Beyond "Island of Ghosts"
- Hi, All! I apologize for this lengthy epistle!
As I haven�t gotten any negative responses, I have selected as our next book
(beginning October 6)
"The Age of Constantine the Great", by Jacob Burckhardt
University of California Press; ISBN: 0520046803, Trade Paperback,
It�s seems to be available in the public libraries too - mine has two copies
of the book.
To reiterate: Burckhardt lived about a century later than Gibbon. He wrote
this book first in 1852 and then revised it in 1880. The book covers the
period from Diocletian through the death of Constantine the Great, and puts
great emphasis on cultural history. Indeed, Burckhardt was one of the
founders of this discipline. It�s a lively written book - with a distinctly
personal view on some of the issues, but nonetheless (or maybe because of
it?) a pleasure to read. It seems to have been translated well into English.
See some of the reviews on <<http://members.xoom.com/placida/booklist2.htm>>.
AOL members click here: <A
HREF="http://members.xoom.com/placida/booklist2.htm">Roman History Reading
Group / Upcoming Readings</A>.
I�m recommending various background readings from Diocletian through
Constantine. It should make for an interesting discussion, even for those of
us who don't have the time or opportunity to read them all.
I think we need at least three meetings for the book - but we can certainly
play it by ear�
The next book I suggest thereafter is
"Julian" by Gore Vidal, Paperback, Ballantine, ISBN: 0345329082.
You can get the book online, but most stores have it on back order only. So
if you want to buy it there or in the bookstores, you should do it soon.
Online, go to <<http://www.bestbookbuys.com/>> (AOL members click here: <A
HREF="http://www.bestbookbuys.com/">Best Book Buys</A>) and type in the above
ISBN number, and you will get a lenghthy list of online stores which sell the
This book requires two, at most three sessions, which would get us into early
I�m now looking at additional fiction: "Justinian" by H.N. Turtletaub (a
thick paperback, probably three to four readings), and two Bradshaws: "The
Bearkeeper�s Daughter" and "Imperial Purple". I�m hoping they are better
than "Beacon of Alexandria" and as good as "Island Ghosts".
Maybe some Gibbon in between?
This all would bring us to the end of (or a bit beyond) the Western Empire.
Should we stop there (I�m not familiar yet with fiction about that era and
would need your help) and move back to the Beginning of Rome?
I�d like a vote whether anyone want to go any further into the Byzantine
Please reply by simply typing Byzantine resp. Early Rome.
- Early Rome would be my choice.
Good list of discussion points sent earlier. I rather like structure in what
I do, though it takes skill to set it up and that must be why so many do not
- I agee with Hal- early Rome. As I am a beginner
with this, I need to start at the beginning!
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