Numismatic and History Discussions > Books and References

Recommended Reading Thread...

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Scotvs Capitis:
"Paul, a Herald of the Cross" by Florence M. Kingsley - This particular account of Paul's life is a fictionalized tale based upon Acts and the epistles, and follows Paul from the Damascus Road to his life's end in captivity in Rome. What is valuable about the book, fiction though it is, can be found in the historical, political and religious setting that Kingsley brings to life. Ms. Kingsley's research and grasp of the times is colorfully vivid, in fact, the first half of the book barely touches on Paul himself. Instead, Kingsley lays before the reader the world of the eastern Roman empire. Providing a fictionalized account of the Herodians, the imperial courts of Tiberius through Nero, governors, high priests and sects, slaves and beggars, shysters and charlatans, Kingsely paints a picture of how the empire looked, smelled, and sounded. The pomp of the court, the sycophantic courtiers, the horror of pagan rites - all displayed with literary skill one would expect of a book written in 1896 or so (I don't recall the exact date). Its a good read and leaves one with a tangible sense of the setting. It can be purchased from antiquarian book sellers for less than $15 usually.

When Jerusalem Burned by Gerard Israel, 1973, non-fiction. This is an account of the Vespasian/Titus lead destruction of Jerusalem, also from a Christian partial-preterist perspective. If you ever needed a little help getting through Josephus, (the book relies heavily on Josephus' "Jewish Wars" and other histories). What terrible tribulation was felt in that city, and how sad that few people even know about AD 70.

"Into the Antiquities Trade" by Kevin R. Cheek. Non-fiction. This one was recommended by ensible on his blog, I read it, loved it. Its a fascinating peek into the trade, and takes the reader on journeys to dangerous places like Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation. I can tell you that had I read this book in my early 20s, I'd be in a different line of work or dead trying.  ;)

If anyone hasn't read Peter Green's Alexander to Actium, Berkeley, 1990, it really is wonderful.  It doesn't have to be read before Augustus to Constantine, it's just a wonderful book.  Pat L.

I want to recommend two books:

Sulla by Karl Christ, and
Tiberius by Zvi Yavetz

Both books have as subject enigmatic characters which sometimes are represented as monsters. But if you have read these books you came to another view onto these complex personalities.

Best regards

Jay GT4:
Great additions everyone.  I'll recommend another...
MARK ANTONYS HEROES: How the 3rd Gallica Legion Saved an Apostle and Created an Emperor by Stephen Dando-Collins

It's a great reference to see how Caesar's legions were conscripted,  when they were taken over and when and where they retired.  You follow the 3rd Gallica as they move around from Gaul to Italy to Judea and Syria.  The first half is almost a biography on Mark Antony.  The middle (where I am now) is a reference to the Bible book of Acts with Paul being the major player.  I'm finding it a good read even if I don"t agree with all of the authors conclusions.

David Atherton:
As promised, here is a list of a few books I have found highly valuable:

From Tiberius to the Antonines by Albino Garzetti  Good general introduction to the period.

Agricola and Roman Britain A. R. Burn  Excellent narrative of Agricola and his times.

Agricola and the Conquest of the North W. S. Hanson  Agricola in a more archaeological context.

Roman Britain Peter Salway  A must read for understanding Roman Britain.

Social and Economic History of the Roman Empire M. Rostovtzeff  An eye opening treatment of the subject from a socialist stance.

Vesuvius A.D. 79 E. De Carolis and G. Patricelli  A wonderful account of Pompeii's last day.

Flavius Josephus M. Hadas-Lebel   An excellent narrative account of Josephus' life.

The Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World Talbert   A beautifully well done atlas.

Jesus  An Historian's Review of the Gospels M. Grant   One of the best books about the historical Jesus.

Romans and Barbarians Derek Williams  Contains the best account of the Varian disaster I've yet read.

The Emperor Titus B. W. Jones   A must have for the Flavian expert.

Vespasian B. Levick  Good account of Vespasian's life and Career.

Suetonius: The Flavian Emperors A commentary Jones & Milns  Excellent translation with detailed commentary.

Empire of Pleasures Andrew Dalby  If you ever wanted to know about Roman luxury items, this is the book. Highly recommended.

Apocalypse  The Great Jewish Revolt Against Rome Neil Faulkner   Excellent, detailed treatment of the subject.

More later...


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