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IHahn
Connecticut, USA
History maven, especially European ancient history & book lover
Interests: literature, classical music, history, ancient history, photography, mysteries, fiction, nonfiction, roman history, ancient rome, resident home town
Recent Activity
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On June 3 & 17 we discuss Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero by James Romm. June 3: as far as we can get June 17: author chat with James Romm Background readings: The Greatest Empire: A Life of Seneca by Emily Wilson Review of both books: Such a Stoic: How Seneca became Ancient Rome’s philosopher-fixer Dialogues and Essays by Seneca Newcomers: Chat room location (with instructions) at Skype IM. Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at Roman History Books and More
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H. Rider Haggard: 'Cleopatra" from the Introduction: “The reader is asked to bear in mind, [that] the story is told, not from the modern point of view, but as from the broken heart and with the lips of an Egyptian patriot of royal blood; no mere beast-worshipper, but a priest instructed in the inmost mysteries, who believed firmly in the personal existence of the gods of Khem, in the possibility of communion with them, and in the certainty of immortal life with its rewards and punishments; to whom also the bewildering and often gross symbolism of the Osirian Faith was nothing but a veil woven to obscure secrets of the Sanctuary. Whatever proportion of truth there may have been in their spiritual claims and imaginings, if indeed there was any, such men as the Prince Harmachis have been told of in the annals of every great religion, and, as is shown by the testimony of monumental and sacred inscriptions, they were not unknown among the worshippers of the Egyptian Gods, and more especially of Isis.” ... “To such students as seek a story only, and are not interested in the faith, ceremonies, or customs of the Mother of Religion and... Continue reading
Posted May 1, 2015 at Roman History Books and More
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Our chats on May 6 & 20 are on an unusual novel by H. Rider Haggard: Cleopatra, as seen from the Egyptian POV. The book is available both on Gutenberg and (also free) on Kindle. May 6: Let's plan through Book II, Chapter VIII. May 20: Through the end. Haggard: Reputation and legacy. Chat Room Directions for Newcomers Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2015 at Roman History Books and More
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Our upcoming chats on April 1 & 15 are letters by Seneca: Corrected to adjust dates. Letters from a Stoic (Penguin Classics) Online The Penguin book contains the following letters which we will discuss - ideally - as follows: April 1: II, III, V, VI through IX, XI, XII, XV, XVI, XVIII. XXVI through XXVIII, XXXIII, XXXVIII, XL, XLI, XLVI through XLVIII, LIII through LVI April 15: LXIII, LXV, LXXIII, LXXV, LXXVII, LXXVIII, LXXXIII, LXXXVI, LXXXVIII, XC, XCI, CIV, CVII, CVIII, CXIV, CXXII, CXXIII Chat Room Directions for Newcomers Seneca, the fat-cat philosopher Connected: June 3 & 17 chats Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero by James Romm / author chat also as eBook Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2015 at Roman History Books and More
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We will discuss The Reach of Rome: A Journey Through the Lands of the Ancient Empire, Following a Coin by Alberto Angela on February 4 & 18, March 4 February 4: through "Milan ~ Women's Liberation" February 18: through "Provence ~ Beware of the Brigands" March 4: through the end Newcomers: Chat room location (with instructions) at Skype IM. Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at Roman History Books and More
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We are starting the new year off with a well known time travel novel that gets us to 2nd century CE Carnuntum! January 7 & 21 Household Gods by Judith Tarr & Harry Turtledove (eBooks only ouside the U.S.) This is a great site to explore the ancient town: Carnuntum, Reborn City of Emperors Newcomers: Chat room location (with instructions) at Skype IM. Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2014 at Roman History Books and More
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Join us in December for two mysteries: December 3 Persona Non Grata (Gaius Petreius Ruso Series #3) aka "The Root of all Evils" by Ruth Downie (link includes eBook. Less expensive used copies may be had at ABEbooks.com and elsewhere) => December 2 Update Robert Greaves found these two useful links: Barbarian let loose in Gaul with camera Nemausus (Nîmes) December 10 (because of Hanukkah) Roman Games (Plinius Secundus Series #1) by Bruce MacBain (link includes eBook) Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2014 at Roman History Books and More
