I am an avid eclectic reader.
I have not read Homer since University. I find it amazing that we are still reading in the original or in translation something written in 700 B.C. The events depicted in the epics are thought to have taken place, as early as 1800 B.C.
Nicholson explores the age old question of was there such a person as Homer or more than one person. The author covers the history of Homer, Nicholson says the linguistic analysis suggest that “The Iliad” was first then “The Odyssey”. Nicholson sums up what we still look for in Homer: “Wisdom, his fearless encounter with the dreadful, his love of love and hatred of death, the sheer scale of his embrace, his energy and brightness, his resistance to nostalgia.”
Nicholson has written a beautiful study: full of insight, generosity and unaffected passion, the book is about what Homer means to him. One of my favorite narrators John Lee narrated the book.
This is a story of the gladiator, Spartacus. He was brought from Thrace (Bulgaria) to fight in an area in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius. In about 73 to 71 B.C. Spartacus and seventy other gladiators broke out armed with kitchen utensils. For two years he led a growing band of runaway slaves in a revolt. Strauss points out that Spartacus was a Murmillo gladiator who had served as a Thracian auxiliary to the Roman Army where he learned Roman military tactics.
Strauss is a Professor of Classics at Cornell University. Strauss has a fine balance between accessibility and scholarship, imagination and responsibility. It is not always an easy balance to strike but Strauss did a good job. The book reads like a thriller but grounded in history. Strauss wove history into an exciting story.
The author points out that the goal of the rebellion was vengeance not to abolish slavery. Strauss stresses that Spartacus had exceptional principles and he liked the idea of equality. Spartacus died charging the Roman general Crassus who led the campaign against him.
Strauss has not only created a history of the slave war but a campanian travelogue. The book was well written and easy to read for a history book. Roy Grover narrated the book.
Professor Cyril Edward Robinson (1884-1981) is a well known classical historian and author of many books on ancient Greece and Rome. In this book Robinson provides an introduction to ancient Roman history. The book covers the history from the beginning of Roman history around 700 B.C. and end just before the final chaos. The main emphasis of the book is on the last two centuries of the Republic to 264 B.C... The author skims over the problems of early Roman history and the complexities and difficulties that had bearing on later developments.
It appears that Robinson maintained a high level of accuracy and provided excellent footnotes and documentation. The book is extremely well written. Robinson interprets the character of the outstanding figures on strictly conventional lines. The simplicity of his narrative is easy to read and his proper British grammar a delight to behold. Robinson has a lively style with an ear for a good phrase, and a sense of the drama of his subjects. He conveys his own enthusiasm of the subject to his readers.
It is a pleasure to listen to Charlton griffin’s highly trained voice of a British stage actor. I believe he enhances the will written text and the audio book and enjoyable listen.