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Thread: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview thread

  1. #31
    Member Member Cyclops's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Keep going back to Robin Lane Fox, the guy is a tweedy provacateur. Love it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Moros View Post
    ...my pet subject; the Ancient Arabians. ...
    Have you read this one? Probably you know it, but as an outsider I found it a fascinating ramble on a thorny subject.

    The Arabs in Antiquity: Their History from the Assyrians to the Umayyads Jan Retso

    He gets all interesting and speculative just at the end bit (and he parenthesises it, saying hes dropping the scholarly paradigm for some fun) talking about Hud and arab druid/bard equivalents. Not saying Arabs had druids, just my take on the sort of notions he was prepared to have a flaky stab at in an afterword kinda way.
    From Hax, Nachtmeister & Subotan

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  2. #32
    iudex thervingiorum Member athanaric's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Quote Originally Posted by fomalhaut View Post
    i am having a hard time believing that Latin and English are allowing you to read a french history book, how are you doing this?
    French is based on Latin, and advanced English contains an awful amount of French loanwords. Add some very basic knowledge of French and it will work.




    Swêboz guide for EB 1.2
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    from Hannibal Khan the Great, Brennus, Tellos Athenaios, and Winsington III.

  3. #33
    Onward! Member Mr. Stuka's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    If any of you are into fiction, there's a nice, short read on Varus and the Germans by Harry Turtledove. It's called Give me Back My Legions!

  4. #34
    Member Member fomalhaut's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    French is based on Latin, and advanced English contains an awful amount of French loanwords. Add some very basic knowledge of French and it will work.
    yes surely i know this, but this bolded was the crux i was looking for. sorry to go OT just was wondering.

  5. #35
    History Buff Member Klemens's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Vienna 1814 How the Conquerors of Napoleon Made Love, War, and Peace at the Congress of Vienna



    It's a great book and reads like a novel instead of a textbook, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone interested in the Napoleonic era.

  6. #36
    EB Nitpicker Member oudysseos's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Just started Alexander the Great by Krystof Nawotka. So far so good. Not as slanted as Green.
    οἵη περ φύλλων γενεὴ τοίη δὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν.
    Even as are the generations of leaves, such are the lives of men.
    Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, Illiad, 6.146



  7. #37
    Member Member DionCaesar's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I recommend the books of Adrian Goldsworthy. I've read three of his books so far, and I fully enjoyed every single one of them. His language is easy to understand, yet he mentions everything worth telling. He's also rather objective, and uses many different sources.

    If you're interested in ancient Rome and want to learn more than some basic and already well known facts, I suggest reading these books:

    Caesar
    The Fall of the West
    The Fall of Carthage

    Especially the book about Caesar greatly amused me, but the Fall of Carthage contains a lot of information that I believe is rather unknown.
    Imperare sibi maximvm imperivm est

  8. #38
    Member Member fomalhaut's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I have Fall of the Roman Empire and The Punic Wars by him. I love his writing style, you can just turn page after page yet still not miss anything of significance.

  9. #39
    Member Member Constantius III's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Eh. Goldsworthy's all right but his books seem a little...superficial. His attempts at wading into late antique scholarship haven't exactly gone well, either.
    "The Roman Empire was not murdered and nor did it die a natural death; it accidentally committed suicide."

  10. #40
    Member Member fomalhaut's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    he does his stated purpose with great skill; distilling all the complexities of ancient history and some of its ambiguities to a wide, mainstream audience. He states that specifically in the intro for the Punic Wars, saying that because classical antiquity is no longer a part of our socialization process in schooling that other venues must be sought to bring important history (not myth) to a wide audience. though he also says its sort of a lost cause but that's not the point

    it is very useful resource to me who is not on a the sub level or actual historian (hobby or profession) level like many here.
    Last edited by fomalhaut; 05-01-2011 at 04:29.

  11. #41
    EB Nitpicker Member oudysseos's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I'm not Goldsworthy's biggest fan. I know it's terribly snobby of me, but he seems willing to churn out any ole crap for a buck.
    οἵη περ φύλλων γενεὴ τοίη δὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν.
    Even as are the generations of leaves, such are the lives of men.
    Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, Illiad, 6.146



  12. #42
    Member Member Constantius III's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    The comparison of the creation of the Notitia Dignitatum to Hitler maneuvering imaginary divisions on the map in the Führerbunker in 1945 was what got me. I mean, I know the guy's a bit of an enthusiast for the Republic and the early Empire, but really?
    "The Roman Empire was not murdered and nor did it die a natural death; it accidentally committed suicide."

