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

  1. #91
    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

    I think I actually wouldn't like to watch a modern movie based on the Kyrou Anabasis. The real advantage and benefit of the book is that it gives a lot of informations about the peoples involved, the kind of fighting, customs and a lot of hints to human behaviour, sometimes not in favour of the Greek soldiers involved. I fear it's impossible to show the real value of the book in a commercial movie. There are no villains and no heroes (except perhaps Xenophon, but ok, it is his book...), so it may be difficult to understand by many. It would even be impossible to accept for many that Xenophon was not the leader of the soldiers, but only one of 10 strategoi and not the most important one. The story in itself is, I dare to say, rather boring, a group of people trying to march through a partly hostile country. Good opportunity to pack the movie with slow motion fighting szenes however... You see, I'm not very impressed by modern movies.
    That said, of course I would watch the movie and buy a copy.
    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)

  2. #92
    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

    would you recommend the book? does it read like a narrative?
    i'm not necessarily interested in Herodotus writing style, I like the style of Arrian and Plutarch and Luke (of the gospels) if that helps.


    Also I've found myself enamored with Persian culture lately and i thought i'd ask the experts here which is a good general book on the history of the Persian people, language, culture (pre and post Islam) but definitely on Cyrus the Great who interests me very much. I'd rather not get a poor book from a chain bookstore on the subject, but trust in you

  3. #93

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

    Rupert Matthews - Alexander at the Battle of the Granicus.

    I quite like the detailing of how the individual units are armed and organised (virtually identical to EB specifications :D). I also find Matthews' speculation on how the Hetairos fought in combat somewhat convincing. Matthews essentially portrayed Alexandros (at the time of the Granikos campaign) as an untested noob (his enemies certainly saw him as such)... with results contrary to his foes expectations.

  4. #94
    Member Member moonburn'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
    would you recommend the book? does it read like a narrative?
    i'm not necessarily interested in Herodotus writing style, I like the style of Arrian and Plutarch and Luke (of the gospels) if that helps.


    Also I've found myself enamored with Persian culture lately and i thought i'd ask the experts here which is a good general book on the history of the Persian people, language, culture (pre and post Islam) but definitely on Cyrus the Great who interests me very much. I'd rather not get a poor book from a chain bookstore on the subject, but trust in you
    last year i read the entire wiki article about persia/iran and its very interesting since it aproaches several cultures that antecipated the sassanids altough it doesnt go to the merrow of the stuff (it took me almost 2 days but must admit xx century iranian history is what takes the longer)

  5. #95
    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 a pedestrian/wiki understanding of Persian history and culture, osmosis from Alexander and Herodotus and of course I know a bit more in depth the history of the modern Islamist State and its predecessors but I think me and you both would benefit from an EB quality recommendation! i'm going to look on the EB Bibliography right meow

  6. #96
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by fomalhaut View Post
    would you recommend the book? does it read like a narrative?
    i'm not necessarily interested in Herodotus writing style, I like the style of Arrian and Plutarch and Luke (of the gospels) if that helps.
    ...
    Do you mean Kyrou Anabasis by Xenophon? Absolutely, it's a very easy and enjoying read, like an adventure novel written by an experienced soldier.
    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)

  7. #97
    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
    Also I've found myself enamored with Persian culture lately and i thought i'd ask the experts here which is a good general book on the history of the Persian people, language, culture (pre and post Islam) but definitely on Cyrus the Great who interests me very much. I'd rather not get a poor book from a chain bookstore on the subject, but trust in you
    Try From Cyrus to Alexander. A History of the Persian Empire by Pierre Briant. Also, there is more stuff of the same quality in the EB bibliography.
    Last edited by athanaric; 06-30-2011 at 13:40.




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  8. #98
    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

    ja ich bedeute das Buch geala! I was sad to see it not included in my Britannica book collection, but Thukydides is in here so that almost makes up for it.

    and athanaric that's actually a book from the EB bibliography, believe it or not! so it must be good since it's been independently verified, sweet! Another EB fan got me into studying Persian and i'm loving it, so now i'm wanting to get a more than pedestrian understanding of the Achaemenid to Sassanids :-)

  9. #99
    Hyperactive sleeper Member DeathFinger'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
    Try From Cyrus to Alexander. A History of the Persian Empire by Pierre Briant.

