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Ace Cataphract
HG Alumnus
(id: Ace_Cataphract)
posted 02-26-06 11:12 PM EDT (US)         
This thread is essentially a place where you can talk about historical books you are presently reading or ask for book recommendations. You can recommend ANY (good) history book.

I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed. ~George Carlin

[This message has been edited by Kor (edited 07-26-2008 @ 10:23 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
NA Lord Blaine
Ashigaru
posted 02-26-06 11:21 PM EDT (US)     1 / 212       
For a short (367 pages) bibliography on all the Roman Emperors from 31 BC - 476 AD I recomend The Roman Emperors, A biblographical Giude to The Rulers of Imperial Rome 31 BC - AD 476 by Michael Grant.

Ace, maybe in the topic post keeping a list of books and what they are about would be a good idea.

Such as:

Years - Peoples/regions/places - Author - Title

31BC to 476AD - Roman Empire - Michael Grant - The Roman Emperors, A biblographical Giude to The Rulers of Imperial Rome 31 BC - AD 476


(- ₤ o r d B l a i n Ʃ -)
RTWH | ETWH | OD [ Hark Upon the Gale ] [¯¯¯¯¯]†λ†[¯¯¯¯¯]
«Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.»
~Albert Einstein

[This message has been edited by NA Lord Blaine (edited 02-26-2006 @ 11:22 PM).]

Temur
HG Alumnus
(id: Gaiseric)
posted 02-27-06 02:11 AM EDT (US)     2 / 212       
Been waiting for a thread like this a long time.

For those interested in finding out more about great Roman generals, I would recommend Adrian Goldsworthy's In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire. Those featured include such luminaries as Fabius, Marius, Africanus, Pompey, Caesar and Corbulo, along with lesser-known figures such as Septimus Severus, who waged a skilful guerilla campaign in Spain for years against mounting odds. An excellent, succint read.

Goldsworthy has also produced a superb book on the Punic Wars called, uh, The Punic Wars. It is a comprehensive account of all three Punic Wars, replete with information on the weapons, tactics, generals and major actions of all three conflicts, complete with battlefield diagrams and excellent general narratives of the courses of all three wars. Highly recommended for anyone who wishes to learn about the Punic Wars.

Another author of note would be Tom Holland, whose work Rubicon: Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic is a superb narrative account of the Roman Republic's dying decades - presented as a vast, sweeping drama where great men such as Caesar, Pompey, Crassus and Octavian play out their tragic roles on the stage of the Mediterranean. His other historical work, Persian Fire, is an equally dramatic account of the Achmaenid Persian Empire from its founding to its invasion of Greece and defeat by the Greek city-states. Both make for excellent reading and are highly recommended for anyone with an interest in classical history.


"War does not decide who is right... only who is left." -Bertrand Russell
Furius Venator
Ashigaru
posted 02-27-06 03:25 AM EDT (US)     3 / 212       
Syme's classic 'The Roman Revolution' is highly readable (for a work of 'proper' scholarship), full of dry asides and useful and sometimes surprising insights into the workings of the late republic. It is a political history from Sulla to Augustus with little or no military details but it would be folly to ignore it for that reason. An absolute belter.

'Rubicon' by Hammond is a very readable narrative history of the late republic. Good for those who know little about the period. After reading it though, read Syme.

Peter Green's biography of Alexander the Great is probably the most readable (and one of the most contentious).

As Ace says, anything by Xenephon is good. Polybius and Thucydides were also military men and tended to have 'done their homework'.

Keegan's 'The Face of Battle', though not dealing with the ancient period in any detail does enlighten one considerably as to the problems of 'battle narratives'. His equally good 'Mask of Command' has a considerable sectin devoted to Alexander.


Civile, si ergo fortibusis in ero. Vassis inem causan dux. Gnossis vile demsis trux.

[This message has been edited by Furius Venator (edited 02-27-2006 @ 09:54 AM).]

GLORYOFSPARTA
Seraph (in absentia)
posted 02-27-06 07:54 AM EDT (US)     4 / 212       
Lawrence Keppie's Making of the Roman Army: From Republic to Empire is a must-read for anyone with an interest in the military aspects of the Roman Republic and the first decades of the Empire. Not only does it cover the development of the army over 700 years, there's also an outline of the Civil War and Caesar's conquest of Gaul.

EDIT: Hey I'll sticky this!


GLORYOFSPARTA | RTWH and M2TWH Site Director, AoMH Game Information Admin, HeavenGames LLC
AoMH | RTWH | M2TWH | Ancient Greek Festival - 3rd to 4th of June in Watford, UK, 2006.
"Whoever obeys the gods, to him they particularly listen." - Homer
"GoS OWNS for being female and liking The Simpsons and Rammstein." - Crazed Ewok

[This message has been edited by GloryofSparta (edited 02-27-2006 @ 07:54 AM).]

Furius Venator
Ashigaru
posted 02-27-06 10:02 AM EDT (US)     5 / 212       

'Persia and the Greeks' by Burn is excellent as an introduction to the Persian Wars, having large sections devoted to the wars in the west and to Persian history as well as dealing with the attempts to bring mainland Greece to heel.

'The Roman Imperial Army' by Webster is probably as useful as Keppie.

Connolly's 'Greece and Rome at War' is erratic in its historical coverage but contains a wealth of information about ancient arms and armour. Everyone should have a copy of this (and of Syme's 'Roman Revolution' mentioned above).


Civile, si ergo fortibusis in ero. Vassis inem causan dux. Gnossis vile demsis trux.
Legio Yow
Ashigaru
posted 02-27-06 07:29 PM EDT (US)     6 / 212       
Nice sticky.

