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All Things Under The Sun: How Modern Ideas Are Really Ancient Paperback – 12 May 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher:; 1st edition (12 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1257378708
  • ISBN-13: 978-1257378708
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,056,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

LINDSAY POWELL is a writer for Ancient Warfare and his articles have appeared in Military Heritage, Desperta Ferro and Strategy & Tactics magazines, as well as on His books have been published by Pen and Sword and Osprey Publishing. He is a member of the Classical Association and the Historical Writers' Association, and a Friend of The Vindolanda Trust.

He is a historical detective motivated to uncover and tell the stories of the under-reported personalities and events of history in the belief that they deserve to be told if our knowledge and understanding of the past is to be complete. A historian, researcher and writer by training and vocation, Lindsay has a particular passion for the military history of the Roman Empire. He scours ancient documents, inscriptions, coins and museums for stories, and archaeological, engineering, medical and scientific reports to reveal deeper truths.

His new book for Pen and Sword is MARCUS AGRIPPA: RIGHT-HAND MAN OF CAESAR AUGUSTUS. It is the first book in English since 1937 to describe the life and achievements of this crucially important figure in Roman history. "The contribution of Marcus Agrippa to Augustus' success cannot be understated. In many ways he is the unsung hero," says Lindsay, "but it was clear from my research that he intended it to be that way". Why is the great mystery explored in the book.

He began writing EAGER FOR GLORY when researching the Battle of Teutoburg, AD 9, and learned of the critical role Nero Claudius Drusus (Drusus the Elder) played in establishing the Romans' presence in Germania Magna. He was astonished to find there was no book about him. EAGER FOR GLORY: The Untold Story of Drusus the Elder, Conqueror or Germania is the book he had hoped to find. "I think readers will be very surprised," he says, "at how important this relative of Augustus was in the formation of the early Roman Empire. He was a successful military commander, a gifted governor, a daring explorer, and a monumental builder. He was a loving husband and father, and a man admired by friend and foe alike. In this book I hope to have restored him to his rightful place in the eventful story of Ancient Rome".

The life of Drusus the Elder's son is the subject of Lindsay's latest book GERMANICUS. "Germanicus Caesar was Rome's most popular general who expunged the shame of the 'Varian Disaster' at Teutoburg in AD 9," says Lindsay. The book tells the story of how he was suddenly thrust into prominence, put down a mutiny of the Rhine legions, led military campaigns in Illyricum and Germania Magna, and earned a reputation as a formidable court advocate. Lindsay examines the possible causes of his mysterious death in Syria and follows the tragic fate of his wife and children. "GERMANICUS tells a compelling tale which inspired generations of painters and playwrights down the centuries and is told for the first time in this new biography," says Lindsay.

Writing COMBAT: ROMAN SOLDIER versus GERMANIC WARRIOR, 1st CENTURY AD enabled Lindsay to dive deeper into the German Wars he described in EAGER FOR GLORY and GERMANICUS. Working with acclaimed illustrator Peter Dennis, the author/artist team have produced a dramatic and visually exciting account of the battles at Teutoburg (AD 9), Idistaviso (AD 16) and Angrivarian Wall (AD 16), seen from the perspective of soldiers on both sides of the battlefields.

Connections between the present and the past also fascinate him. Combining a researcher's skill at finding unexpected connections in everyday events and a historian's knowledge of source material, in ALL THINGS UNDER THE SUN: How Modern Ideas are Really Ancient, Lindsay takes a clear eyed and often witty look at modern times through the longer perspective of ancient history and reveals that, as the old adage goes, 'all things under the Sun, there's nothing new'. "Human societies have faced many of the same problems before," says Lindsay, "and if we're smart, we'll learn from the Past and pick the solutions that worked - and avoid those that didn't."

Lindsay divides his time between Austin, Texas and Wokingham, England.

Visit him at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gus on 9 Jun. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
If you are familiar with the BBC's "Alistair Cooke's Letter from America" this has a very similar feel. Each chapter draws a different parallel with the current events and the authors life (both in the US and UK) with the classical word.

Its a very easy read, almost light weight and I mean that as a compliment as I have struggled through some weighty tomes and learned a lot less! It is concise, witty and informative!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edna Russell on 29 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
As always, from this author, a fascinating book. It's an easy read, but at the same time, deals with interesting and sometimes very topical subjects in a manner that leaves the reader mulling over things long after that chapter is done. I often found myself thinking, wow, I didn't know,that! Highly recommended to all.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very accessable book assembled as a series of blogs comparing and contrasting current events, many major headline grabbers, with their classical equivalents. The format makes it very easy to dip in and out of and the currency of some of the events really brings home how there really is nothing new under the sun. Those who ignore history may well be condemned to repeat it, unfortunately, as Lindsay's observations show, even those who study it may be unable to do anything more than take comfort from the knowledge that somehow our ancestors coped under very similar conditions.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
All Things Under the Sun 31 July 2011
By Ginnie Siena Bivona - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am fascinated by ancient history, so this book was an ideal choice. I often try to point out the parallels between the past and the present, but most people (mostly my children) just roll their eyes and sigh heavily whenever I mention it. The book is written in a very entertaining almost feel like you are having a conversation with the author. Educational and well written.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Unique and entertaining book that connects history with what's happening today! 25 May 2011
By STJAustin - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is published at just the right time; when we are pondering so many issues. It's a one-of-a-kind book brim full of fresh perspectives on everyday life, and it surprises us with how much of what we do today, and the challenges we face, have their origins in the Ancient World.

It's a fun read that's educational too.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
All Things Under The Sun 13 July 2011
By GySgt Red Millis USMC (ret) - Published on
Format: Paperback
Received my copy yesterday, in three hours it was done! As a historian, I can appreciate both the information and witty, but succinct style in which the Author has made his points.

This work is not a comparison of Rome and today, rather it is a superb overview of the way in which human institutions parallel each other regardless of the passage of time between them.

For an enjoyable read, an educating read, and a read which will make every dime and minute spent on it worthwhile, I cannot recommend anything better.

Now, onward to the Author's first major work on the Elder Drusus...I anticipate more of the same!
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