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-The Jews in the Roman World- by Michael Grant

PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 12:30 am
by C.AeliusEricius
I know some people have issues with the late Mr. Grant. Some f those are his accuracy, or degree there of; I think others object to his works basically being for popular consumption. Though I do wish there were a true popular interest in Roman history. Al that is beside the point. I got this book because I wanted to learn about htat troublesom province. This book works. Considering what happened there and what things came out of that desert a number of the sources are biblical, as many are from Josephus, as well as some of the usual Roman suspects. I have the feeling that the other provinces and regions of the empire were governed, handled in the same style. Local potentates schemeing with and against each other and trying to use Rome and the emperoor of ht emomoent to further their own machinations. The Roman "colonial office" simply trying to keep things runing smoothly, revenues coming in, outside threats not being incouraged by apparent weakness in the area. The governor trying to make his name (and fortune) and not screw up badly enough to be recalled to explain himself in Rome. And poor Publius Miles Gregarius having to sort out the natives at halitosis range. I am nor at the beginning of the first Jewish revolt, so the real fun will begin, for my twisted tastes. I don't think I'll bother with the epilogue: "The Jews in the Christian Empire"; because I don't give a fica about that empire. I might takeon Mommsen's Provinces of the Roman Empire next, it'd been gathering dust in my library for a few years. But maybe I'll pick up somethign else. Maybe Bohec [again]. So many books, so little time.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:09 pm
by Quintus Pomponius Atticus
Just finished reading : M. Finley, Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology

In this thought-provoking study of slavery in ancient Greece and Italy, Sir Moses Finley discusses how slave societies came into being and considers the moral, social, and economic underpinnings that allowed them to prosper. His comparison of ancient slave societies with their relatively modern counterparts in the New World opens a new perspective on the history of slavery. Sir Moses' inquiry sheds light on the complex ways in which ideological interests affect historical interpretation.

Slaves have been exploited in most societies throughout human history, but there have been only five genuine slave societies, and of these, two were in antiquity: classical Greece and classical Italy. In this major new book, the distinguished historian Sir Moses Finley examines those two societies, not in isolation, but in comparison with the other, relatively modern slave societies of the New World.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 2:25 pm
by Quintus Pomponius Atticus
Bought last week at a second-hand book fair :

H.I. Marrou, A History of Education in Antiquity (back-cover)

Fustel de Coulanges, The Ancient City : A Study on the Religion, Laws and Institutions of Greece and Rome (back cover)


PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:07 am
by Quintus Pomponius Atticus
Two books by J. De Romilly (member of the Académie Française) :

Pourquoi la Grèce ("Why Greece ?") : a personal overview of why the literature, history and thought of Greece is still highly relevant to us today.

Alcibiade : a biography of this intriguing political figure of the 5th century BC.

As far as I know, these books have not been translated into English or other languages.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2005 7:38 pm
by Quintus Pomponius Atticus
A new acquisition/bargain : R.L. Fox, 'Alexander the Great'.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:44 am
by Curio Agelastus
Attice, please report your views on Fox's book - I have it on my bookshelf, but it's unlikely to get read soon - just too many other books that need to be read...

I'm currently reading the sci-fi series "Illuminatus", "Basic Polish: a Grammar and Workbook", "Understanding International Relations", and Walsh's commentary on the historiography of Livy.

A real Renaissance man, me. 8)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 7:15 pm
by Q. C. Locatus Barbatus
I was away for a reasonable amount of time, bit I try to jump in again in our little societas. I'm back from Berlin, and now I have some more spare time to dedicate to this community, although my English still will have to cope with German influences...

I even have time to read! I was reading a book from a famous Belgian author (na ja, famous in Belgium); Willem Elsschot (Tsjip and de Leeuwentemmer), and now I'm reading 'De gentse opstand 1449 - 1453', written by my brother. It's about the revolting city of Ghent, during its battle against the Dukes of Burgundy in 1449-1453. I hope it will be interesting, or I will confront my brother with his boring writing style!



PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 7:30 pm
by Aulus Dionysius Mencius
Salve, mi Locate.

Let me know what you think of your brother's book, will ya. I have seen it in a bookstore once, but it seemed heavy reading to me.

Vale optime.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2005 12:06 am
by Q. C. Locatus Barbatus
It is heavy reading. The first chapters are mainly about explaining the methods he used etc. I asked him if it continues that way, and he answered with a smile: 'Only the first 200 pages.' But it is not that bad or uninteresting, although hard to read.