Does this include historical fiction? because I put a few in there.

Has anyone read Xenphon's "The Education of Cyrus"?

First off, if you haven't read "I, Claudius" by Robert Graves, do so now. It is not only arguably the greatest work of historical fiction ever, it is one of the greatest book written in the 20th century, if not the whole English language.

Candide is Voltaires classic tale of, well, Candide. It is very funny and interesting. One irrepressable Optimist's journey through Enlightenment Europe and the colonies.

For history essays disguised as fiction, the Ancient Roman stories of Steven Saylor's are pretty good. The Steven Saylor books are pretty dumb at first, but they can grow on you. They aren't great literature, but they can be plenty of fun.

For the "of course" catagory, you have the Fagles transaltion of "The Iliad", the Penguin Classics "The Persian Expedition" (Anabasis), and all of the plays by the Greek playwrights Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and especially Aristophanes (He grants true insight into the way Athenian society works). For Aristophanes, check out The Birds or Lysistrata first.

Suetonius, while not the most reputable source (My teacher aptly calls him "The People Magazine of Ancient Rome"), is a ton of fun, and interesting too. Graves' translation.

For a great introductory book on Hannibal, check out "Hannibal: Enemy of Rome", of whom the author's name escapes me.

My top nonfiction recomendation goes to Theodore Ayrault Dodge's "Hannibal". Just read it.


"That which we call a nose can still smell!"
-Reduced Shakespeare Company

"Abroad, French transit workers attempt to end a strike, only to discover that they have forgotten how to operate the trains. Everybody enjoys a hearty laugh and returns to the café." -Dave Barry

[This message has been edited by Legio Yow (edited 02-27-2006 @ 07:41 PM).]

NA Lord Blaine
Ashigaru
posted 02-27-06 09:01 PM EDT (US)     7 / 212       
Sweet, he took my idea!

Quote:

Does this include historical fiction? because I put a few in there.


They should be specified so we know which ones, and don't accidentally use it as fact (I think you did specify though). I will add a couple historical fiction ones later.

(- ₤ o r d B l a i n Ʃ -)
RTWH | ETWH | OD [ Hark Upon the Gale ] [¯¯¯¯¯]†λ†[¯¯¯¯¯]
«Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.»
~Albert Einstein
Furius Venator
Ashigaru
posted 02-28-06 02:05 AM EDT (US)     8 / 212       
Ace: Holland, not Hammond for Rubicon. My mistake...

Civile, si ergo fortibusis in ero. Vassis inem causan dux. Gnossis vile demsis trux.
Dricus Frisii
Ashigaru
posted 02-28-06 02:06 PM EDT (US)     9 / 212       
Greeks/Macedonians/Persians - Herodotus "The History"

I just bought it and currently reading it, it's great especially when you want to learn more about the Persian history / culture and of their neighbours...
It's also available at "Project Gutenberg":
part 1
part 2


GdB


"The story of our life, in the end, is not our life, it is our story" - Americano
Ad furore Dutchmannorum libera nos domine - Ace Cataphract
Furius Venator
Ashigaru
posted 03-02-06 02:55 PM EDT (US)     10 / 212       
Good books for details of the Late Republican Army (though most cover a wider period of time).

'The Roman War Machine' by Peddie (excellent on logistics, command/control, the value of the marching camps and other arcana. Really one for the total Roman army geeks, but fascinating).

'The Making of the Roman Army' by Keppie (solid work containing a goodly amount of useful information).

'Greece and Rome at War' by Connolly (well illustrated. One of the best works for seeing what the weapons and armour really looked like. The text is useful but secondary).

'Caesar's Legion' by Dando-Collins (a history of Legio X. A mine of information but some of it, especially his theories on where units were raised and how long the legionaries served, are in direct contradiction of Keppie and some literary and archeological evidence. Read with a sceptical eye and AFTER reading Keppie, it's useful).

'The Civil War' and 'The Gallic War' by Caesar (straight from the horses mouth. Good for insight into how a general commanded and the vital importance of the centurians. Also revealing as to how little FIGHTING actually went on in ancient battles and how the actions of a few brave men tended to decide unit on unit combats).

'The Complete Roman Army' by Goldsworthy (lavishly illustrated, but beware, most of the illustrations are of imperial, not republican troops, and contains a vasty fund of interesting snippets regarding recruitment, pay etc. One buys Connolly mainly for the illustrations but this book largely for the text. That said, several drawings are very illuminating).

'The Roman Army at War', also by Goldsworthy (esential, though it might be better to read Keppie first if your knowledge of the legions is limited. Basically it is 'The Face of Battle' but written about the Roman legions. There is no higher praise than that...)


Civile, si ergo fortibusis in ero. Vassis inem causan dux. Gnossis vile demsis trux.

[This message has been edited by Furius Venator (edited 03-03-2006 @ 08:37 AM).]

Furius Venator
Ashigaru
posted 03-03-06 09:06 AM EDT (US)     11 / 212       
And for the political history of the late republic:

Obviously there are hundreds of books about this period. These are just the ones that I’ve found the most illuminating in one way or another.

Rubicon by Holland. Probably the best introduction to the period. Pacy, witty and informative. Narrative history at its best.

The Roman revolution by Syme. Harder work than Holland and not that suitable as an introduction. But utterly superb. It strips bare the façade of the Roman constitution revealing the naked struggle for power between individuals, families and factions. This book tells you how power in Rome was really wielded. One of the best books (of any sort) that I have ever read. A must for anyone truly interested in the period.

The Conspiracy of Catiline by Hutchinson. One of the better books dealing with a relatively poorly understood, but important, incident.