    Actually this is the reference on Achaemenids. And it's partially digitalized on Google Books if I remember well, but in fact, I couldn't advice you more than to read it from the beginning to the end (it 'll take you some times btw ) . And if you can, burrow The Persian Empire: A Corpus of Sources of the Achaemenid Period from Amlie Kuhrt, which's a perfect compilation of sources on Achaemenids, and in this matter complets Pierre Briant's books.


  10. #100
    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

    Just about to finish "Caesar's Legion", the history of the X Legio by Stephen Dando Collins. Pretty good, meant for a general audience as it's very readable but i think it serves rather than detracts from the history. i wouldn't expect a book about a specific legion to be anything but meant for casual lovers of history

    The life and death of Centurion Crastinus was the most memorable part, "In death or life, Caesar, I will earn you gratitude!"
    :(
    Last edited by fomalhaut; 07-09-2011 at 08:20.

  11. #101
    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
    ja ich meine das Buch, geala!
    Fixed. "To mean" is a false friend when translating English to German and vice versa. The common equivalent would be "bedeuten" (= it means), but sometimes it's "meinen" (= I mean; also I guess).




    Swboz guide for EB 1.2
    Tips and Tricks for New Players
    from Hannibal Khan the Great, Brennus, Tellos Athenaios, and Winsington III.

  12. #102
    Member Member Loofa's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    In general I tend to stay away from general histories that try to talk about everything in one volume. "Rome: a complete history" or something like that (Except for anything by Oxford University press, they are damn fine!). By nature they will be lacking details. But right now im reading The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy (not Hannibal or Arminius lol?) by Adrienne Mayor. I like it... Es geht

    und die meistens Buecher sind auf English lol, es gibt keine Deutsche uebersetzt variant diesem Buch. und naja, wir benutzen "bedeuten" und "meine" nicht so viel. ausser.... "meine" ist in der regel mehr persoenlich. zum beispiel "nenene ich meine dass du das nicht machen kannst". hier in Sachsen sagen wir nur "mein" lol >_> . Saechsisch ist ganz chaotisch...
    Last edited by Loofa; 07-09-2011 at 15:45. Reason: I can't spell

  13. #103
    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
    Fixed. "To mean" is a false friend when translating English to German and vice versa. The common equivalent would be "bedeuten" (= it means), but sometimes it's "meinen" (= I mean; also I guess).
    oh wow, i never would think that'd be a false friend. thanks!


    Well Caesar's Legion wasn't really a general history book, it was solely about the X Legio from it's raise by Caesar in Cordoba to its near dissolution under Piso, its revival under Corbulo during the Armenian and Parthian campaigns. delves into why it was one of the only legions without an official title (like Gemini, Gallica, Augusta), pretty good.

    How do Gibbon's Decline of Rome hold up? I just got a Brittanica 54 book collection which has his books in them. (for only $20 usd no less) ^_^
    Last edited by fomalhaut; 07-09-2011 at 20:25.

  14. #104
    Member Member Morte66'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 Loofa View Post
    I(Except for anything by Oxford University press, they are damn fine!)
    Speaking of OUP, I'm readingClassical Olbia and the Scythian World: From the Sixth Century BC to the Second Century AD. Well, I'm actually reading the PDFs on the British Acandemy website.

    Fight like a meatgrinder

  15. #105
    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

    I started some new (to me) books to read:

    "Blood and Soil. A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur", by Ben Kiernan, 2007
    A dampening view at mankinds niceness through the times. Good overview. I'm still not sure wether I can accept the authors main theory.

    "Homosexuality and Civilization", by Louis Crompton, paperback ed. 2006
    Another overview from the Old Testament to the 19th c. AD, with plenty sources for antiquity. Extremely thin-skinned Christians should perhaps not read but remain in a state of innocense.

    "The Greek State at War" Part II (1974) and Part IV (1985), by W.K. Pritchett
    The five books by Pritchett a imho more or less a must have because of the sources given.


    BTW: can someone give me a recommendation for a good book about late medieval and early modern Japanese military history (lets say 1400 to 1650, so reaching a bit after the Sengoku period)? I know nearly nothing about it except common conceptions from popular sources. I bought "Handbook to Life in Medieval and Early Modern Japan" by William E. Deal, but I would like to concentrate more on the military side. I would prefer a book that deals not only with the pure dates and events but also examines the weapons, methods, theories and structures of war.
    Last edited by geala; 07-25-2011 at 07:14.
    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)

  16. #106
    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

    Currently reading and enjoying:
    The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323BC-281BC (2 volumes), BENNETT & ROBERTS, Barnsley, 2008.