Eagle in the Snow

PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:46 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Salvete Omnes,

I just finished reading "Eagle in the Snow" by Wallace Breem which was about Rome's fight in 407 against Germanic tribes which wanted to cross the Rhenus in the Mogontiacum area. What appealed to me was that the main figure, a general Maximus was a follower of Mithras and that there was not that much of the Christianity stuff like in classics such as "Ben Hur" or "Quo Vadis".

The next book I'll read is the fourth volume of the novels about the conquest of Britannia by Simon Scarrow. I loved the first three novels a lot.

As for non-fiction I'm reading a book called "Deutsch für Profis" which was actually written for journalists, but because I'm writing a novel I, too find it helpful and makes me think more about how to use my native tongue when writing.

PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2005 7:33 pm
by Quintus Pomponius Atticus
R. Syme, 'The Roman Revolution'.

The Roman Revolution is a profound and unconventional treatment of a great theme - the fall of the Republic and the decline of freedom in Rome between 60 BC and AD 14, and the rise to power of the greatest of the Roman Emperors, Augustus. The transformation of state and society, the violent transference of power and property, and the establishment of Augustus' rule are presented in an unconventional narrative, which quotes from ancient evidence, refers seldomly to modern authorities, and states controversial opinions quite openly. The result is a book which is both fresh and compelling.

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 3:50 pm
by Gnaeus Dionysius Draco
I am currently reading "Der Hofmeister" by Lenz. Not as boring as "Rasselas" by Samuel Johnson (which was insanely boring). And I thought the Greek patriarchs were boring when I was 16, hoho.

But no classical reading lately... I don't have time :(


PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 5:05 pm
by Horatius Piscinus
Salve Attice

Quintus Pomponius Atticus wrote:R. Syme, 'The Roman Revolution'.

The Roman Revolution is a profound and unconventional treatment of a great theme - the fall of the Republic and the decline of freedom in Rome between 60 BC and AD 14, and the rise to power of the greatest of the Roman Emperors, Augustus. The transformation of state and society, the violent transference of power and property, and the establishment of Augustus' rule are presented in an unconventional narrative, which quotes from ancient evidence, refers seldomly to modern authorities, and states controversial opinions quite openly. The result is a book which is both fresh and compelling.

I guess some people have issue with this work by Syme. It's a little old, 1939, but I like it and it is still referred to often, most often in argument against Syme's views.

Vale optime

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 5:25 pm
by Horatius Piscinus
Salvete mi amici et amicae

What I am currently reading is Geoffrey Wawro's The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-1871 and Audrey Cruse's Roman Medicine.

Wawro's book I am enjoying, although it seems misnamed. The way he presents it, the Germans did not conquer France so much as the French handed victory over out of shear stupidity and incompetence. He doesn't paint a favorable picture of the German corps officers either, criticising them for incompetence too, as though they just fumbled into victory. Moltke seems the only one Wawro liked. Wawro's idea that the Franco-Prussian through WW II is really one war fortunately does not come through in his narrative. Instead he looks at the action as it happened.

Cruse's book is a good little introduction to the subject. Although I think if anyone is interested in this topic that they would already know about Roman medicine to the point that she has little to offer that is new. I am only so far along though. The section on herbs is something that I would know about already as it is an interest of mine. The color photos are nice to have. The Roman water supply, sewer systems and baths, Greek and Egyptian medicine she skimmed through as an overview. i am still looking forward to the later sections to see what she has to offer.

Just light summer reading, getting ready for the next installment of Harry Potter.

Valete optime

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 8:09 pm
by Quintus Pomponius Atticus
I'm reading Helen Waddell's "The Wandering Scholars of the Middle Ages".

Widely acclaimed study of the makers and singers of medieval Latin poetry considers the works of such poet-scholars as Fortunatus, Abelard, and the colony of Irish scholars around Liège and Cologne. Other topics include the revival of learning in France, humanism during the first half of the 12th century, the archpoet, the scholars’ lyric, and the Carmina Burana.

More Helen Waddell

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2005 10:33 pm
by Aldus Marius

I have and love her other book, More Latin Lyrics. While maintaining the concentration on Medieval Latin, it includes selections from both earlier (i.e. Virgil) and later phases of the language. Latin and English versions of most songs are provided, and the selections themselves are delightfully casual and slice-of-life. This book was long one of my "Library favorites"; that being a book that I had out for so long, that the Library was very glad to hear that I'd gotten my own copy!

