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

  1. #181
    COYATOYPIKC Senior Member Flatout Minigame Champion Arjos'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 Ptolemaios View Post
    Does anybody know a decent book an Meroe? I just want something basic about their history,
    nothing too deep into the subject. My university´s library doesn´t offer much.A German book would be OK, too.
    Can't recommend it or anything (I'm trying to find a copy myself), but "The Kingdom of Kush: Handbook of the Napatan-Meroitic Civilization" by László Török seems to be the best around...
    Google books has the first 100ish pages in its preview, otherwise I've seen it at an incredibly high price or unavailable :S
    Last edited by Arjos; 11-26-2012 at 21:19.

  2. #182
    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

    Thanks for the info. I will definitely look into it.

  3. #183

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

    I am actually glad the mod isn't finished yet, as I am waiting to get around to reading The Attalids of Pergamon by Esther Hansen. It was a bit on the pricey side, but it was the most full treatment of the people I could find. I am a slow reader though, so if the release date is somehow magically linked to when I finish the book, don't expect the mod to be done until early next year

  4. #184
    Athena's favorite Member {V.O.D}_Quetzalcoatl's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Mommsen's History of Rome. Already read the first lines and I am mesmerized. Put to it some ancient roman music, and spell is cast.
    Quetzalcóatl, The Feathered Serpent.
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  5. #185
    ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΟΣ Member kdrakak's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Antigonos the One-Eyed and the Creation of the Hellenistic State (Hellenistic Culture and Society) by Richard Willows. I was looking for Seleukos Nikator but could only find used and pricy... I am looking for some insight on the early years after Alexander's death.
    -Silentium... mandata captate; non vos turbatis; ordinem servate; bando sequute; memo demittat bandum et inimicos seque;
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  6. #186
    Member Member Seer7's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    The Tactics of Aelian - Christopher Matthew
    A Storm of Spears: Understanding the Greek Hoplite in Action - Christopher Matthew
    Men of Bronze - Donald Kagan and Gregory E. Viggiano (eds.)
    Greek and Macedonian Land Battles of the 4th Century B.C.: A History and Analysis of 187 Engagements - Fred Eugene Ray Jr.

    Thinking about these ones. From what I understand Matthew has made quite a stir with Storm of Spears, as he challenges the traditional literature on the practicals of Hoplite warfare using empirical analysis and re-enactors, amongst other things. So really, that and Men of Bronze would have to be read together to get a good idea of the field at this point in time, for an outsider. If anyone has the time, I'd like to hear a perspective on what impact Matthew has had on the field since his book was published last year.

  7. #187
    Krusader's Nemesis Member abou'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 kdrakak View Post
    Antigonos the One-Eyed and the Creation of the Hellenistic State (Hellenistic Culture and Society) by Richard Willows. I was looking for Seleukos Nikator but could only find used and pricy... I am looking for some insight on the early years after Alexander's death.
    The Legacy of Alexander, Bosworth, Oxford
    Between High and Low, Boiy, VerlagAntike


  8. #188
    ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΟΣ Member kdrakak'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 Seer7 View Post
    The Tactics of Aelian - Christopher Matthew
    Which Aelian would this be?
    -Silentium... mandata captate; non vos turbatis; ordinem servate; bando sequute; memo demittat bandum et inimicos seque;
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  9. #189
    Member Member Seer7's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th


  10. #190
    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 kdrakak View Post
    Antigonos the One-Eyed and the Creation of the Hellenistic State (Hellenistic Culture and Society) by Richard Willows. I was looking for Seleukos Nikator but could only find used and pricy... I am looking for some insight on the early years after Alexander's death.
    The Wars of Alexander's Successors 323BC-281BC (2 volumes), BENNETT & ROBERTS, Barnsley, 2008.

    Not the most academic work out there but I found it presented the early history and confrontations between his "successors" very clearly, for what is a rather chaotic part in history.

  11. #191
    The Rhetorician Member Skullheadhq's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Lucan - Pharsalia

    Don't know if it really counts, though.

  12. #192
    ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΟΣ Member kdrakak's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    antiochus the great by michael taylor
    -Silentium... mandata captate; non vos turbatis; ordinem servate; bando sequute; memo demittat bandum et inimicos seque;
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  13. #193
    Krusader's Nemesis Member abou's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Eh, I would avoid anything by Pen and Sword. I mean, come on -- just look at the cover: it has the RTW vanilla Seleukid faction icon on it.


