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Mr. R. S. Cuthbertson "kazuya" (england)
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Sparta's Bitter Victories: Politics and Diplomacy in the Corinthian War
Sparta's Bitter Victories: Politics and Diplomacy in the Corinthian War
by Charles D. Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book on the Corinthian War, 17 May 2014
I have just finished reading this book by Charles D Hamilton and I have to say I was very impressed. This book covers the years from spartas victory in the Peloponnesian war in 404 BC to the end of the Corinthian war in 387/6 BC. The book primary covers the politics and diplomacy (hence the title) of and between the states of Sparta, Athens, Thebes, Corinth and to a lesser extent Argos.

I have read the authors book Agesilaus and the failure of spartan hegemony. On the strength of that book (highly recommended) I thought I would give this one a go and I was not disappointed. It was a highly detailed book that still has that entertaining style that made it a delight to read. Hamilton has thoroughly analysed the ancient sources and the modern sources to give a detailed balanced view of these years. He writes what each states desires and fears were and how they went about achieving there goals. The only minor point is that the battles themselves are not covered in great detail but as the title of the book shows this is about the politics and diplomacy. You will not read a better book on the Corinthian war. This is highly recommended. Also check out his other great book, Agesilaus and the failure of spartan hegemony.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/0801425409/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1400337488&sr=1-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

A great 5 star book.


Philopoemen
Philopoemen
by R.Malcolm Errington
Edition: Hardcover

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Detailed scholarly but ultimately a dull read, 23 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Philopoemen (Hardcover)
The author deserves high praise for the amount research and detail that has gone into this book. Philopoemen lead a exciting and dangerous life I just wish some of that could have come across in the book. This was written in the late sixties for a scholarly audience and in that it succeeds but for the layman it is to hard going. If you are struggling with the book stick with it as this is the only modern English book on philopoemen but it's just a shame it is very dull and dry. The facts are there but it is hard to draw them out.


Pompey: the Republican Prince.
Pompey: the Republican Prince.
by Peter Greenhalgh
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Close to greatness, 17 Feb. 2014
This second part of a two book look at the life of Pompey the great was a brilliant read (see my first review on the first book, Pompey the Roman Alexander). I will be honest and say it did not quite measure up to the quality of the first but make no mistake it is when taken alongside the first book, they are the best book s out their on this underrated and fascinating roman. The second half of Pompeys career is not as exciting as the first. In the first he was a major player in romes first civil war, then gained his first triumph in Africa, his next against his most dangerous foe the wily Sertorius, then his great pirate war and conquests in the east. If war floats your boat the first book is for you. If it is politics then the second is right up your street.

The murky world of roman politics in the late roman republic is beautifully covered in this book. The only downside is yes it gives a narrative of what's going on it can and does drift away from Pompey at times and seems more concerned with Greenhalgh's favourite source for the period, Cicero. For parts of the book it feels like a biography of the famous orator.

The next problem is Greenhalgh harbours a cynical and at times not very well disguised hatred of Caesar. Sometimes it would appear that this can cloud his judgements and he always paints Pompey in the best possible light. These are but minor annoyances in what is a greatly researched and engaging and well written book. It has all the details a scholar needs but in a easy to read manner that us (not experts but certainly those with good knowledge of the period and the players involved) laymans require. This book is a excellent book and when taken as a whole with the first part then it forms a great coverage of this great and over looked man.

One might wonder what Adrian Goldsworthy ( the author of the excellent biographies of Caesar and mark Antony) would produce if he took on the challenge of writing a biography of Pompey the great. What is needed is a modern biography of his son Sextus.

Overall a great book on a great man.


Pompey: The Republican Prince v. 2
Pompey: The Republican Prince v. 2
by Peter Greenhalgh
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Close to Greatness, 17 Feb. 2014
This second part of a two book look at the life of Pompey the great was a brilliant read (see my first review on the first book, Pompey the Roman Alexander). I will be honest and say it did not quite measure up to the quality of the first but make no mistake it is when taken alongside the first book, they are the best book s out their on this underrated and fascinating roman. The second half of Pompeys career is not as exciting as the first. In the first he was a major player in romes first civil war, then gained his first triumph in Africa, his next against his most dangerous foe the wily Sertorius, then his great pirate war and conquests in the east. If war floats your boat the first book is for you. If it is politics then the second is right up your street.

The murky world of roman politics in the late roman republic is beautifully covered in this book. The only downside is yes it gives a narrative of what's going on it can and does drift away from Pompey at times and seems more concerned with Greenhalgh's favourite source for the period, Cicero. For parts of the book it feels like a biography of the famous orator.

The next problem is Greenhalgh harbours a cynical and at times not very well disguised hatred of Caesar. Sometimes it would appear that this can cloud his judgements and he always paints Pompey in the best possible light. These are but minor annoyances in what is a greatly researched and engaging and well written book. It has all the details a scholar needs but in a easy to read manner that us (not experts but certainly those with good knowledge of the period and the players involved) laymans require. This book is a excellent book and when taken as a whole with the first part then it forms a great coverage of this great and over looked man.

One might wonder what Adrian Goldsworthy ( the author of the excellent biographies of Caesar and mark Antony) would produce if he took on the challenge of writing a biography of Pompey the great. What is needed is a modern biography of his son Sextus.

Overall a great book on a great man.


Pompey: The Roman Alexander v. 1
Pompey: The Roman Alexander v. 1
by Peter Greenhalgh
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of the first "half" of Pompeys career, 27 Jan. 2014
I have always found Pompey a fascinating man to read about and as great as Caesar was I always thought of Pompey as more interesting. With Caesar we have the definitive book in adrian goldsworthy's excellent book on him but I had yet to find the same for Pompey. I have the book on him by robin Seager, John leach and Patricia Southern and all were good in their own way but this first of a two partner on Pompey blew them away. The level of detail and discussion is just what is required on this incredible man.