Still luvin' the fur off of it,

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:46 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Avete Amici,

As usual I'm reading two books, one non-fiction and one fiction book:

Poul & Karen Anderson: The King of Ys - I found the title of this kinda fantasy work on Marius' booklist at the Roman Outpost and since it sounded quite interesting so I ordered it. Actually it used to be four volumes (Roma Mater, Gallicenae, Dahut and Dog And Wolf) which I found now in one volume. It's about a centurion who is sent with a detachment by Magnus Clemens Maximus to Armorica to the city of Ys. By fighting the king of Ys he becomes king himself and has to find ways to satisfy the Ysans as well as Rome which he still serves as a soldier.

Yann Le Bohec: The Imperial Roman Army (original title L'Armée Romaine, sous le Haut-Empire) - This one was recommended to me by Ericius at the Roman Outpost when we discussed the topic of good books on the Roman Army. Since that is a topic I'm very interested in I followed his recommendation and ordered this book. It's really quite interesting and also easy to understand, not something for history students only.

Thanks to Marius and Ericius for these good book recommendations :D

PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:01 pm
by Quintus Pomponius Atticus
P. Lafargue, 'The Right to be Lazy'.

Paul Lafargue's masterpiece, The Right To Be Lazy, at once funny and serious, witty and profound, elegant and forceful, is a logical expansion of The Right to the Pursuit of Happiness announced by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence. It was not only extremely popular but also brought about pragmatic results, inspiring the movement for the eight-hour day and equal pay for men and women who perform equal work. It survives as one of the very few pieces of writing to come out of the international socialist movement of the nineteenth century that is not only readable-even enjoyable-but pertinent.

In the appendix, Lafargue refers to the classical ideal of 'otium' as well. You can read this short addendum here

De Libris

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:41 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Salvete, Sodales -

This thread was an engaging one and I quite enjoyed it when I discovered it a couple of years back. Now, as we begin the year 2008 AD/CE and approach April of the year 2761 AUC, shall we update it? Who's reading what? Amici, chime in, et Clarissimi et Humiliores, reveal a bit of YOUR reading diet, if you would, and let's have a little convivium legendorum.

I just finished A. Everett's book on Cicero while on vacation, and it seemed a decent study, although plainly Everett is a Cicero booster. Now I need to finally read some of the esteemed orator's speeches and his dialogs.

I have to start Livy at some point, too. In translation, no doubt, to allow me to get well into it before the 22nd century.

I started Seneca the Younger's Thyestes some while back, in the original, but I need to pick it up again; nonetheless, it's still in my bag, still on my list. It was suggested to us some time back (2006) by Iacobulus, and I'm irked that I haven't pressed forward with it.

I've also recently finished a bio of John Quincy Adams by Nagle, the material based on Adams' decades of diary entries. It's somewhat relevant here for John Quincy being a Latin reader himself, and a fan of Cicero - even if a number of us are Cicero critics.

I finished a modern treatment of Arrian's Handbook of Epictetus, "Art of Living" by Sharon Lebell. It's a popularization, and at times I wonder if she isn't sweetening it a bit too much. But it's still of value; and since I haven't finished reading the translation of the Discourses that I began before that, I'll return to that next. Epictetus has been quite a find for me; thank God Arrian preserved so much. (It occurs to me that twenty years ago I probably wouldn't have paid his work any attention.)

I have just picked up a general book on Rome by Anna Maria Liberati and Fabio Bourbon that is of the coffee-table sort, full of color plates, diagrams, a reconstruction of the Forum and so on. I'm taking a bath in it, you might say. Aerial photos of the forum, illos reconstructing Rome as though seen from on high with temples and basilica tall and pristine, and so on and so forth.

And then there're other titles at the library I want to get at, and others waiting here at home. And little time for it. And I've gotten back my appetite for fiction, too, these days, and so I've been reading old Abraham Merritt's The Metal Monster (an odd thing from the days of the pulps) and enjoying a modern but well-written fantasy novel by L. McMaster Bujold, The Curse of Chalion.

Verum, quid de vobis, sodales? Quid legitis?

PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:49 am
by Tarquinius Dionysius
I'm a slow reader myself. I usually read about one or two books per year. It's sad I know :) And the worst thing is that it usually takes that long too. I've got so much work to do I'm only able to read a few pages now and then. Currently:

Brian W. Jones:
The Emperor Domitian