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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: History books
    Posted: 14-Aug-2007 at 17:10
What is the most memorable and interesting history book that you have ever read?
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2007 at 06:01
Probably Titus Livy's works, Gibbon's decline and fall, Richard J Evan's third reich series and some Egyptian archeological journals.
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  Quote Knights Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2007 at 06:05
Well, if you call Greek Drama (the plays) historical books, then Aristophanes' "Lysistrata" would definitely have to be one of the most memorable...
Other than that, as Aster said, Livy is great, as is Gibbon (even though I don't agree with all of his views). "Invincible Generals" is what I'm reading right now, and it's quite interesting.
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  Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2007 at 06:49
Then Sophocles' 'King Oidipus' would be in I guess..

Besides that, the 'Germania' was interesting...
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  Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2007 at 06:51
Rubicon by Tom Holland.
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  Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2007 at 07:06

Hello to you all.

 

Well it is very hard to say since I read more history books than I can remember. Since my historical readings are bilingual (English and Arabic) I will choose the best from each language.

 

For Arabic language books the choice is very hard. Ibn Al-Athirs The complete universal History is near to my heart since it was the first real history book that I read and I have the entire 13 volumes at hand, I started it when I was 10 years old. But the book that I really think is the best is Ibn Kahlduns history which is very similar to Toynbees study since Ibn Khaldun takes on states and nations and analyses their rise, maturity and fall and also he integrates his theories into the study in order to prove them. Finally, Jawad Ali monumental work The detailed history of the Arabs before Islam is one of the best modern studies although I do have some very serious reservations on the book it still very valuable.  

 

As For the English language books I think that no historical work ever can rival Toynbees masterpiece A Study of History which I read only part of it and I really wish to buy it when I have enough money (I am a University student and my father will lynch me if I asked him for money to buy books that have nothing to do with school). Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War, the Loeb classics edition, is a close second though I only read the first volume and it captured my attention.   

 

Thank You

 

Al-Jassas ibn Murrah

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  Quote Aelfgifu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2007 at 11:33
Primary material, it must be the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Amazing that of such a relatively early date, we know so much detail because some genieus decided to keep a record, and it was kept up to date for such an extended period. And in the vernacular too.
 
Secondary studies, probably The Myth of Nations by Geary. A not too long, to the point, very clear and extremely readable book on migration age ethnogenesis, how wrong most peoples ideas today are on peoples and tribes, and how badly this part of the past has been abused by modern nationalists. Brilliant.

Women hold their councils of war in kitchens: the knives are there, and the cups of coffee, and the towels to dry the tears.
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  Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Aug-2007 at 23:24

For Arabic language books the choice is very hard. Ibn Al-Athirs The complete universal History

I find primary sources for the Arabic period really hard to come by. That's one reason why I abandoned my article on the Abbasids.

 

Primary material, it must be the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

Yes, that is a good one, although its a little heavy to get around initially. I like to supplement it by reading something about the Anglo-Saxons to help me make sense of it

Also, several people have mentioned plays here, which is good because plays help discuss the cultural context in which historical events occurred. They are particularly useful in ancient history, because the mental faculties of the ancients were very different to ours and we need to know how they would have interpreted events.

I really would like to read some more Loeb to help with my understanding of Latin I love the dual print method that they two, but they are quite expensive.



Edited by rider - 16-Aug-2007 at 02:29
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  Quote Caoimhe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2007 at 15:37
Foras Feasa ar irinn/The History of Ireland written in the early 1600s by Seathrn Citinn has to be my favourite.

Although a more modern favourite would be A.J.P. Taylor's Origin's of the Second World War. I like his style, he comes out with some great sentences especially about the French.



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  Quote kilroy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Aug-2007 at 16:10
Moved to the literary forum. 
Kilroy was here.
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  Quote what_is_history Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Aug-2007 at 12:16
Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
"It aint what you don't know that gets you in trouble; it's what you know for sure that just ain't so."
-Mark Twain
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