Current Readings

Current Readings on Ancient History subjects by genre:

Ancient Greece:

Cartledge, Paul. Ancient Greece: A History in Eleven Cities.Oxford University Press. New York, United States of America, 2009.

Explore eleven Greek cities of ancient history: Cnossos, Mycenae, Argos, Miletus, Massalia, Sparta, Athens, Syracuse, Thebes, Alexandria, and Byzantion. Paul Cartledge (Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge) will take you into an in-depth study of the background of each city’s birth, including archaeological discoveries which shed light on their way of life, and how all of these cities impacted the rise of Hellenistic thinking and how Greece changed the world forever. A great read for the scholarly mind!

Ancient Rome:

Holland, Tom.Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic. Anchor Books. New York, United States of America, 2005.

Go back in time to unrest, murder, deceit, civil war, and political strife. Tom Holland paints an incredible picture of life in the Roman Republic and how that all changed once Gaius Julius Caesar crossed the River Rubicon and brought Rome into civil war against the forces that supported Pompey Magnus. Holland then fills the reader with all the changes in politics prior to this and how the road was eventually paved among the people and the senate for Caesar to make his move. This is a great book for anyone seeking to understand the struggles in the higher echelon when the Roman Republic collapsed.

Strauss, Barry. The Spartacus War. Simon and Schuster Paperbacks. New York, United States of America, 2009.

Follow the daring adventure, rebellion, and heroic figures of the Spartacus War as gladiators leave the arena and take the war to their previous master, Rome. Learn about the incredible battles, plundering, and figure of Spartacus who led an enormous slave army out of the gates of Capua against the professional legions in the year of 73 B.C.E. to finally face off with the Roman General Crassus.

Dando-Collins, Stephen. Legions of Rome: The Definitive History of Every Imperial Roman Legion. Quercus Books. United States of America, 2010.

Stephen Dando-Collins has amassed one of the greatest books which gives a definitive account of the Roman legionary life, the units of the Imperial system, wars and sieges fought, and background history to every Roman legion that ever served. It is a must have resource for any person who enjoys to read about Rome, and is a priceless companion for the Roman scholar.

Goldsworthy, Adrian. Antony and Cleopatra. Orion. United States of America, 2010.

Adrian Goldsworthy continues to be my favourite author on anything ancient Rome. The depth he takes the reader is to a rare level when compared with other authors on this subject. He has a talent for how he tells the history and demonstrates the ability to truly make history come to life. His account concerning some of the most drastic periods of the Roman years, the rivalry between Octavian and Antony, and the history of the Ptolemies is excellent.  Goldsworthy keeps you glued to your chair as the scandalous affair between Antony and Cleopatra come to life as he places them into the real world stripping away myth and romanticism. This is a must read for the Roman scholar or anyone interested in this period of history.

Biblical Archaeology:

Long, James D. Riddle of the Exodus: Startling Parallels Between Ancient Jewish Sources and the Egyptian Archaeological Record. Lightcatcher Books. Springdale, Arkansas, 2006.

James D. Long uncovers incredible evidence which supports the exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt, the Red Sea Crossing, and startling records on ancient papyri to support the famous ten plagues, the Pharaoh who oppressed the Hebrews, Joseph’s Egyptian identity, and more. This is a great read for any skeptic, person interested in Egyptology, or the Bible student wanting more as Long presents a professional argument in support of the truth of the Bible in archaeology.

Albright, William Foxwell. Yahweh and the gods of Canaan.  Eisenbrauns. Winona Lake, Indiana USA. 1994.

William Foxwell Albright’s Jordan Lectures given in 1965 delivered at the University of London is a masterpiece of literature covering the culture, religion, language, and ancient history of the Canaanite people. It is scholarly based and can be dry for anyone not given to these sorts of intellectual pursuits. But for the historical mind of the Near East, this is a, “must have” for your library. Albright discusses the breakdown of the Canaanite religious structure, the consistencies in language and mythic expression, as well as how the Canaanites would have interacted with other people groups of Mesopotamia. It is written as a series of lectures and is therefore presented in such way, but the 264 page thesis is excellent. You will not be disappointed.

PhoeniciansGanor, Nissim R. Who were the Phoenicians? Kotarim International Publishing Ltd. 2009. ISBN-10: 9659141521, ISBN-13:978-9659141524.

Dr. Nissim R. Ganor makes incredible insights into who the Phoenicians were, where they originated from, and starting parallels found in the Bible and other extra-biblical writings. Known as Phoenicians from the ancient Greeks, much of their culture and identity has remained a mystery. Dr. Ganor paints a detailed picture and certainly raises the bar in the archaeological world with the evidence he provides to answer the question, who were the Phoenicians?

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