Cicero: a Political Biography by Stockton. The most interesting of the numerous works on this rather tragic and slightly pathetic individual.

Pompey: a Political Biography by Seager.

Marcus Crassus, Millionaire by Adcock

Gaius Marius: a Political Biography by Evans

I’ve never found a decent biography of Sulla…

The ancient biographer, Plutarch is a fairly good read but it is important to avoid taking the more outrageous tittle tattle he relates as being the whole truth. Political invective flourished in a state with no laws of libel or slander. Accusing your opponents of dubious conduct (especially of a sexual nature) was a standard tactic. It’s entertaining but often exaggerated or just plain lies (sadly).

The comments pertaining to Plutarch go doubly for Suetonius.

Cicero’s speeches and correspondence are good reading too. The man may have been a pompous, spineless windbag with the political sense of a retarded donkey but he’s a superb eye witness to great events.

And Ace, it's Furius, not Furious.... a minor point (and I admit I chose the name for it's ambiguity) but the Furii were an ancient Roman family, the furious tend to congregate in the baths...

Amusingly the first recorder member of the family (consul in 484 BC) was Spurius Furius (or spurious furious as we'd tend to pronounce his name in English. Their most distinguished member was probably Marcus Furius Camillus, a successful general and one of the (many) saviours of Rome.


Civile, si ergo fortibusis in ero. Vassis inem causan dux. Gnossis vile demsis trux.

[This message has been edited by Furius Venator (edited 03-04-2006 @ 07:21 AM).]

Dricus Frisii
Ashigaru
posted 03-03-06 09:49 AM EDT (US)     12 / 212       

Quote:

Be warned, most historians agree that Herodutus' preciseness isn't something to wager on when measuring his facts


lol, but you're right about that.

GdB


"The story of our life, in the end, is not our life, it is our story" - Americano
Ad furore Dutchmannorum libera nos domine - Ace Cataphract
Cordyceps
Naphal
(id: ArchDruid)
posted 03-03-06 05:38 PM EDT (US)     13 / 212       
Greeks and Persians:
Persian Fire, by Tom Holland
The Spartans, by Paul Cartledge
The Wars of the Ancient Greeks, by Victor Davis Hanson

Rome and the barbarians:
The Fall of the Roman Empire, by Peter Heather
The Enemies of Rome, by Philip Matyszak
The Battle that Stopped Rome, by Peter S Wells

Byzantium:
A Short History of Byzantium, by John Julius Norwich

sorry if a couple of these are repeated, don't have time to actually look through the thread at this moment.

[This message has been edited by ArchDruid (edited 03-03-2006 @ 05:39 PM).]

D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 03-04-06 01:03 PM EDT (US)     14 / 212       
Some fiction:

Greek:
Gates of Fire by Pressfield. The Thermopylae campaign as seen through the eyes of a Helot. Excellent with plenty of the detail solidly grounded in historical fact. The events are somewhat dramatised, but then it's fiction...

Roman:
I Claudius and Claudius the God by Graves. These are very convincingly done. One might easily mistake them for genuine memoirs. Lots of solid fact and a few good theories (eg Agrippa Postumus as a maligned hero rather than the ogre that he is commonly thought to be).Count Belisarius I found hard going but late Roman buffs will likely enjoy it.

Augustus and Caesar by Massie. Equally good as Graves but rather more modern in language (Graves consciously apes a Roman style). I know several people who think Augustus is really the memoirs of the great man! He has written two others Tiberius and Nero which are nearly as good.

Victorian:
The Flashman series by Macdonald Fraser. Hugely enjoyable tales of a Victorian rogue. The history is impeccable (bar the actions of Flashman). These really are brilliant. Get them all. In fact anything by Macdonald Fraser is worth reading. He is THE absolute master of historical fiction. If you want to know what it was like on the Retreat form Kabul or how Britain crushed the Borneo pirates, or any of a host of other lesser and greater campaigns, Flashman was at nearly every major battle or campaign of Victorian times (including the US Civil War, where naturally he serves on both sides, and the Little Big Horn) and not a few lesser ones (the foray into Abyssinia in the 1880s for instance).


Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.

[This message has been edited by D Furius Venator (edited 03-05-2006 @ 10:13 AM).]

Argo
Ashigaru
posted 03-06-06 05:20 AM EDT (US)     15 / 212       
Man, I'm surprised only one person recommended Pressfield. Of course, though, it would be Furius. Bravo, exemplar of the Furii.

I'd also recommend:

"The Western Way of War" by Victor David Hanson (an incredibly vivid, insightful manifestation of what a hoplite battle actually entailed from the march out to the aftermath. Of course, such detail is conjecture, but you'll be hard pressed to find a better source).

"A War Like No Other" also by VDH (his recounting of the Peloponnesian War).

"Warfare in the Classical World" by John Gibson Warry and John Warry (Much like "Greece and Rome at War", this large book is useful mainly for its pictures and battle diagrams).

"Greek and Macedonian Art of War" by Frank E. Adcock (An oldy but goldy, this thin pocket book is a compilation of insightful lectures on everything from siege warfare to naval combat. Light but useful).

As for fiction, well, I'm biased. I confess the only author ever to hold my attention was Steven Pressfield. No one else comes close in my opinion. Aside from the obvious one, "Gates of Fire", I particularly loved the following:

"Tides of War" by Steven Pressfield (details the rise and fall of Alcibiades in the Peloponnesian War as told through the eyes of the mercenary who killed him. This one's a bit noirish for most people's tastes because there are no real heroes in the story. But that's why I loved it; everyone was real, tangible, and human. The highlight of the work is Pressfield's description of the disaster at Syracuse).

