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Alexander the Great and Ancient Greek Warfare

Kallithrix
Scribbler

Romans and eagles and Celts, oh my!

Postby Kallithrix » Tue May 25th, 2010, 2:48 pm

Hey Annis

I did look up Rosemary Sutcliff on Amazon and the Eagle of the Ninth came up with quite a few entries, and I knew it sounded familiar for some reason...

Although I've been a bit put off 'sword and sandals' epics by recent Hollywood efforts (CGI-tastic Clash of the Titans? pffft! Give me plasticine models and stop motion annimation any day!) I don't have any problem watching pretty boys prance about in armour, as long as the story is half decent as well ;-)

Anyway, you can have a spectacular cast and still produce an awful movie - just look at the Last Legion!

I'm going to the library later to look for a copy of Flowers of Adonis :-)

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Tue May 25th, 2010, 7:08 pm

Flowers of Adonis has been out of print for many years, so you may have a bit of trouble finding it- an inter-library loan might be your best bet.

Sutcliff weaves quite a lot of myth into her stories (hence the title of the book) and often uses the theme of ritual kingship, with her central protagonist taking the role of sacrificial king.

I suspect you might prefer Pressfield, but will be interested to hear your thoughts if you do track down a copy of FOA. :)

User avatar
Margaret
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: I can't answer this in 100 characters. Sorry.
Favorite HF book: Checkmate, the final novel in the Lymond series
Preferred HF: Literary novels. Late medieval and Renaissance.
Location: Catskill, New York, USA
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Postby Margaret » Wed May 26th, 2010, 1:53 am

I really enjoyed Flowers of Adonis when I read it many years ago. It includes a naval battle that was the first battle scene in a novel where I truly got a sense of what was going on. Battle scenes are really hard to get right, and many otherwise excellent authors write confusing and therefore boring battle scenes. A notable exception is Bernard Cornwell, who must have been just a kid when Sutcliff wrote Flowers of Adonis.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Wed May 26th, 2010, 5:44 pm

Yes, Sutcliff is a master storyteller. It's a shame her adult novels have fallen off the radar.

stumpy
Reader

Postby stumpy » Wed May 26th, 2010, 6:01 pm

The Flowers of Adonis is available readily on amazon uk. I really loved that book. Mary
Renault's The Last Of The Wine also does the Alkibiades story.

Eigon
Reader
Location: Hay-on-Wye, Town of Books
Contact:

Postby Eigon » Mon June 7th, 2010, 7:17 pm

We had a very broad minded librarian at my secondary school, so I read The Last of the Wine from the school library, aged about 14. It really opened my eyes to gay relationships!

Kallithrix
Scribbler

Postby Kallithrix » Sun June 20th, 2010, 6:44 pm

I was intrigued by the prospect of Mary Renault's take on Alkibiades, so I've just bought Last of the Wine. But then I decided I had to go back and read Thucydides again before I start an historical novel of the period, so that's what I'm ploughing through at the moment!

annis
Bibliomaniac

Postby annis » Sun June 20th, 2010, 8:31 pm

Posted by Kallithrix
-- decided I had to go back and read Thucydides again before I start an historical novel of the period, so that's what I'm ploughing through at the moment!


That should keep you quiet for a while :) Prof Kagan published a revisionist take on Thucydides last year which got a bit of a mixed response - have you read it? (I haven't, i hasten to add!)

Kallithrix
Scribbler

Donald Kagan...?

Postby Kallithrix » Mon June 21st, 2010, 2:22 pm

What's he been up to now then? Haven't really been keeping up with the latest academic publications since I left uni, but I do remember some very late nights with dear old Don back when I was young and enthusiastic.... shall have to give it a look :-)

Thucydides will certainly keep me busy for a while, but not as long as it would if I was reading it in Greek! (my Loeb edition is read to tatters and covered in my pencil scrawl noting every 3rd person plural active aorist participle...) But it's just as well I refresh my memory of the period for my reenactment patter anyway - wouldn't want to give the public inaccurate information!!

Eigon
Reader
Location: Hay-on-Wye, Town of Books
Contact:

Postby Eigon » Sat September 18th, 2010, 5:54 pm

Wow! You do Ancient Greek re-enactment, Kallithrix?
I was most impressed, a few years ago, by an Ancient Greek group doing drill - in Greek - at a multi-period show at the Royal Kent Showground.

And I've just been reading The Nature of Alexander by Mary Renault. I read, and loved, her fiction trilogy when I was a teenager (and I remember worrying that my gran might read something rude over my shoulder when I was in the middle of The Persian Boy). This is the non-fiction distillation of all that research. I find it fascinating that we can actually know the names of officers in Alexander's army and what their units were doing in a particular battle.
"There were no full time Vikings back then. Everybody had another job."
Neil Gaiman, from Odd and the Frost Giants.


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