the Classical World, which are essential to any study of those topics, but unfortunately, this volume on the archaeology of the Levant is not in the same class. Perhaps the first... [continue reading]
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published on 18 July 2016
Bettany Hughes has a real flare for description. In reconstructing the life of one of the world’s most elusive figures, she creates an image of Socrates’ world that’s so evocative you can almost touch it. Starting with the day of Socrates’ trial in 399 BCE, Hughes takes us back through his childhood, early years in the high society... [continue reading]
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published on 15 July 2016
Mythology: An Illustrated Journey into Our Imagined Worlds, by Christopher Dell, is an attractive guide to the world’s mythologies and folklore. With 410 illustrations, Mythology is, in all probability, the most visually appealing publication on mythology. This is familiar territory for Dell, who holds a degree in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute... [continue reading]
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