"The Virtues of War" by Steven Pressfield (first hand narration of Alexander the Great's exploits as transcribed by one of his captains. Pressfield does the impossible by painting Alexander as a truly noble--if flawed--hero. The writing is vivid, succinct, and intuitive. A must have for any Alexander-philes out there).

I'd recommend Pressfield's "Last of the Amazons" for its description of that fabled female warrior horse-culture, but the story is a bit weak in my mind. Still, if you're interested in the Amazons, it's an eye-opener).


"All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?"

"Sometimes, a view from sinless eyes,
Centers our perspective and pacifies our cries..."

Legio Yow
Ashigaru
posted 03-09-06 12:39 PM EDT (US)     16 / 212       
New one:

Machiavelli's The Prince. Historically, it uses examples from Greece, Rome, the Bible, the Middle Ages, and especially contemporary Italy. Apart from history, it is also facinating political science, as well as the first book of its kind.


"That which we call a nose can still smell!"
-Reduced Shakespeare Company

"Abroad, French transit workers attempt to end a strike, only to discover that they have forgotten how to operate the trains. Everybody enjoys a hearty laugh and returns to the café." -Dave Barry
Porphyrogenitus
Ashigaru
posted 03-09-06 07:52 PM EDT (US)     17 / 212       
For those who are interested in further reading about the ERE/Byzantines, I'm posting a list here; it includes both general histories and more specialized investigations.

- John Julius Norwich's Byzantium trilogy (3 volume set, rather) is pretty good.

- Maurice's Strategikon, translated by George Dennis, is invaluable for anyone interested in their military.

- A History of Byzantium by Timothy E. Gregory is more of a textbook style.

- First Crusader, by Geoffrey Regan, looks at holy war and Byzantium, with a focus on Heraclius.

- Averil Cameron has a whole slew of books, focusing on the earlier period (Late Antiquity), basically from Diocletian/Constantine to Heraclius and the rise of Islam.

- The Oxford History of Byzantium is pretty good as a survey.

- Byzantium, by Baynes and Moss, is an older introduction to the ERE.

- Warren Treadgold has a large body of work, that is still expanding. Among them is Byzantium and Its Army, 284-1081.

- John Haldon is another prolific scholar, with Warfare, State, and Society in the Byzantine World: 565-1204 and Byzantium at War: AD 600-1453.

There are a bunch of other books, too; these are just some of my own personal library.

MisplacedPope
Ashigaru
(id: misplacedgeneral)
posted 03-09-06 07:57 PM EDT (US)     18 / 212       
i didnt see it down, so im going to say

CEASERS GALLIC WARS
and
CEASERS CIVIL WAR

very well written, theires many translations though

Also one of the many translation of Shun Tzu

EDIT

Also

Fighting Techniques of the Medieval World: is good

goes form AD 500 to AD 1500

Mather Bennet, Jim Bradbury, Kelly DeVries, Iain Dickie, amd Phyllis Jestice


"It's not true. Some have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that's their story. Good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you're that pissed that so many others had it good." Jack Nicholson

[This message has been edited by misplacedgeneral (edited 03-09-2006 @ 08:00 PM).]

Andariel
Banned
posted 03-16-06 05:27 PM EDT (US)     19 / 212       
A bit disappointed not to see her here, but a bit relieved so that I can be the one to recommend her

Colleen McCullough (historical fiction but VERY accurate):

The First Man in Rome: Chronicles Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla's rise to power and the conflicts they best together. Chronicles 10 years, Marius's first six Consulships, the war with Jugurtha and Numidia/Mauretania, and the Germans.

The Grass Crown: Continues the story, with an aging and ailing Gaius Marius seeking his prophesied seventh Consulship, but now meeting more resistance, as well as his new rival Lucius Cornelius Sulla.

Fortune's Favorites: Continues the story, this time introducing the young Gaius Julius Caesar, making his way up the military ladder. Marius is dead and Sulla is dictator

Caesar's Women: Continues the story, chronicling Caesar's women (obviously) and their affect on his life, his wives, daughters, etc. Takes place in the early 60s BC

Caesar: Continues the story, this time hitting upon the more legendary Caesar and his Gallic campaigns. Pompey defies him and Caesar is outlawed, and the civil war begins. Ends with Pompey arriving in Egypt only to be betrayed and killed.

The October Horse: Concludes the story, showing Caesar arriving in Egypt and his relationship with Cleopatra, as well as the issues in the Senate. Ends with Caesar's death at the hands of the conspirators, and all that stuff.

Be warned that each of these books is at least 1000 pages each, plus a VERY helpful hundred page glossary in the back. She doesn't do many battles, and doesn't go into the details of personal combat, but she expertly does politics and socialness excellently.

The events in "Caesar" and "The October Horse" are pretty much already legend, and have been chronicled in HBO's "Rome" as well. Titus Pullo and Lucius Verinus are in the books as well.


Her portrayals of Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla are seamless, and utterly human. I LOVE the way she portrays Sulla as bordering on the Caligulan before he has to hide his past with three perfectly executed murders.

I also recommend, chronicling the same events, though slightly different, and more from the personal point of view of Caesar, and with battle scenes!:

Conn Iggulden (historical fiction)

Emperor: The Gates of Rome: Tells the story of Gaius Julius Caesar and his early friendship with Marcus Junius Brutus, from childhood, all the way to their sudden thrust into adulthood after Gaius's father is killed and they must seek out Caesar's uncle Marius to help them.

