I am an avid eclectic reader.
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.
This is a major new account of the causes of the “First Dark Ages.” Eric Cline tries to explain how this happened. He describes multiple interconnected failures, ranging from invasions, revolts, to earthquakes, drought and the cutting of international trade routes. Cline is a professor of Classics and anthropology at George Washington University. Cline explains the new archaeological and geological evidence that drought, famine, earthquakes, migration and internal rebellions all contributed to the end of the Bronze Age. Cline is writing for the average reader not the scholar so the book is easy to read.
The author brings to life the vibrant multicultural world of the great civilizations (Minions, Mycenaean, Trojans, Hittites, Babylonians, and Egyptian). The thriving economy, culture of the late second millennium B. C. from Greece to Egypt suddenly ceased to exist, along with the writing systems, technology and architectures.
The description, Cline presents in his book resemble our own today. And if you take into account the new NASA funded study, warning of the possibility for an irreversible collapse of our industrial civilization in just a few decades this book is relevant for us today. History may be repeating itself, making it an interesting time to be living. Andy Capole did a fair job narrating the book. If you are interested in history this is an interesting book for you to read.