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J. E. S. Leake "sailor and scholar" (Fès, Maroc)

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Learner's Dictionary of Classical Arabic Idioms: Arabic-English
Learner's Dictionary of Classical Arabic Idioms: Arabic-English
by Leslie J. McLoughlin
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Alphabetic list of idioms, 26 July 2015
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An excellent little volume filled with (as the title suggests) a list of several hundred (500 I think) classical idioms. Interesting, useful, but one wishes that they had been organized thematically rather than alphabetically.


Dialogue with Trypho (Selections from the Fathers of the Church)
Dialogue with Trypho (Selections from the Fathers of the Church)
by Justin Martyr
Edition: Paperback
Price: £21.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Good translation,,several critical texts available., 13 April 2015
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Excellent translation. For the interested, while the current critical edition of the Dialogue is Marcovich's Iustini Martyris Dialogus cum Tryphone (Patristische Texte & Studien), a far more affordable critical text can be found in Goodspeed's 1914 _Die ältesten Apologeten_, available via the St Irenus Press in the US in a new edition _The Earliest Apologists_ (978-1482027891) available only through Amazon.com


Mediaeval Greek Bookhands: Examples Selected from Greek Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries: 81 (Medieval Academy Books)
Mediaeval Greek Bookhands: Examples Selected from Greek Manuscripts in Oxford Libraries: 81 (Medieval Academy Books)
by Nigel Wilson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.72

4.0 out of 5 stars It's very good, but not quite as good as the original ..., 12 Jan. 2015
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Scholars of Byzantine Greek will probably know of this volume by N. G. Wilson, which brings together eighty-eight samples of Byzantine manuscripts together with partial transcriptions and references. As Wilson himself puts it (p. 5): 'The book is intended to give the beginner a representative selection of Greek hands from the middle of the fourth century to the end of the sixteenth, and incidentally to show some of the most interesting and important manuscripts in the Oxford collections.' The collection includes eight uncial and a couple of cursive texts (including one 6th-century cursive that does illustrate cursive's rôle in the development of Byzantine book-hand.) but concentrates more on Middle and Late Byzantine book-hands. He points out that there are omissions due to the nature of the Bodleian collection, in particular an absence of imperial chancery documents.

In addition be aware that this is a POD produced for the publishers. It's very good, but not quite as good as the original plates in my opinion, and it has the usual POD flimsiness. On the other hand, this has been out of print for forty years so I have to thank the Medieval Academy of America for making such an invaluable volume available so affordably.


Thesiger
Thesiger
by Michael Asher
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars '" Why the need for the '[sic]' on a perfectly good (if jocular) English word, 6 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Thesiger (Paperback)
Michael Asher tells us in his early pages how reading Arabian Sands was for him a turning point in his life, and how Thesiger was a role model to him. Yet as one of the other reviewers points out, Asher often seems to take the opportunity to snipe at Thesiger. One occasionally gets the sense of a disciple rejected and embittered. Yet Asher writes his account well and clearly, a most readable narrative. It is occasionally marred by Asher's judgement of 'correctness'. Thus "There is absolutely no reason, in English, why Jibuti should be spelled Djibouti, except perhaps that it looks more exotic" - or perhaps that Djibouti is the official spelling of the country's name. Again quoting Theriger's brother Dermot: "'practicing and ripening his fistic [sic] ability.'" Why the need for the '[sic]' on a perfectly good (if jocular) English word. One senses an author as stubborn as Thesiger himself! But though I've found many small things to niggle at, overall the book is excellent.


A Reader of Classical Arabic Literature (Resources in Arabic and Islamic Studies)
A Reader of Classical Arabic Literature (Resources in Arabic and Islamic Studies)
by annotated and edited by S.A. Bonebakker and M. Fishbein
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good, helpful reader, 17 April 2014
The glossary isn't perfect and the book - originally published as part of the Quaderni degli Studi Orientali of Ca' Foscari University, Venice (the version I have) - has much of specifically Italian interest, such as al-Idrisi's account of Sicily. But it's useful. I don't know whether this new edition is reset, but the original at least was a early ninties production: not pretty but, as Bertie says, really useful, especially as the best alternative, M. C. Lyons' excellent Elementary Classical Arabic Reader (Cambridge 1962), is hard and usually very expensive to find. With the original publishers, it was almost unobtainably hard to track down, so I'm glad Exeter have taken it over.