The first half of his career was a whirl wind of military success and amazing feats. This book captures the magic of his early career. Makes me wish I was one of his junior officers to have gone on his adventures which lead from on part to the other side of the roman republic. It ends in 59bc and I am just about to start the second part "Pompey the republican prince". I just hope it is half as good as this book. A great read


Daggers in the Forum: The Revolutionary Lives and Violent Deaths of the Gracchus Brothers
Daggers in the Forum: The Revolutionary Lives and Violent Deaths of the Gracchus Brothers
by Keith Richardson
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 13 Nov. 2013
For so long I had avoided reading a book totally dedicated to the Gracchus brothers as I loved reading about Rome at war and not solely about politics. This book covers the lives and policies and murders of the famous brothers. It covers this so well in a great depth whilst still being readable. In covering this vital period the book covers all bases in detail, scope and readability.

The down side to this book as it delves into each brothers political careers and the situation at Rome during this time period it unfortunately neglects both brothers military careers. Tiberius fought at the sack of Carthage and was one of (if not the first) over the walls. This was skimmed over in a couple of sentences. Considering he was serving under one of his great future political enemies not to mention brother in law I would have thought it would have provided more detail. I know the scope of the third Punic war was not the aim of the book but Tiberius military life should have been better covered. The same is sadly true of Gaius career in Sardinia. This is the only downside of the book.

The subject of their political revolution and there lives bar there military service is covered brilliantly. At these second hand prices this book is a bargain and I doubt you will find a better book to cover this vital and intriguing period of Roman History


Daggers in the Forum
Daggers in the Forum
by Keith Richardson
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent coverage of a vital period, 13 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Daggers in the Forum (Hardcover)
For so long I had avoided reading a book totally dedicated to the Gracchus brothers as I loved reading about Rome at war and not solely about politics. This book covers the lives and policies and murders of the famous brothers. It covers this so well in a great depth whilst still being readable. In covering this vital period the book covers all bases in detail, scope and readability.

The down side to this book as it delves into each brothers political careers and the situation at Rome during this time period it unfortunately neglects both brothers military careers. Tiberius fought at the sack of Carthage and was one of (if not the first) over the walls. This was skimmed over in a couple of sentences. Considering he was serving under one of his great future political enemies not to mention brother in law I would have thought it would have provided more detail. I know the scope of the third Punic war was not the aim of the book but Tiberius military life should have been better covered. The same is sadly true of Gaius career in Sardinia. This is the only downside of the book.

The subject of their political revolution and there lives bar there military service is covered brilliantly. At these second hand prices this book is a bargain and I doubt you will find a better book to cover this vital and intriguing period of Roman History


Germanicus: The Magnificent Life and Mysterious Death of Rome's Most Popular General
Germanicus: The Magnificent Life and Mysterious Death of Rome's Most Popular General
by Philip Matyszak
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on a fascinating man, 24 Oct. 2013
This is a tough review to write and I'm not even going to pretend it will be any where as good or as detailed as JPS above. I read a lot of the same books as JPS and generally will wait to see if they have done a review before buying. This is the one time I will slightly disagree with there analysis.

I agree with the aspect in regards to the death of Germanicius, as for my sins I am a Police detective and the conclusion didn't fully satisfy me but given the fact it is a extremely cold case I can see why he came to the conclusion he did but fully agree with JPS that Tiberius gets of way to easily given the amount of circumstantial evidence that points to him and Piso. Also Tiberius actions leading up to and after the death merits closer look and discussion. Due to dealing with people's motivations for crime I do tend to see the worst in people so can understand Powell giving him the benefit of the doubt, I do not though.

That aside I can not fault the book I would argue it deserves five stars. Yes there is a lot of detail but I think that, that is a great positive and does not adversely affect the flow of the story. The author presents his arguments well if at times does not have enough discussion. But this is minor points, the book is a wonderfully detailed look at this amazing mans life. I really enjoyed his first book Eager for Glory and this book has surpassed that.

JPS keep up the good reviews I thoroughly enjoy them
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 25, 2013 10:48 AM BST


Agesilaos and the Crisis of Sparta
Agesilaos and the Crisis of Sparta
by Paul Cartledge
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Detailed but unreadable, 6 Aug. 2013
This is a amazing book in regards to the detail the author has put into it. However it is to a layman like me unreadable. I would read a paragraph and my interest would be raised and then the author goes off on a tangent or uses a ridiculous complicated word instead of a easy understandable one. There is no don't the author knows his stuff and the detail is amazing. It is not in a logical order however and this can be very very frustrating. With the amount of detail and knowledge this book contains it could have been a master piece on Agesilaus however it at times is unreadable and nearly caused me to throw it across the room. The fact it costs so much second hand I didn't. I would recommend reading Agesilaus and the failure of Spartan Hegemony by charles D hamilton instead which is still a detailed (not as much as this book but still more than enough) read but in a logical and engaging manner


Agesilaus and the Failure of Spartan Hegemony
Agesilaus and the Failure of Spartan Hegemony
by Charles D. Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, better than Cartledge, 6 Aug. 2013
I really enjoyed this book on Agesilaus. I found it a much better and more logical read than Paul cartledge's book on the same matter. Yes Cartledge's book is more detailed it is nigh on impossible to get into as it jumps from one thing to another and is written in a unreadable scholarly style. This book instead by Hamilton is detailed, logical and a easy read. Just wish I had bought this first rather than fork out for Cartledge's book! If you want to read about one of the if not the most important spartan king then look no further than this great book on Agesilaus


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