Emperor: The Death of Kings: Continues the story, treading into more known territory here, with Caesar and Brutus's rise in the political ladder, their relationship with Pompey, and the storm from the north, a slave rebellion lead by a Thracian named Spartacus

Emperor: The Field of Swords: Continues the story, with Caesar and Brutus fighting in Britain, while their political adversaries grow back in Rome.


Another entry to the series is due out in April this year, too. The reviews say that Iggulden does for Caesar what Robert Graves did for Claudius. And another one said if you liked "Gladiator" (the movie), you'll love these books.

Ace Cataphract
HG Alumnus
(id: Ace_Cataphract)
posted 03-17-06 00:23 AM EDT (US)     20 / 212       
I'm very sorry I'm not putting all of these recommendations in the topic post. It's not that I value the recommendations there more than any made or that I don't like you people. However, I've been busy and to be honest, if I did use that system, we'd have a list stretching pages. Though that's a poor excuse. It's mostly just my lack of time to update it. Please, continue posting this stuff. I've just expanded my desired reading-list to bankbreaking levels.

I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed. ~George Carlin
blaster5234
Ashigaru
posted 03-20-06 10:22 PM EDT (US)     21 / 212       
I've read "Rubicon" and I'm currently reading "In the Name of Rome". I've always loved reading about Roman warfare and its history
MisplacedPope
Ashigaru
(id: misplacedgeneral)
posted 03-21-06 02:36 PM EDT (US)     22 / 212       
Read Caesers Gallic Wars and Civil Wars.

"It's not true. Some have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that's their story. Good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you're that pissed that so many others had it good." Jack Nicholson
Primo
Ashigaru
(id: Marcus Orentius)
posted 03-31-06 06:04 PM EDT (US)     23 / 212       
For Roman fiction I reccomend Eagle in the Snow. A very good read.

Exilian - a website for mods for Mount&Blade, Rome Total War, Empire Total War and news about Shogun 2: Total War
"There is no extreme metal, death metal, progressive metal or vegetarian metal." - Tryhard
"Light infantry, rangers, and riflemen all have the unique ability to pull yard-long poles from their arseholes and plant them in order to stave off cavalry." - BurningSushi460
Primo
Ashigaru
(id: Marcus Orentius)
posted 04-04-06 11:47 AM EDT (US)     24 / 212       
This could do with updating... also, read Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliffe.

Exilian - a website for mods for Mount&Blade, Rome Total War, Empire Total War and news about Shogun 2: Total War
"There is no extreme metal, death metal, progressive metal or vegetarian metal." - Tryhard
"Light infantry, rangers, and riflemen all have the unique ability to pull yard-long poles from their arseholes and plant them in order to stave off cavalry." - BurningSushi460
Legio Yow
Ashigaru
posted 04-04-06 04:00 PM EDT (US)     25 / 212       
^ Love that book.

Try Gillian Bradshaw's, especialy 'Island of Ghosts'. Pretty cool.


"That which we call a nose can still smell!"
-Reduced Shakespeare Company

"Abroad, French transit workers attempt to end a strike, only to discover that they have forgotten how to operate the trains. Everybody enjoys a hearty laugh and returns to the café." -Dave Barry
Emo_Slayer
Ashigaru
posted 04-29-06 10:10 PM EDT (US)     26 / 212       
didnt see it mention but a good book is Rome and Her Enemies, forget the author but the illustrations turn me on and make my heartbeat speed up and my breathing slow
Legio Yow
Ashigaru
posted 05-06-06 10:42 PM EDT (US)     27 / 212       
New Recommendation (Assuming Ace is still here. He is still here, right?)

It's called 'The Ancient City' by Peter Connolly, wh we should all know and love. It's actually a really good read, and I don't have to talk about the illustrations to anyone who has ever picked up one of his books.


"That which we call a nose can still smell!"
-Reduced Shakespeare Company

"Abroad, French transit workers attempt to end a strike, only to discover that they have forgotten how to operate the trains. Everybody enjoys a hearty laugh and returns to the café." -Dave Barry

[This message has been edited by Legio Yow (edited 05-08-2006 @ 09:34 PM).]

Rozanov
Ashigaru
posted 05-12-06 06:30 AM EDT (US)     28 / 212       
one to look out for:

Terry Jones’ Barbarians by Terry Jones and Alan Ereira to be published by BBC Books on May 18 at £18.99.

and a new TV series too: Terry Jones’ Barbarians begins on BBC2 on Friday May 26

more details here:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,176-2168328,00.html

Legio Yow
Ashigaru
posted 05-13-06 06:15 PM EDT (US)     29 / 212       
Is this THE Terry Jones?

Woah.


"That which we call a nose can still smell!"
-Reduced Shakespeare Company

"Abroad, French transit workers attempt to end a strike, only to discover that they have forgotten how to operate the trains. Everybody enjoys a hearty laugh and returns to the café." -Dave Barry
Rozanov
Ashigaru
posted 05-15-06 07:36 AM EDT (US)     30 / 212       
yep the same Terry Jones
amateur_idiot v2
Ashigaru
posted 05-21-06 04:28 AM EDT (US)     31 / 212       
4th Century BC - Alexander the Great - A. B. Bosworth - Alexander and the East: The Tragedy of Triumph
Very good read and extremely interesting. Deals with reconciling many facts with legend (or dissproving them). Rather anti-Alexandrian, so a good change for once.

_.,-=~+"^'`amateur_idiot ... lol`'^"+~=-,._
You cant beat an idiot, he'll just drag you down to his level and beat you with experience
You see, my fellow designers, the laser satellites were unnecess ary! Their minds are ours now, oh yessssss.... -CaptainFishpants
Russia has freedom of speech, its just the freedom after the speech you worry about- Anon
Eagles might soar through the sky, but weasels never get sucked into jet engines
I reject reality and subsitute my own
Rozanov
Ashigaru
posted 05-24-06 08:17 AM EDT (US)     32 / 212       
have read the Terry Jones and Alan Ereira book.

good knock-about stuff. not an academic work but has useful bibliography for those wanting more info.