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Get ready for an engrossing read! Wednesday, November 19 The Legate's Daughter: A Novel by Wallace Breem The only recommendation The Legate's Daughter should require is its author's name. Wallace Breem was one of the most gifted writers ever to turn his attention to the historical novel, with a mastery of descriptive writing, characterization, tone and mood rare indeed among those who work in the genre. The Legate's Daughter is as shrouded in rich, suggestive shadows as a Rembrandt masterpiece. Whether the setting is the slums of Rome or an African palace, the most striking scenes tend to take place at night, when those shadows grow darker and an unknown danger seems to lurk just out of sight. Those dangers steadily grow as the plot proceeds and suspense ratchets upwards. The Legate's Daughter Wallace Breem—some biographical notes Used copies may be had at ABEbooks.com and elsewhere. Also as eBook at Amazon. Newcomers are welcome. Information Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2014 at Roman History Books and More
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October 1 & 15, November 5: Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome by Anthony Barrett (used copies may be had at ABEbooks.com and elsewhere) Also as eBook at Amazon and iTunes. The book has 222 pages of narrative text and 107 pages of appendices. The breakdown - sans appendices which may be read anytime - will be as follows: October 1: Preface, Part I (THE LIFE OF LIVIA), 1 - 4. October 15: through Part I (THE LIFE OF LIVIA), 5 ; Part II, (LIVIAN THEMES), 6 & 7. November 5: through the end of the narrative text. Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2014 at Roman History Books and More
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Our seond chat on Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar by Rob Goodman & Jimmy Soni will be on Wednesday, July 30. As some members did not have the book yet or needed a refresher read, we will basically discuss the entire book. New York Times Video Interview Plutarch's Parallel Lives: Cato the Younger Cato the Elder Pompey Julius Caesar Sallust: The War with Catiline Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2014 at Roman History Books and More
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Our next two chats February 19 & March 5 are texts by Cicero. Update March 2: There was some original confusion: On February 19 we discussed "Brutus: A History of Famous Orators," on March 5 it will be The Orator which is part of the same book. Brutus: A History of Famous Orators/The Orator at Gutenberg (downloadable to your tablet) Also availabe in print at Loeb Classical. "Cicero: A Portrait" by Elixabeth Rawson. Chat room location (with instructions) at Skype IM. Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2014 at Roman History Books and More
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This will our third and final chat, on February 5, about Empire (Rome Series #2) by Steven Saylor (link includes eBook): from Lucius: The Seeker, A.D. 93 through Marcus: The Sculptor (A.D. 113-141). These are my favorite parts of the novel. Continuing the saga begun in his New York Times bestselling novel Roma, Steven Saylor charts the destinies of the aristocratic Pinarius family, from the reign of Augustus to height of Rome’s empire. The Pinarii, generation after generation, are witness to greatest empire in the ancient world and of the emperors that ruled it—from the machinations of Tiberius and the madness of Caligula, to the decadence of Nero and the golden age of Trajan and Hadrian and more. Empire is filled with the dramatic, defining moments of the age, including the Great Fire, the persecution of the Christians, and the astounding opening games of the Colosseum. But at the novel’s heart are the choices and temptations faced by each generation of the Pinarii. Steven Saylor once again brings the ancient world to vivid life in a novel that tells the story of a city and a people that has endured in the world’s imagination like no other. Steven Saylor does... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at Roman History Books and More
