Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sources for Inspiration

I talk a lot about books, and about my areas of interest.  I have an enormous list of genres, authors, and formats that I particularly enjoy.  This is a look back on some of my favorite books about the military history of Ancient Greece.

From the moment I heard about the 300 Spartans at the battle of Thermopylae, I knew that I had to know everything possible about the event.  And while I am far away from ever finding out all I am curious about in the battle, and post battle, I have enough that when I watch 300 by Frank Miller or read the comic of the same, I can enjoy it without getting upset about choices of style, or content.  That is, since I know what the history was, I don't have to worry about being mislead, because if they try to do it, or by accident do it, I won't follow them.  I know a line is crooked because I've seen one that is straight.

So, why do I love the Ancient Greeks and their battles?  Well first off there, I misspoke since I also love Ancient Rome.  But why these two great empires and cultures?  Because at a point of time that predates any sort of medicine, any artificial light, eating from only locals not having access to a number of things, that we'd go nuts for.  I personally go bonkers when I don't have A/C that works.  If I lived in Italy or anywhere, frankly, that has four seasons, I'd be miserable, all the time.

From the books here you'll see a number of authors who have written more than a single book here.  The Roman Historian Livy moves me, as does Victor Davis Hanson.  And more than almost any other ancient world historians, I love the work of Peter Green. 

Victor Davis Hanson has been singled out by people who are left of center.  They see that he has written editorials for National Review, a right wing magazine.   But he is much more than a right wing pundit.  He has views that some consider to be right wing, but his views were born of agrarian roots.  He is a fifth generation farmer and he viewed the Greek democracies as having come from the need to guard or fight for the land that they raised food upon.  Each guarded the spear arm for his neighbor, who did the same for his neighbor.  The ancient phalanx could never have succeeded without lessons of cooperation and the concept of the state/or people.  He is far from a conservative in my view.

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