  17. #107
    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

    Nice book, one of the not so many readable books in Engllish with a scientific approach to the Japanese period of the warring states (Sengoku): The Culture of Civil War in Kyoto by Mary Elisabeth Berry.
    Last edited by geala; 11-02-2011 at 15:33.
    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)

  18. #108
    Member Member I_damian's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    At the moment I'm making my way through John Julian Norwich's trilogy about the Byzantine Empire. I'm on the final chapter of book one - The Early Centuries and about to start reading the second book - The Apogee. The third - The Decline and Fall, is on its way to me from Amazon.

    Very interesting and fascinating books, focus mostly on the emperors and court intrigues and relations with foreign kings and the popes in Rome, as well as the impact of wars on the empire overall, actual battles only get a passing mention.
    Last edited by I_damian; 11-07-2011 at 15:01.

  19. #109
    Member Member Cadwalader'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 geala View Post
    "Homosexuality and Civilization", by Louis Crompton, paperback ed. 2006
    Another overview from the Old Testament to the 19th c. AD, with plenty sources for antiquity. Extremely thin-skinned Christians should perhaps not read but remain in a state of innocense.
    I just got started on this book. Very interesting so far. It never occured to me before that Achilles and Patroklos might have been lovers. Makes sense when you think about it, though.


    ζυνς 'Evυλιoς κa τε κτανoντα κατκτα
    Alike to all is the War God, and him who would kill he kills. (Il. 18.309)

  20. #110

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Moros View Post
    Currently reading and enjoying:
    The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323BC-281BC (2 volumes), BENNETT & ROBERTS, Barnsley, 2008.
    Nice one! Let us know what it's like.

    I've just bought "Great Battles of the Hellenistic World" - Joseph Pietrykowski, and I've got "Twilight of the Hellenistic World" by Mike Roberts and Bob Bennett on order. (Inspired by playing my EB Seleucid campaign.)

  21. #111
    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

    Just picked up Robin Lane Fox's Travelling Heroes. His other works so far (Classical World and Unauthorised Edition) have been pretty compelling so this gets a shot. Really should get Alexander though.
    From Hax, Nachtmeister & Subotan

    Jatte lambasts Calico Rat

  22. #112
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by Titus Marcellus Scato View Post
    Nice one! Let us know what it's like.
    Half way through vol. I (I only read it when travelling by train), I must say it's quite good. Doesn't talk about the battles itself, but does about strategy. It gives the general history of the warring diadochi and is a nice introduction to EB I and II's campaign. It tells exactly how the EB campaign came to be after big Al died. The books does a marvellous job at analyzing the main characters (Ptolemaios I soter, Cassander, Perdiccas, Eumenes, Antigonos, Pyrrhus,...) and illustrate well what kind of persons they were. But for those looking for in depth military analyses should pick up a different book.

  23. #113
    Member Member Ptolemaios's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I read the first vol. some time ago. I liked it very much, gave me some new insides of the diadochi.
    It also lights up some characters like Lysimachos, who doesnt get much attention (at least in the other books I read so far).
    If you are interrested in Hellenism I would highly recommend it

  24. #114
    Member Member TiberiusClaudiusMarcellus's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Not in period but I am reading "The Poetic Edda" as compiled by Lee M. Hollander.

    I play a Viking persona in a hobby of mine (www.belegarth.com) and it really gets me into the mood.

  25. #115
    Member Member Stark's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Has anyone read Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield? The book is fantastic, but is it realistic? Did he show Spartan society as correctly as he could with available information?

  26. #116
    Member Member Antiokhos II Theos's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Has anyone read or do they know where to get an electronic copy of "From Samarkhand to Sardis: A New Approach to the Seleucid Empire" by Susan Sherwin-White, Amelie Kuhrt, its very expensive and I can only get limited extracts



  27. #117
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    That's actually a book I'm looking for myself, I don't like to read it on a screen XD

    Here's the eBook on google :)

  28. #118
    Member Member Antiokhos II Theos's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Thank you very much. How much is missing? I mean due to copyright



  29. #119
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Arjos's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    It should be complete, I think the book went out of print...

  30. #120
    Member Member Antiokhos II Theos's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Even better, if only I could download it to an E reader! Thank you again...I think I saw it on amazon for 250- but it's always out of stock, but if its out of print that would explain it



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