100 Must-Read Books about Ancient History

On July 31, 2017 I published the following post on Book Riot.

100 Must-Read Books about Ancient History

Rome. Athens. Memphis and Thebes. Ramses II. Nefertiti. Julius Caesar. Cleopatra. Aristotle. Sappho. Cyrus the Great. Democracy. Oligarchy. Republic and Empire.

Societies and people long gone and still they tickle our imagination.

Ancient history as a scholarly endeavor came into existence during the time of the European empires. The imperialists of Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany looked to the distant past for validation and wrote their history accordingly, resulting in a research field dominated by white men focusing on Rome and Greece.

But things are beginning to change. Ancient history and Classical studies are becoming more inclusive. The ancient histories of Persia, India, present-day Iraq and Sudan and their influences on Rome and Greece are being acknowledged. The white dominance among Classicists is being challenged. Inter-disciplinary research projects bring together the disciplines of history and archaeology.

This list of 100 must-read books about Ancient History reflects these changes. Prepare for your TBR list to explode.

If you would like to read the post in its entirety, please click here.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

10 Things You Need to Know about the Sana’a Pentateuch

On August 4, 2017, I published the following post on Book Riot.

10 Things You Need to Know about the Sana’a Pentateuch

Yemen is a country that somehow feels further away than most. Located on the south-west part of the Arabian Peninsula, news about Yemen only seem to reach us when there is a tragedy.

But Yemen is so much more than the occasional news story from a far away land. Yemen is a country with an old civilization capable of wonderful art.

Book art.

One of the most famous books from Yemen is the so-called Sana’a Pentateuch.

If you would like to read this post in its entirety, please click here.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

10 Things You Need to Know about the Lisbon Bible

On July 27, 2017 I published the following post on Book Riot.

10 Things You Need to Know about the Lisbon Bible

When King Afonso I of Portugal gained recognition for the independence of the Kingdom of Portugal in 1143, there had been a Jewish community in the Iberian Peninsula since at least the second century C.E. After having been expelled from Jerusalem by Emperor Hadrian, Jews found themselves a new home in one of the farthest-most provinces of the Roman Empire. The Jewish culture that developed here is known as Sephardic, from the Judeo-Spanish word for the Iberian Peninsula—Sepharad. A vital part of Sephardic culture was the creation of the Bible, also referred to as the Tanakh by Jews and as the Hebrew Bible by Christians.

If you would like to read the rest of the post, please click here.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

Quirky History: Micrography, or Minuscule Medieval Images Drawn with Letters

On June 14, 2017, I published the following post on Quirk Books.

Quirky History: Micrography, or Minuscule Medieval Images Drawn with Letters

Whenever we here at Quirk Books think we have found everything there is to discover about the weird and wonderful world of medieval manuscripts, something new always pops up and takes us by surprise. This time, what came at us out of left field was the incredible art form of micrography.

Micrography is an art form unique to Judaism that developed during the Middle Ages. Here, reading, writing, and imagery come together in one.

If you wish to read the entire post, please click here.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

Quirky History: Urchins, Igls, and Hogs. Hedgehogs in Medieval Manuscripts

On April 7, 2017, I published the following post on Quirk Books.

Quirky History: Urchins, Igls, and Hogs. Hedgehogs in Medieval Manuscripts

We love hedgehogs! Hedgehogs are a commonly occurring animal in manuscripts and bestiaries throughout the Middle Ages (and who can blame the artists for including them?). If you’ve read other posts about medieval manuscripts, be warned: this might be the cutest one yet.

If you would like to read the rest of the post, please click here.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

Interview for Geek Dad/Geek Mom on Racism and Diversity in Speculative Fiction

hqdefault

St. Maurice

On April 11, 2017, I was interviewed by the blog Geek Dad/Geek Mom. We talked about racism and diversity in speculative fiction, about the state of the art in historical research, and how to locate trustworthy sources when you do your own historical research when writing speculative fiction.

And of course, I recommended some books. And referenced Stargate SG-1.

You can check out the interview here.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.

10 Things You Need to Know about the Golden Haggadah

On April 6, 2017, I published the following post on Book Riot.

10 Things You Need to Know about the Golden Haggadah

The Golden Haggadah miniatures

Next week is Passover, one of the most important holidays in Judaism. Passover celebrates the Exodus, in other words when God liberated the Jews from slavery in Egypt.

On the first night of Passover, family and friends gather round for the Seder when everybody takes turns reading from a book called a haggadah. The haggadah contains the story of the Exodus, intermingled with prayers and songs. The Seder is then concluded with good food and wine.

Because the Torah contains only text, and depictions of God are forbidden, over time the haggadah became the book where Jews interpreted their religion through images. Throughout the centuries, the haggadah also became a way for Jewish families to display their prosperity and wealth.

No other haggadah is a better example of this than the Golden Haggadah.

Here are ten things you need to know about the Golden Haggadah.

If you want to read the rest of this post, please click here.

In the words of my friend, the Australian, I shall return.