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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]
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]
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]
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]
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]
published on 05 July 2016
The Carthaginians were obliterated by the Romans in the Third Punic War, and their history has, ever since, suffered for it. Even their name has largely been replaced by the brutal sounding ‘Punic’, from the Latin punicus. In the last decade the Roman carpet under which was swept for millennia the finer details of Carthaginian culture has finally... [continue reading]
published on 20 June 2016
Thomas Scanlon presents the reader with a narrative of Classical Greece that offers both eloquence, structure, and may serve as essential reading for students, a comprehensive review for academics, and a timely reminder for strategists that history may not always repeat, but it certainly rhymes.  Prior to tackling Scanlon’s Greek Historiography... [continue reading]
published on 08 June 2016
The Phoenicians were one of the most influential ancient Mediterranean cultures, and so it is surprising how few general history books there are on the market which cover this fascinating civilization. In addition, of the few books generally available a good proportion are hopelessly outdated, seminal works though they might have been in the first half... [continue reading]
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