It's tied to a TV series that starts in UK friday 26th may. a 4 parter:

1) Celts
2) germanic peoples incl Goths and Dacians
3) hellenic and middle eastern peoples
4) vandals and goths

book has some great colour pix and the text is fine but due to space considerations can't really go into enough detail. nothing on sarmatians, roxolani, lombards; and allemani, burgundians get only a couple of mentions.

enjoyable chapter on the vandals and Huns.

Overall the book (and TV series i presume) make the point that the Romans idea of "civilisation" simply meant what they did, by modern standards they were as and sometimes more "barbaric" than the so-called barbarians.

overall it makes an excellent starting background text for RTW / BI players if they are unfamiliar with the times covered (approx 250 BCE - 450 CE) but if you want more detailed information you'll need to look elsewhere.

at £18.99 rrp it's a lot of pocket money for younger readers (and some of us older ones too!) so pop along to your nearest library and borrow a copy from there if you're interested.


Johndisp
Ashigaru
posted 06-23-06 01:44 AM EDT (US)     33 / 212       
The Rise of Napoleon and the Reign of Napoleon, both by Robert Asprey. They give a wonderfully detailed acount of Napoleon as well as a reasonable explanation of his battles.

Life is full of challenges. You can either step up to them, or step out of the way. The ones who step up, are the ones who will someday rule the world.
McDucky101
Ashigaru
posted 06-28-06 03:56 AM EDT (US)     34 / 212       
Right, I havent actually gone through the other posts with a fine tooth comb - so forgive me if Im repeating someone

Napoleonic:

"Waterloo - A Near Run Thing" by David Howarth
Excellent account of the famous battle - rather short but a captivating read. Really very good for anyone with any interest in the period

"Rifles - Six Years With Wellington's Legendary Sharpshooters" by Mark Urban
Also a good read - covers part of the history of the regiment including equipment and uniform but does not cover Waterloo. Very good book - very accesable.

Ancient:

"Warfare in the Ancient World" by Richard Humble
Good book for a broad range of periods - from the warlords of the nile to Rome. Includes Geece, Mesopotamia and Assyria, Persia and the Roman republic (note: may be out of print)

"The Complete Roman Army" by Adrian Goldsworthy
Really an excellent book regarding the army of the republic all the way through the marius reform to the army of late Antiquity. Very detailled but also accesable. Highly recommended.

Rozanov
Ashigaru
posted 06-30-06 07:18 AM EDT (US)     35 / 212       
A book club i belong to features the first 4 of these this month. shame i can't afford to buy them.

Anyway I've added the amazon links if anyone in UK wants them, also gives more details, reviews etc.

I'd be interested in hearing other peoples' opionions on them:

Some recent titles that may be of interest to forumites:

Rupert Matthews "The Battle of Thermopylae" Spellmoubnt Publishers 2006 RRP £20.00
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1862273251/

J.E. Lendon "Soldiers and Ghosts" Yale University Press 2005 RRP £18.95
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0300106637/

Tim Everson "Warfare in Ancient Greece" Sutton Publishing 2004 RRP £20.00
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0750933186/

Simon Anglim et al "Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World 3000BC - 500AD" Spellmount Publishers 2005 £20.00
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1862272980/

Matthew Bennett "Fighting Techniques of the Medieval World AD 500 to AD 1500" Spellmount Publishers 20054 RRP £20.00
http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1862272999/

[This message has been edited by Rozanov (edited 06-30-2006 @ 07:22 AM).]

D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 07-02-06 01:05 PM EDT (US)     36 / 212       
An excellent book on Waterloo is Waterloo: the Great Battle Reconsidered by Hamilton-Davies. The definitive English language account. Well written overview of the campaign and battle. Lays many old myths to rest.

Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 07-02-06 03:09 PM EDT (US)     37 / 212       
D Furius Venator, I seriously disagree (and, slightly pedantically, the book is called "The Great Battle Reappraised and the author is David Hamilton Williams). Whatever good descriptions the book may have - I actually own it myself - their value is entirely negated by the falsifying by the author of his notes. A real historian actually checked out some of the archival sources he had "used", and they did not in the least bit coincide (going on memory here, I believe he referenced books of his own he hadn't written yet and sources in archive boxes which simply don't exist). Apart from that, many broad statements which do challenge the standard appraisal of the battle go reference-less, and have therefore no back-up. Simply put, Hamilton Williams made up his references and can therefore not be relied upon.

Alessandro Barbero's description of Waterloo is very good. It was translated from the Italian and, as no patriotic feelings of any kind interfered, the narrative is more neutral than many out there; not really a scholarly work but entertaining to read. It also gives more attention to the German and Dutch troops and view-points than the majority of the British books.


Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 07-02-06 03:23 PM EDT (US)     38 / 212       

Really? I'm very surprised.

You're right about the title (I'm moving so all my books are packed).

Hamilton-Williams was rather pro the Dutch/Belgian involvement so I'm rather taken aback that he's made stuff up. Can you recall exactly what?


Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 07-03-06 03:21 PM EDT (US)     39 / 212       
It's a real pity that he did turn out to be a fraud - there are quite a few British historians who only bothered to study British sources; the Dutch-Belgian troops almost arbritrarily get overlooked and simple generalisations and legends end up retold time and again in history books, when they have long been disproven. I didn't actually read Hamilton-Williams' book, because I found out he was in error before I had time to read it, so I do not know which claims he makes regarding the Dutch-Belgians that may be untrue (I have studied the case in some detail, thanks to Dutch and Belgian studies, and therefore have a clue of what went on).

