Sunday, April 22, 2007

Book List & Random Thoughts

I often find useful information for my novel in the most random of places. Like the time I was reading an article on proper napkin etiquette and learned that the Spartans were one of the first on record to use napkins (the Spartans!) These notorious warriors would actually roll a ball of clay around their palms to clean their hands after they ate. This useful tidbit was from a tea magazine, probably the last place you would think to find an article that involved the rough and tough Laconians. There's also the time I was reading a fashion magazine and learned that the black kohl eyeliner made famous by the Egyptians was less about fashion and more about reducing the harsh glare of the desert sun.

Yet even while I stumble upon awesome bits of information, I still have an ever-growing collection of books, Internet articles and DVDs stashed in my room that help me try to understand the world in which the ancient Hellenes and Persians lived in. A part of me is very proud of the fact that I have over 40 books, the other suspects true researchers would yawn at the lowly double digits. In any case, here's a list of the works I have (non-fiction and fiction), with stars for ones I find especially helpful or interesting and would recommend to people.

1) Broad, William. The Oracle: Ancient Delphi And The Science Behind Its Lost Secrets
2) Burket, Walter. Greek Religion
3) Cartledge, Paul. Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed The World
4) Cartledge, Paul. Sparta & Laconia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC ***
5) Cartledge, Paul. Spartan Reflections
6) Cartledge, Paul. The Spartans: The World of The Warrior-Heroes of Ancient Greece***
7) Cassin-Scott, Jack. The Greek & Persian Wars 500-323 BC
8) Connolly, Peter & Dodge, Hazel. The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens & Rome
9) Corenenko, Dr. EV. The Scythians
10) Curtis, John E. & Tallis, Nigel. Forgotten Empire: The World of Ancient Persia ***
11) Durando, Furio. Ancient Greece: The Dawn of The Western World
12) Durant, Will: The Life of Greece
13) Flaceliere, Robert. Daily Life In Greece At The Time of Pericles ***
14) Garland, Robert. Introducing New Gods: The Politics of Athenian Religion
15)Grant, Michael. The Rise of The Greeks
16) Green, Peter. The Greco-Persian Wars
17) Hanson, Victor Davis. A War Like No Other ***
18) Handson, Victor Davis. Hoplites: The Classical Greek Battle Experience
19) Handson, Vicotr Davis. The Western Way of War
20) Herodotus. The History ***
21) Holland, Tom. Persian Fire ***
22) Homer. The Illiad ***
23) Homer. The Odyssey ***
24) Houston, Mary G. Ancient Egyptian, Mesopotamian & Persian Costume
25) Hughes, Bettany. Helen of Troy: Goddess, Princess, Whore
26)Lendon, J.E. Soldiers & Ghosts: A History of Battle In Classical Antiquity
27) Martin, Jon Edward. In Kithairon's Shadow: A Novel of Ancient Greece & The Persian War
28) Mayor, Adrienne. Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion Bombs: Biological & Chemical Warfare in The Ancient Worlds
29) Mikalson, Jon D. Herodotus & Relgion In The Persian Wars
30) Miller, Stephen. Arete: Greek Sports From Ancient Sources
31) Mitchell, Stephen. Gilgamesh ***
32)Nelson, Eric PhD. & Susan K. PhD. The Complete Idiot's Guide To Ancient Greece ***
33) Nicastro, Nicholas. The Isle of Stone
34) Oden, Scott. Memnon ***
35) Oden, Scott. Men of Bronze ***
36) Oppenheim, A. Leo. Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization
37) Ostler, Nicholas. Empires of The World: A Language History of The World ***
38) Parin d'Aulain, Ingris & Edar. Daulaire's Book of Greek Myths ***
39) Plutarch. On Sparta ***
40) Pressfield, Steven. Gates of Fire ***
41) Pressfield, Steven. Tides of War
42) Sekunda, Nicholas. The Spartan Army ***
43) Sekunda, Nicholas. The Persian Army 560-330 BC ***
44) Sekunda, Nicholas. The Ancient Greeks
45)Strauss, Barry. The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter That Saved Greece-and Western Civilization ***
46)Thompson, Dorothy Burr & Grisworld Ralph E. (American School of Classical Studies At Athens). Garden Lore of Ancient Athens
47) Thucydides. History of The Peloponnesian War ***
48) Van Vliet, Eugenia R. Dinners With Famous Women: From Cleopatra To Indira Ghandi
49) Whitley, Michael. Sparta
50) Wolfert, Paula. The Cooking of The Eastern Mediterranean

Note that some works are missing because I don't really own them. I've been able to read Hesoid and some of Plutarch's work online, and some books simply I borrowed from libraries. I also didn't include any DVDs I have (such as the excellent documentary on Sparta by Bettany Huges) or History Channel specials. If you have a book you'd like to recommend or want to learn about, let me know. (^_^)


Scott Oden said...

That's a pretty good list. It even has two of my favorites: Daily Life In Greece At The Time of Pericles and Persian Fire. I've been looking for Hanson's book on the Hoplite Experience but it's fairly rare. Though its too expensive to purchase unless you're Bill Gates, I'd also recommend Cambridge Ancient History -- a full set runs a couple thousand dollars, but it's updated every year, I think (I've only seen library editions).

Trivia time: The Egyptians mixed kohl with malachite not only for cosmetic reasons, but also because it helped reduce eye infections (the bane of the Nile Valley) :)

Megumi said...

Neat trivia detail. Were the infections from the sand or air or something? Most interesting...

And I wish I could afford Cambridge Ancient History (sounds awesome!), but a couple of thousand dollars is too much at this point. :(

Wynn Bexton said...

A pretty impressive list. A lot of them I also have on my book shelves, or have read from the library. I have been fortunate on a couple of occasions while writing in greece to research at the British Library and the Gennadius Library in Athens where they have a lot of documents and papers and books that are not usually in circulation to the general public. I also have a number of videos I've collected on various subjects to do with my topics (mainly Alexander)

Megumi said...

((British Library and the Gennadius Library in Athens ))

Man...I wish I had access to those places...I also want to look at JSTOR stuff (looks super interesting), but I'm not allowed. ( Well, unless I go to one of the libraries that lets you look at their site, but I'm not willing to drive all the way out the San Francisco library that has access to JSTOR. I'm so lazy...)

Gabriele C. said...

I have the luck to live ten minutes bicycle ride from an excellent academic library with some 6 million books, which also is connected to a system of libraries in Germany and the world (I've got books from the Bodleian, copies of manuscripts from the Arnamagneanska Institute in Copenhagen, and even a book from the Vatican Library which I was only allowed to read in the hall and not take home). But I still buy what I can afford because I love to own the books.