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published on 19 January 2017
The Pax Romana, or Roman Peace, was the idea that the lands governed by the Empire enjoyed long-term stability and prospered because of their submission to Rome. Armies were sent to the frontiers to protect against the invasion of barbarians, whilst those inside the border happily donned the toga and quaffed wine by the gallon. This is the popular vision... [continue reading]
published on 13 January 2017
Many times when a reader picks up a book pertaining to a certain event or object in history, it is from one point of view that has either been influenced or created from other ideas to form one concise thought. It is only in other books from different authors does the reader get multiple opinions on that subject and even then, the books can suffer from different... [continue reading]
published on 11 January 2017
Professor Joann Fletcher cuts a distinctive figure. Sporting a shock of flaming red hair, dressed in black and normally wielding a black umbrella to ward off the relentless Egyptian sun, she has captivated audiences in her passionate documentaries about Ancient Egypt on BBC Four. Her recent series, Immortal Egypt, covered virtually the same content as... [continue reading]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
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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