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In our next chats, January 8 & 22, February 5, we'll discuss Empire (Rome Series #2) by Steven Saylor (link includes eBook) Continuing the saga begun in his New York Times bestselling novel Roma, Steven Saylor charts the destinies of the aristocratic Pinarius family, from the reign of Augustus to height of Rome’s empire. The Pinarii, generation after generation, are witness to greatest empire in the ancient world and of the emperors that ruled it—from the machinations of Tiberius and the madness of Caligula, to the decadence of Nero and the golden age of Trajan and Hadrian and more. Empire is filled with the dramatic, defining moments of the age, including the Great Fire, the persecution of the Christians, and the astounding opening games of the Colosseum. But at the novel’s heart are the choices and temptations faced by each generation of the Pinarii. Steven Saylor once again brings the ancient world to vivid life in a novel that tells the story of a city and a people that has endured in the world’s imagination like no other. To break the book down into three chats, it requires breaks in chapters: January 8: I. LUCIUS: The Lightning Reader to II.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
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Resurrecting an old post ... Escultura "Saturnalia" en el Jardín Botánico de Buenos Aires, Ernesto Biondi Here are some links to Rome's big December festival, some courtesy N.S. Gill: Saturnalia - Celebrate the Saturnalia Saturnalia (Roman Holidays) December (Fasti) Saturnalia at Wikipedia => Macrobius: Saturnalia Image: Alma-Tadema's Ave, Caesar! Io, Saturnalia! and a how to … Pliny the Younger did not think much of the festivities: "...especially during the Saturnalia when the rest of the house is noisy with the licence of the holiday and festive cries. This way I don't hamper the games of my people and they don't hinder my work or studies." (Epistles 2.17.24) Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons IO, SATVRNALIA! Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
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LacusCurtius - A Gateway to Ancient Rome, run by Bill Thayer, is one of the most informative websites on the subject. livius.org is operated by Jona Lendering. Together, they have a blog with news about their respective websites: New at LacusCurtius & Livius, as well as book reviews and other news. Enjoy! Related articles Roman Ruins HD for iPad is a terrific way to explore ancient Rome Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
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On Wednesday, December 18 - our last chat of the year - we'll discuss A Dying Light in Cordoba (Marcus Didius Falco Series #8) by Lindsey Davis. "Marcus Didius Falco is ready to make new contacts and start a new career, and a dinner for the Society of Olive Oil Producers of Baetica seems like the perfect opportunity. But when two dinner guests are found beaten--one dead--Falco knows he cannot rest until he solves at least one more mystery." Off to Spain he goes. Since her father owns property in Baetica, a highly pregnant Helena tags along. Be ready for murder, mayhem, and fun. A reminder that we now chat on Skype IM. Instructions. Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
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Sacred Games (Nicolaos Series #3) by Gary Corby on December 4 (also as eBook elsewhere) It is the Olympics of 460 BC. Nico's best friend, Timodemus, is a competitor in the pankration, the deadly martial art of ancient Greece. Timo is hot favorite to win. His only serious rival is Arakos from Sparta. When Arakos is found beaten to death, it is obvious Timodemus must be the killer. Who else could have killed the second-best fighter in all Hellas but the very best? The Judges of the Games sentence Timodemus to be executed in four days' time, as soon as the Sacred Games have finished. Complicating everything is the fact that Athens and Sparta are already at each other's throats, in the opening stages of a power struggle for control of Hellas. If an Athenian is found to have cheated at the Games by murdering a Spartan, it will be everything the hawks in Sparta need to declare open war the moment the Sacred Truce is over. And that's a war Athens cannot hope to win. Nico and his partner in sleuthing, the annoyingly clever priestess Diotima, have four days to save their friend and avert a war that would... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
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In November we are discussing Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership by Barry Strauss. (also as eBook) At the first chat, we completed chapter 3, "Resistance." Now for the rest! What I like about the book is that it does not give three different biographies but rather compares the three men on various subjects and issues. Review by N.S. Gill Lecture by Barry Strauss, November 2012 We are testing a new chat client since the problems with Google Talk are mounting. I will keep you advised, however, this chat will still be at G-Mail. Do not log log via Google Talk! Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