Sony ECM-MS907 - Stereo Condenser Microphone
Sony ECM-MS907 - Stereo Condenser Microphone

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good microphone - if you're using a MiniDisc, 2 April 2014
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I bought a EMC-MS907 and have never really got it to work properly. Tonight I have ot it to work well - but not as I expected to. Like many others, I've tried to use this microphone plugged into the microphone socket of my PC. It works, and I can record in Audacity, but the levels are very low. I've always wondered why.

I have now discovered that the EMC-MS907 is designed to work with MiniDisc players. I have an old top-of-the-range Sony MZ-R900 which I bought specifically for recording while travelling. Plugging my mic into the MiniDisc player (with the Microphone sensitivity setting set to HIGH) I finally find that I can now make a good recording with the microphone. Hmm.

I'm giving it four stars because it works well at the task it was designed for (I read that it works well with camcorders too). But it is simply not very good plugged into the laptop.


Lessons in Imperial Rule: Instructions for British Infantrymen on the Indian Frontier
Lessons in Imperial Rule: Instructions for British Infantrymen on the Indian Frontier
by Sir Andrew Skeen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but misnamed book, 19 Feb. 2014
Skeen's book of 1932 (this is the fourth edition of 1939) is a manual for young officers commanding British or Indian troops on the North-West Frontier of India (present-day Pakistan). This book, then, has nothing to do with 'imperial rule' that the title given it by the publisher suggests; rather it is a book of tactics for fighting officers engaged in warfare with frontier tribes (the insurgency provoked by the 'Faqir of Ipi' being most recent when this edition was first published). Since the British Army and the Indian Army had been fighting tribes on this frontier for over a hundred years at that point, soldiering had developed a military tradition, hence the original title of this book: 'Passing It On: Short Talks on Tribal Fighting on the North-West Frontier of India'.

Recommended to anyone with an interest in the North-West Frontier, in the Indian Army or British troops in India.


Anahita: Ancient Persian Goddess and Zoroastrian Yazata
Anahita: Ancient Persian Goddess and Zoroastrian Yazata
Price: £4.30

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird mix of genuine Anahita scholarship and occultism., 26 Jan. 2014
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Oh dear, how do I review this? Some of this book is New Age nonsense, but wierdly some of the chapters are serious academic papers by scholars like Matteo Comparetti (whose paper I bought my copy for). Some of these academic papers are unfortunately far less rigorous than others, but two or three are worth reading. Then there is the problem that three of the 'papers' are by occultists, one who claims to be a 'practicing ceremonial magician' of the Alistair Crowley type and another 'training to be an alchemist'. The 'modern practace' they talk about seems to be some form of neo-Mithraism, rather than Zoroastriansism. No, sorry but no! I do not expect to find this sort of writing in close conjunction with serious scholarship. Finally there are some 'artistic representations' of Anahita, nineteenth to twenty-first century European pieces. My score is weighted towards the better papers.


The Genius in the Design
The Genius in the Design
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition, 17 Feb. 2013
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The book itself was okay, a tale of Bernini and Borromini that did rather make them appear to be the only architects in Rome. Morrissey makes the odd slip-up, but is generally reliable and sourced. A tale that was interesting, but which could have been better with more illustration. Unfortunately, the Kindle edition doesn't even have the scant illustration that the paper edition has - there are no illustrations at all. And for anyone writing an essay, I must warn you that there are no page numbers in this Kindle book. I was rather disappointed to have to to the library for a paper copy having bought the Kindle edition.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 26, 2013 12:23 AM BST


The Republic: The Influential Classic (Capstone Classics)
The Republic: The Influential Classic (Capstone Classics)
by Plato
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £7.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An older translation, 14 Jun. 2012
The translation used in this edition is from the 1908 edition of Benjamin Jowett's translation of the Republic. Jowett is worth reading on his own merits, but certainly it is an old translation in Victorian English. It is not written in the sort of medievalizing English favoured by some in the Victorian era, and I think it clear, but some might find a more contemporary translation clearer.


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