However, on one of Amazon.com's reviews of the book, there was an example of the kind of bad referencing Hamilton-Williams did:

Quote:

I live close to Hanover and have visited the archives on several occasions. Below are my conclusions:
The research done for this book is far from meticulous or painstaking. On the contrary, it is most questionable. For instance, not one of the author's references to the Hanover Archives actually checks out.

The relevant files in the Hanover Archives are:

Hann. 38D - Records of the King's German Legion 1803-1816

Hann. 41 - Files of the General Command, etc.

Hann. 48a I - Army Lists and Journals of the Hanoverian Forces, etc.

On page 372, footnote 25 of this book, the author makes reference to the 'Dornberg MS', saying it is in Hann. 41 XXI 150-6. That is not quite correct. It is in Hann. 41 XXI 152 (6). This mistake could be excused as a typing error. However, the author claims that this file contains 'Major-General Dornberg's own account of the transmission of Grant's information.' It does not.

On page 375, footnote 54, we are told that this 'Dornberg MS' is the same one referred to by the German historian Pflugk-Harttung in his "Vorgeschichte". It is not. Hamilton-Williams is confusing two different MSS. There is one in the Hanover Archives and there was once another in the Berlin Archives that went missing in 1945. Its file ref. was VI. E 58. Pflugk-Harttung printed it in his book, so it would be an easy matter to compare one with the other, if, indeed, the author had ever been to Hanover and referred to the original document.

On page 379, footnote 36, we are told that the 'Notizen MS', 'General Commando MS' and 'Kielmansegge MS' can be found in Hann 38D. They are not in that file and do not appear to exist anywhere in the Hanover Archive. However, these MSS are cited in Beamish's "History of the King's German Legion".

On page 387, footnote 17, we are referred to the 'Baring MS' and are told this can be found in Hann. 41 XXI, Nr. 99-137. It is not there. Baring's report on the Battle of Waterloo can be found in Hann. 41, XXI 152 (8). Again, this is not a mere typing error. The quote the author uses does not come from the report held in Hanover, but from a published article based on a different document, namely Baring's journal. This can be found on page 106 of Pflugk-Harttung's book "Belle Alliance".

On page 393, footnote 7, the author claims there is more from Baring in Hann. 38D, Nrs. 230-43. There is not. The files contain a history of the artillery of the KGL, a history of the expedition to Spain in 1808, a history of the KGL's documents, correspondence and orders, but nothing from Baring.

On page 393, footnotes 2 and 4, we are referred to the Wynecken and Heise MSS in Hanover. There are no such MSS deposited there. However, Beamish cites these MSS in his book.

On page 394, footnote 10, we are referred to a 'Report of the 5th Battalion' in Hann. 48A Nrs. 100-30. This is an incorrect reference. 48A does not exist.

One is left with the impression that this author has never been to the Hanover Archives and has never referred to the original documents, but has merely lifted quotes from printed sources and then attached a likely sounding archive file no. to them.

This gives you an idea of what kind of mis-referencing Hamilton-Williams has done - basically, while there may be truth to his stories, unless someone actually checks all the footnotes, there's no way to be certain what is true and what isn't. I know that the author was entirely discredited in the Napoleonic magazine "First Empire" in issues 23, 25 and 26.


Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 07-03-06 03:54 PM EDT (US)     40 / 212       

What a pity, it's an excellent read (as is his 'Final Betrayal').

He cites a huge number of academics and institutions in his acknowledgements, from all over Europe.

I'd be intrigued to discover if any of his main points were erroneous or whether he's merely done slipshod research or recording of research. Poor show though....


Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
Mechstra
Banned
posted 07-04-06 04:40 AM EDT (US)     41 / 212       

Quote:

"Rifles - Six Years With Wellington's Legendary Sharpshooters" by Mark Urban
Also a good read - covers part of the history of the regiment including equipment and uniform but does not cover Waterloo. Very good book - very accesable.


I heartily agree there. Rifles is an excellent book, focusing mainly on the Peninsular campaign and going into some detail on that. Reliable, too.

I got another of Urban's books recently - Generals. Haven't read it yet.

Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 07-04-06 08:31 AM EDT (US)     42 / 212       

Quote:

I'd be intrigued to discover if any of his main points were erroneous or whether he's merely done slipshod research or recording of research.


Principal erronous point was his entire theory on Siborne; Siborne was actually discredited by Wellington himself for being too pro-Prussian! (This was because of a huge miniature made of the battle by Siborne, where the Prussians were depicted as arriving on the field; Wellington would have preferred this to not have been shown.)

I saw the long list of academics who helped Hamilton-Williams, too, and I noticed that N Vels Heijn was among them. He has written a very good book on the Dutch-Belgian perspective of the conflict, debunking some of the myths (anti- as well as pro-Dutch), so it's quite likely that Hamilton-Williams got that part quite right. I'd actually have to check that, though.


Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 07-04-06 09:15 AM EDT (US)     43 / 212       

I thought the problem with Siborne was his over-reliance (due to shortage of funds) on accounts of British (as opposed to Allied) officers, hence ignorance of huge areas of the battle where KGL, Brunswickers, Hanoverians, Dutch-Belgians etc were prevelant.