July updated: January 8 & 22, February 5 Empire by Steven Saylor (link includes eBook) February 19 & March 5 Cicero: Brutus: A History of Famous Orators: Gutenberg / Attalus If time allows: De Re Publica March 19 & April 2 Augustus: A Novel by John Williams (link includes eBook) April 23 (because of Passover), May 7 & 21 The Roman Triumph by Mary Beard eBook June 4 & 18 Hannibal's Children by John Maddox Roberts (used copies may be had at ABEbooks.com and elsewhere) Also as eBook at Amazon and iTunes. July 9 & July 23 (because of Independence Day and Irene's vacation schedule) Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar by Rob Goodman & Jimmy Soni (link includes eBook) August Recess September 3 & 17 The Philosopher Prince by Paul Waters October 1 & 15, November 5 Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome by Anthony Barrett (used copies may be had at ABEbooks.com and elsewhere) Also as eBook at Amazon and iTunes. November 19 (Revised) The Legate's Daughter by Wallace Breem (used copies may be had at ABEbooks.com and elsewhere) Also as eBook at Amazon. December 3 Persona Non Grata (aka The... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
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Update 1 On November 6 & 20 we will discuss Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar, and the Genius of Leadership by Barry Strauss. (also as eBook) Through CHAPTER THREE: Resistance What I like about the book is that it does not give three different biographies but rather compares the three men on various subjects and issues. Review by N.S. Gill Lecture by Barry Strauss, November 2012 We are testing a new chat client since the problems with Google Talk are mounting. I will keep you advised. Update 2: This chat will still be a Google Talk/G-Mail Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
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Our next chat on Wednesday, October 16 will be A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa Series #5) by Steven Saylor (also as eBook). While Steven Saylor told me that he does not participate in book chats, he said he welcomes any questions via e-mail. His website. Asconius on Cicero's Pro Milone Asconius lived about a century after Cicero and wrote commentaries on Cicero's speeches to help his sons understand them. Five of these have survived. They are not only interesting in their own right but also provide a mine of information about the turbulent history of the Ciceronian age. Our chat room location (with instructions) at Google Talk. Newcomers please contact Irene via that link. Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
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On Wednesday, October 2 we are having our final chat on Rome: An Empire's Story by Greg Woolf (also as eBook). We were supposed to discuss through chapter 12 during the last chat, however, we only made it through 9! Let me suggest that we come to an agreement at the beginning of the chat which ones of chapters 10 through 18 we should emphasize. I will post some suggestions on Facebook as a keep reading and encourage others to do also. Our chat room location (with instructions) at Google Talk. Newcomers please contact Irene via that link. Continue reading
Posted Sep 26, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
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On Wednesday, September 18 we are having the second of three online chats on Rome: An Empire's Story by Greg Woolf (also as eBook). Chapters 7 through 12. This is a very intersting book! I wish I had the time to explore all of Woolf's source material, listed at the end of each chapter as suggested rreadings. Our chat room location (with instructions) at Google Talk. Newcomers please contact Irene via that link. Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
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In his Rome: An Empire's Story, Greg Woolf lists among his background suggested readings Fergus Millar's collective writings: "Rome, the Greek East, and the World." They can be had as e-book omnibus at the UNC Press: Fergus Millar's Rome, the Greek World, and the East, Omnibus E-book The Landmark 3-Volume Set That Transformed The Study Of The Roman Empire. Fergus Millar is one of the most influential contemporary historians of the ancient world. His essays and books, including The Emperor in the Roman World and The Roman Near East, have enriched our understanding of the Greco-Roman world in fundamental ways. In his writings Millar has made the inhabitants of the Roman Empire central to our conception of how the empire functioned. He also has shown how and why Rabbinic Judaism, Christianity, and Islam evolved from within the wider cultural context of the Greco-Roman world. This is a three-volume collection of Fergus Millar's essays, which transformed the study of the Roman Empire by shifting the focus of inquiry onto the broader Mediterranean world and beyond. Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2013 at Roman History Books and More
You will have to contact Mr. Murdoch directly.
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