mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

  • Mood:
  • Music:

& the walls came tumbling down. (36)

Warriors of the World: The Ancient Warrior: 3000 BCE - 500 CE by Martin J. Dougherty.

A "picket" is a
wooden spear, sharp at both ends,
used to hold the line.

Jenny made fun of me for reading a textbook, but I don't care! So by telling you what this book is you already know what this book is about. I mean-- it is exactly what you imagine it to be. An armchair historian's guide to warfare in "The Ancient World"-- meaning the Western Civilization's idea of "The Ancient World," so starting with Sumeria, moving through Babylon, Assyria, the Akkadians, the Hebrews of course, on into Egypt & the Hyksos, then to Greece & the various city-states therein, the Persians, then to the Romans who are of course the meat & potatoes for most readers, & the Goths & Huns & ending with Byzantium's cataphracts as direct precursors of the Medieval knight. The book hits all the guys you'd suspect, is what I mean to say-- the usual suspects. There is a lot of fleshing out of the non-big names, which is where I think the book excels. There is perhaps an over-abundance of information on the Hebrews, but then there is a famous historical document to draw from, whether or not it is of dubious value. I will admit I liked Dougherty's theories about Joshua at the Battle of Jericho. Far & away the best thing about this book are the copious illustrations. They are detailed enough to be accurate & evocative but not enough to be...well, made up? Sometimes attempts to portray the past get bogged down with "filling in the gaps" but art in this book strikes a wonderful happy medium, & includes photographs of archeological objects for verisimilitude. Maybe it is the Dungeons & Dragons nerd in me, but the depictions of weapons, gear, & seige-works give me a bit of a thrill: I've re-drawn a picture of fortifications that put me in mind of some rather nasty traps:

Tags: books, haiku, mspaint

  • To Kill a Mockingjay.

    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I know, I said I wanted to be better at this then I didn't. Then that snowballed. Inertia! I'm going to…

  • The Seaearth.

    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. This is my treat for the holidays. Last December I discovered, thanks to fordmadoxfraud

  • "What do you read, my lord?" "Words, words, words."

    The fog of insomnia makings putting your thoughts in order hard. Makes it effort. So I've been sort of absent & silent here, I know. At least I've…

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.