  13. #43

    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I've read Goldworthy's books and they're fine but lacking in detail. It just seems sort of shallow so I'll recommend it for amatuers and beginners but probably not for more advanced readers. I'm currently reading R. Malcolm Errington's 'A History of the Hellenistic World', John Julius Norwich's 'Byzantium' and Bryan Ward Perkins' "The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilisation'. All three seem fine but for style Norwich's is definitely the best.

  14. #44
    Member Member fomalhaut's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Quote Originally Posted by strategos roma View Post
    I've read Goldworthy's books and they're fine but lacking in detail. It just seems sort of shallow so I'll recommend it for amatuers and beginners but probably not for more advanced readers. I'm currently reading R. Malcolm Errington's 'A History of the Hellenistic World', John Julius Norwich's 'Byzantium' and Bryan Ward Perkins' "The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilisation'. All three seem fine but for style Norwich's is definitely the best.
    his intended audience

  15. #45
    Member Member jabarto's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Kiev Rus by B. Grekov is my current challenge. It's big, about 600 pages, but it looks to have an incredible amount of information not only on the Rus, but also the Slavic tribes that preceded them.

    Also, I'm going to check out Schutz' Prehistory of Germanic Europe from the local university library tomorrow, along with some books on the Celts and Vikings. I'm probably spreading myself way too thin here, but there's so much to learn I can hardly help it.
    Last edited by jabarto; 05-01-2011 at 20:05.

  16. #46
    Member Member Constantius III's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Quote Originally Posted by strategos roma View Post
    I've read Goldworthy's books and they're fine but lacking in detail. It just seems sort of shallow so I'll recommend it for amatuers and beginners but probably not for more advanced readers. I'm currently reading R. Malcolm Errington's 'A History of the Hellenistic World', John Julius Norwich's 'Byzantium' and Bryan Ward Perkins' "The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilisation'. All three seem fine but for style Norwich's is definitely the best.
    Interesting that you say that Goldsworthy's for "amateurs and beginners" and then state you're reading Norwich and Ward-Perkins.

    Treadgold, Haldon and Vasiliev would be the Byzantine texts for a properly hardcore hobby-historian.
    "The Roman Empire was not murdered and nor did it die a natural death; it accidentally committed suicide."

  17. #47
    Member Member Cyclops's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Norwich is really just a blender, but he does make a nice history-flavoured smoothie. Ruderless his stories veer from gossip to battles to art, academically spineless but a nice treat.

    I'm re-reading The Career and Legend of Vasco da Gama by Sanjay Subrahmanyam. He offers enough opinion and source criticism as well as narrative and I feel like a grown-up when he pulls back the curtain on juicy knots like the state of trade in the Indian ocean in the 15th century and the politics of monarchy, greater and lesser nobility and the knightly orders in reconquista Iberia.

    Quote Originally Posted by Constantius III View Post
    .. Vasiliev ..the Byzantine ...historian.
    Makes me think hard. Good for a flabby mind like mine.
    Last edited by Cyclops; 05-02-2011 at 02:00.
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  18. #48
    Member Member HFox's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastDays View Post
    If anyone could recommend a book about Pre-Alexander Middle East (Assyria, Babylon...), I'd be grateful
    Persian Fire - a great read and contextualisation of the timeline.....not sure all the assumptions and interpretations are correct but pays great respect to heroditus in the content used.

    Really enjoyed reading it and found informative especially in terms of fitting all the persian/greek social/political/military developments together into an enegmatic timeframe.

  19. #49

    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I've read Treadgold and Vasiliev and I'd in fact highly recommend the former. I'm just re-reading Norwich for leisure.

    Ward-Perkins is indeed a bit shallow but I like his more personal style when compared to older authors like Bury.

    Quote Originally Posted by Constantius III View Post
    Interesting that you say that Goldsworthy's for "amateurs and beginners" and then state you're reading Norwich and Ward-Perkins.

    Treadgold, Haldon and Vasiliev would be the Byzantine texts for a properly hardcore hobby-historian.