  14. #194
    Hellpuppy unleashed Member Subedei's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Arrowstorm by Richard Wadge. Bit off topic, yet if one wants to get into the subject this is a superb read. Lots bout economical backround, pay, motivation and live of the archers. Plus the logistics of supply.
    “Some may never live, but the crazy never die” (Hunter S. Thompson)

  15. #195
    ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΟΣ Member kdrakak'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 abou View Post
    Eh, I would avoid anything by Pen and Sword. I mean, come on -- just look at the cover: it has the RTW vanilla Seleukid faction icon on it.
    True... it would seem they have a particular target group in mind. I did however read Pyrhus of Epirus and that was excellent light reading. If Antiochos is anything like that I do not think I'll regret buying and reading it. After all I did just finish the Odyssey....
    -Silentium... mandata captate; non vos turbatis; ordinem servate; bando sequute; memo demittat bandum et inimicos seque;
    Parati!
    -Adiuta...
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    Completed EB Campaigns on VH/M: ALL... now waiting for EB2!

  16. #196
    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

    Aperghis, G, G. 'The Seleukid Royal Economy' (2004) Cambridge.
    With regard to the above conversation about Pen and Sword books they are most often written by experts in their fields, at least the ones I have read. They are aimed at general reader, not an academic- never the less they do have bibliography and references. I find them light reading and entertaining, usually read one in on a Sunday afternoon.

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk



  17. #197
    ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΟΣ Member kdrakak'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 abou View Post
    Eh, I would avoid anything by Pen and Sword. I mean, come on -- just look at the cover: it has the RTW vanilla Seleukid faction icon on it.
    Just got my book.... and the icon is not on it... It only appeared that way online.
    -Silentium... mandata captate; non vos turbatis; ordinem servate; bando sequute; memo demittat bandum et inimicos seque;
    Parati!
    -Adiuta...
    -...DEUS!!!

    Completed EB Campaigns on VH/M: ALL... now waiting for EB2!

  18. #198
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky'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 Seer7 View Post
    Greek and Macedonian Land Battles of the 4th Century B.C.: A History and Analysis of 187 Engagements - Fred Eugene Ray Jr.
    How was this book? I have the 5th century version and while the overall narrative is good, the actual battles descriptions work out like math problems and statistical averages. Someone at Amazon compared the writing to weather reports. I'd guess he's right as its usually 2 walls of spearmen meet with some multiple of 5% casualties on each side plus some multiple of 5% extra casualties on retreat. A good read but makes you wonder if the author wasn't just copy/pasting excel formulas and plugging in new numbers every few pages.

    I'm also quite frustrated that the author insists on using his own numbers.

    Edit:

    Okay, I fished reading the Land Battles in 5th Century BC Greece: A History and Analysis of 173 Engagements by Fred Eugene Ray Jr. It gets much better once we reach the start of the two Peloponnessian Wars, particularly after the start of the Achidamian War (probably better sources).

    What I liked:
    +All battles are framed in their strategic context. The author is able to paint really good pictures of how the battles fit into the overall strategy of the city-states involved.
    +This book is an EXCELLENT and mostly complete reference for all tactial deployments during this period.
    +The writing is easy to follow and understand. It's quite addictive to follow the chains of events.

    What I did not like:
    +The author's basis for estimating army size and what is and isn't an exaggerated number is from military records rather than population estimate. For example he estimates Athen's military population at 13,000 at its zenith before the invasion of Syracuse. However, this is actually the number of hoplites Athens could afford to field logistically and financially.* In fact, it seems that Hoplite armies maxed out around 14K much like medieval armies did due to command control reasons. The battle of Plataea for example degenerated into three or four different engagements and it was fairly common for the center and wings of large hoplite armies to separate from each other and go off on their own to chase their routing opponents and such.
    +Because of the above, the author ignores numbers supplied by ancient historians which are internally consistent and not outside the realm of possibility. The most obvious cases are the numeric estimates for certain Italian states which he constrains to around 10K from 20K despite Italy having more arable land than mountainous Greece. In another case, the author reduces two instances of an 9000 man army fielding by a city to 6000 because the author does not want to break with his own internal model of hoplite recruiting (600 man tribal contingents) despite these cities being located in Italy. Overall somewhat bizarre and confusing but doesn't impact the work other than annoying the hell out of you.

    *The citizen body of Athens wealthy enough to equip themselves as hoplites was something like 40K and their total population was somewhere in the realm of 200K to 500K including foreigners slaves when there wasn't a plague. While the author enforces his numbers, the numbers seem to be inaccurate given there's no way you could recover and field 7K hoplites as well as a brand new navy three years after losing all but 3K and a huge amount of rowers and triremes unless it was a financial rather than man power cap on the size of the military forces.

    What I expected/wanted but didn't have (I split these criticisms since its not fair to criticize the book for this):
    +The author neglects to introduce notable people of this era. Emphasizing when X came onto the scene, what their background was, and then they died would be nice. As it is, people with names tend to show up, disappear, and reappear without fanfare and it makes it hard to follow sometimes.
    +The same goes for major events such as the great plague of Athens that just seems to be forgotten about.
    +Could have used more illustrated maps.
    +The author doesn't seem to have a good model of hoplite combat, mentions of 'Othismos' might as well be referring to The Force. Othismos is only one part of hoplite combat which mostly likely only took place after enough spears were broken and one formation thought it had won enough of an advantage to punch through the enemy phalanx. The author skips the likely longer period of spear fighting with little shield to shield contact.