Hamilton-Williams' main point really seems to be that the contribution of te Allied troops (especially the Dutch-Belgians) has been unfairly ignored/maligned by most British historians of the battle. I could find little wrong with his account of the battle itself, which is very readable. His other book (that he referenced) is a co-work that was published after the Waterloo account. It deals with the entire hundred days and I suspect his original idea was to have just the one volume rather than the two book structure his publishers seem to have pressed upon him. That may account for some of the bizarre references (though not for making references up!).


Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 07-04-06 09:48 AM EDT (US)     44 / 212       
His idea was actually to publish three different books on the matter, as a trilogy, but the last was never published because the publisher withdrew when the bad news broke. I agree though that foreign perspectives have generally been ignored by British historians regarding the battle. I much preferred Blücher's idea, too, to call the battle Belle Alliance, of the spot where the Allies met.
(Until the early twentieth century, the battle was called Belle Alliance in Germany, Mont St Jean in France and Waterloo in the UK, obviously; in the Netherlands and Belgium it was called both Mont St Jean and Waterloo, Belgium preferring the former and the Netherlands the latter.)

Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
Mechstra
Banned
posted 07-04-06 10:14 AM EDT (US)     45 / 212       
Both Wellington and Blucher were to call it La Belle Alliance, I believe, but as Wellington stamped his despatch of the battle as coming from Waterloo (the village where he wrote the despatch) the name stuck.
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 07-05-06 01:15 PM EDT (US)     46 / 212       
I've just finished Barbero's book, which is rather good. It'd be time consuming to compare his account and that of Hamilton-Williams point by point but it is certain that Hamilton-Williams gives just as much prominence and importance to the actions of the Allied troops as Barbero. The only obvious poiunt of difference was Barbero's description of the Middle Guard as being rather less than elite at Waterloo (though there might be others).

Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 07-05-06 02:38 PM EDT (US)     47 / 212       
I had an hour to spare this morning so I read Hamilton-Williams' description of Quatre-Bras and compared it with other sources (really only with N Vels Heijn and Luc de Vos, both Dutch sources), and it conforms to the standard view in pretty much all details. However, I did notice a pretty significant error on the part of Hamilton-Williams: namely, the downplaying of the importance of the mis-directing of d'Erlon by both Ney and Napoleon.
IMO it should be stressed that Napoleon's calling away of d'Erlon's corps (20 000 men) and Ney's subsequent recalling of the corps as it was converging on Ligny, prevented a victory at both Quatre-Bras and Ligny. Hamilton-Davies actually went so far as saying that Ney could look back on a successful day and handled everything well, but I think it is the principal error of the day. Ney recalling these troops when it was past 15:00 meant that the troops could never arrive before dusk, and when they did arrive at Quatre-Bras the battle was over. Obviously part of the error here lies with d'Erlon himself, for following the commands so meekly, but Napoleon should not have taken away the troops from Ney without informing him and Ney should not have recalled them.
I think overall H-W gives Napoleon too much credit.

Also, I had a laugh when reading the notes: Hamilton-Williams says virtually none of the British officers spoke "Dutch, Flemish or Walloon". I would be surprised if they did, because Walloon is not a language (at best a collection of dialects) and Flemish was not viewed as such at the time. It's a bit like saying not many Frenchmen knew Yorkshirian.

And I'm sort of bemused why Hamilton-Williams is so boastful about his supposed rewriting of history; what I've read is pretty much accepted fact.


Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 07-05-06 02:49 PM EDT (US)     48 / 212       

I think his point was really that previous British historians had rather shabbily treated the contribution of the Allied contingents (he wrote in 1993).

Barbero makes one or two rather trifling errors. For instance on p18 he misunderstands the term 'young soldier' which refers to time spent on campaign, not actual age. Hence Uxbridge can easily be a 'young soldier' at 47! On p19, he describes Hardinge as losing an arm. In fact he lost a hand. Minor points but its worth noting that he's not perfect.


Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 07-09-06 03:41 PM EDT (US)     49 / 212       
His point, according to the book cover, is that part of the battle/campaign has been mis-described and that he personally unearthed this great secret and put it right. The cover is really very boastful of his achievements, when all he does is retell what we already know. His disection of strategy and tactics has definitely a Bonapartist slant to it, though, with all the actions of the Emperor being judged lightly well Wellington constantly gets the short end of the stick. His dealing with d'Erlon's marching is just one of many of dubious judgments.

I agree though that Barbero is inclined to a more traditional view. However, it serves better as an introduction; David Hamilton-Williams requires the reader to already know what happened before he can judge how accurate the author is - which means he could basically ignore the book altogether.

Osprey Publishing has released three books concerning the subject, too, which are enlightening and far more accurate. "Wellington's Dutch Allies" and "Wellington's Belgian Allies" give a good description of the actions of these troops (the first giving a description of Quatre-Bras and the second of Waterloo) and debunking some of the myths. Their "Dutch-Belgian Troops of the Napoleonic Wars" is older and contains errors, but its description of Waterloo is still useful (it was written by a German and contains some amateurish errors, most notably that the Dutch referred to King Louis as "Ludwig", which is his German name, not Dutch).
Best book on the subject of the Dutch-Belgians is still N Vels Heijn's "Glorie zonder Helden", but it has not been translated and so you'd have to learn Dutch to understand it. It's excellent, though.


Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
D Furius Venator
HG Alumnus
posted 07-09-06 05:06 PM EDT (US)     50 / 212       
Again, in his defence (but I don't for a moment condone his making up of evidence), authors do not write cover blurbs, publishers do. I don't think that in 1993 there was a book in English that gave due credit to the part played by the allied troops. HW certainly did that.

Civile! Si ergo fortibusis in ero.
Wassis inem causan dux?
Gnossis vile demsis trux!

I suggest that before badgering for a translation you take the time to read it out loud. Thankyou.
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