  20. #50
    Member Member geala's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Just have been a week in Scotland and read beneath (again) Kyrou Anabasis the book "Clan Donalds Greatest Defeat: The Battle of Harlaw 1411" by John Sadler. He's not a historian but it is a nice small book for train or plane, gives some insight in Scottish inner politics. Some infos about the weapons and the feeling of battle. Most is correct as far as I can judge, however, some strange statements are also included (e.g. mail is relatively light as armour ... häh??).

    PS: Given the fact that it is not so clear who had won the battle at Harlaw the title of the book is a little bit weird.
    Last edited by geala; 05-06-2011 at 21:59.
    The queen commands and we'll obey
    Over the Hills and far away.
    (perhaps from an English Traditional, about 1700 AD)

    Drum, Kinder, seid lustig und allesamt bereit:
    Auf, Ansbach-Dragoner! Auf, Ansbach-Bayreuth!
    (later chorus -containing a wrong regimental name for the Bayreuth-Dragoner (DR Nr. 5) - of the "Hohenfriedberger Marsch", reminiscense of a battle in 1745 AD, to the music perhaps of an earlier cuirassier march)

  21. #51
    Son of Lusus Member Lusitani's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Just finnished Philip De Souza (ed.), The Ancient World at War: A Global History, Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2008. Pp. 320. ISBN 978-0500251386. Great book which i highly recommend.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/World-At-War.../dp/0712667822

    V.
    "Deep in Iberia there is a tribe that doesn't rule itself, nor allows anyone to rule it" - Gaius Julius Caesar.






  22. #52

    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I wanna get Bezalel Bar Kochva`s The Seleucid Army: Tactics and Organization during the Great Campaigns.

    What do you guys think about it?

  23. #53
    Speaker of Truth Moderator Moros's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Isn't that one completely avaible at google books? (could possibly be only just because I'm on my campus network)

    Anything Bar-Kochva wrote is worth the read, imo. Might be a tad dated though.

  24. #54
    Member Member GenosseGeneral's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Quote Originally Posted by Ichon View Post
    I just got into "The Victors and the Vanquished: Christians and Muslims of Catalonia and Aragon, 1050-1300" Cambridge University Press, 2004 and so far its interesting. Not really the EB time period but still... if anyone has some recommendations of books on Iberia or Roman Hispania I'd be interested.
    Hispaniae: Spain and the Development of Roman Imperialism 318-82 B.C. has been posted before, and I can recommend it. Also worth a look is in my opinion Aspects of the Roman Experience in Iberia 206-100 B.C. by Robert Knapp.

  25. #55
    Member Member Julianus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Just finished W.H. Prescott's The History of the Conquest of Mexico, now reading his next book on La Conquista, The History of the Conquest of Peru.
    I really love reading those 18- and 19-century historians such as Prescott and Gibbon. They may be somewhat outdated, not so scientific or analytical by modern standards, but their storytelling, no matter on whatever subject, is always so dramatic and enjoyable, almost as much fun as reading Treasure Island.
    Last edited by Julianus; 05-22-2011 at 08:35.

  26. #56

    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Quote Originally Posted by Moros View Post
    Isn't that one completely avaible at google books? (could possibly be only just because I'm on my campus network)

    Anything Bar-Kochva wrote is worth the read, imo. Might be a tad dated though.
    It is not fully available, only a bit

  27. #57

    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I'm working on Norwich's Byzantium at the moment. It's nice light reading for the summer

  28. #58
    Speaker of Truth Moderator Moros's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I guess I had full acces thanks to having internet provided by the university, which automatically gives acces to a whole lot of databases, full text articles and stuff.

  29. #59
    ‘Abdü’l-Mecīd-i evvel Member Kival's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask but nonetheless i'd like to know if anyone has a recommendation on a good book about Syracuse. It's political developing but also about the day to day life in about 400-200 b.c. As far as I know it was enourmesly influential and big (I've read about more than half a million inhabitants) and i'm very interested in it's history until it's domination by rome.

    EDIT: English and german is ok, other languages will probably trouble me ;-).
    Last edited by Kival; 05-25-2011 at 14:58.

    ‘Abdü’l-Mecīd-i evvel

  30. #60
    Speaker of Truth Moderator Moros's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I personally don't know about many books that cover that. I've seen a couple of more specific subjects (on the destruction of the Athenian fleet for example).
    Perhaps this one might interest you though:
    http://books.google.be/books?id=tBud...ed=0CCoQ6AEwAA

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