    Overall a good book despite some failings I mentioned.
    Last edited by antisocialmunky; 11-03-2013 at 08:39.
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  19. #199
    ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΟΣ Member kdrakak's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Finished Antiochus the Great. Excellent light reading as expected. I recommend it to anyone specifically interested in Antiochus III's "career". A last short chapter discusses the years following the Battle of Magnesia and the unwinding of the Kingdom and raises some interesting points. It's nothing new but if one is interested in getting the Seleucids story straight (hellenistic histories are a bit of a mess) this book is enough for the second half. Find one for the Seleykos Nikator (better yet Antigonos Monophthalmos) to Antiochos III period and you are done.

    On another note, I am looking for something to read on Bactria, Hellenistic and later. All I find is Frank Holt's books and other very old ones. Any suggestions? Has anybody read any of Holt's books?
    -Silentium... mandata captate; non vos turbatis; ordinem servate; bando sequute; memo demittat bandum et inimicos seque;
    Parati!
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  20. #200
    Member Member The Gypsy's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Hey all

    Does anyone know any good books about the nomads like the Sauromatae or the Saka? I would be quite interested to learn about them or any of the groups on the Eurasian steppe around this period.

    Cheers

  21. #201
    Member Member MButcher'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 kdrakak View Post
    On another note, I am looking for something to read on Bactria, Hellenistic and later. All I find is Frank Holt's books and other very old ones. Any suggestions? Has anybody read any of Holt's books?
    Sidky's The Greek Kingdom of Bactria: from Alexander to Eucratides the Great is an excellent read. I highly recommend it. The only drawback is that, as the title suggests, he emphasizes the Bactrian kings and does not discuss the later Indo-Greeks in much detail.

  22. #202
    ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΟΣ Member kdrakak's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    Thank you I think it will do.
    -Silentium... mandata captate; non vos turbatis; ordinem servate; bando sequute; memo demittat bandum et inimicos seque;
    Parati!
    -Adiuta...
    -...DEUS!!!

    Completed EB Campaigns on VH/M: ALL... now waiting for EB2!

  23. #203

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

    I'm currently reading the Project Gutenberg Ebook of "De Bello Gallico", by "the dude you all know".
    Do anyone know of other free ebooks from classical authors around? I'm quite interested in reading the Parallel Lives of Plutarch.



  24. #204
    Krusader's Nemesis Member abou's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    I just picked up Frank Holt's new book Lost world of the Golden King. It has some good reviews and am excited to start it.


  25. #205
    Member Member clone's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    i thing i am going to buy this The Greeks: Their Life and Customs E. Guhl (Author), W. Koner (Author)

  26. #206
    ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΟΣ Member kdrakak'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 abou View Post
    I just picked up Frank Holt's new book Lost world of the Golden King. It has some good reviews and am excited to start it.
    Please let us know what you think of it. I bought the one with the elephant medallions and it should be in by this week. I kind of get the feeling they will all be pretty similar, being based on the same evidence more or less. This is just what I expect. I hope to be proved wrong.
    -Silentium... mandata captate; non vos turbatis; ordinem servate; bando sequute; memo demittat bandum et inimicos seque;
    Parati!
    -Adiuta...
    -...DEUS!!!

    Completed EB Campaigns on VH/M: ALL... now waiting for EB2!

  27. #207
    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 kdrakak View Post
    Please let us know what you think of it. I bought the one with the elephant medallions and it should be in by this week. I kind of get the feeling they will all be pretty similar, being based on the same evidence more or less. This is just what I expect. I hope to be proved wrong.
    you would be surprised on how diferent authors interpret stuff so diferently

  28. #208
    ΤΑΞΙΑΡΧΟΣ Member kdrakak'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 moonburn View Post
    you would be surprised on how diferent authors interpret stuff so diferently
    actually it's the same author
    -Silentium... mandata captate; non vos turbatis; ordinem servate; bando sequute; memo demittat bandum et inimicos seque;
    Parati!
    -Adiuta...
    -...DEUS!!!

    Completed EB Campaigns on VH/M: ALL... now waiting for EB2!

  29. #209
    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 kdrakak View Post
    actually it's the same author
    i learned in college to consult 3 diferent enciclopedias before making a statement wich suported my arguments (given that wikipedia was the 1st one i used you can understand how some information could make me look like a conspiracy crazy theorist and grant me a c for "originality" )

    i´m currently looking for a book that talks about the divinity´s i had found it free online but the next day my old computer broke and i can´t recall the title the version i was reading was free for all in wikipedia

  30. #210
    Member Member clone's Avatar
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    Default Re: What history book are you reading or planning to read?/ The history bookreview th

    The Persian Empire: A Corpus of Sources from the Achaemenid Period

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