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review 2018-08-13 16:09
The shoulders of giants, the exaggeration of inheritors
Before and After Alexander: The Legend and Legacy of Alexander the Great - Richard A. Billows

In this book, the classical scholar Richard Billows offers something different from the histories of the Alexander-centric historians who have preceded him. Rather than concentrating on Alexander, Billows expands his focus to  encompass the pre-Alexander history of his homeland of Macedonia and the fate of his empire that followed. Though these subjects have been addressed by others, by bringing them together into a single book, Billows assesses Alexander's achievements from a different perspective and the result is quite different from what might expect from previous books on the Macedonian conqueror.


The greatest consequence of Billows's approach is the highlighting of the achievements of Alexander's father, Philip. A great conqueror in his own right, while his reign has been overshadowed by his son, Billows makes clear how much of Alexander's success were due to his father's accomplishments. It was with Philip's army and Philip's commanders that Alexander waged his campaigns, which often used tactics that predated Alexander to win in battle. Yet Billows also notes that Philip himself was hardly an innovator, as he drew upon the experiences of decades of Greek wars in building his army into the Asian-conquering force of legend. This army was also the product of a region ripe for success, for as Billows details, its climate and geography gave it several natural advantages over the more tenuously-existing Green city states to the south.


From this perspective, Alexander's achievements were less as a creator than as an exploiter. This Billows underscores by emphasizing the unsustainable nature of his empire. As their abandonment so soon after Alexander's death makes clear, the Indian and Afghan territories comprising the easternmost edge of his conquests were simply too far off to be controlled from his resource base in Macedonia. While his plans for campaigns in North Africa and southern Europe may have been more realistic, they demonstrate that the essence of Alexander's achievements was conquest rather than construction. In this respect, his successors the diadochi deserve more credit for developing his legacy than Alexander himself merits, yet they too are often given only passing mention in most Alexander-centric considerations of the period.


All of this Billows lays out in an accessibly fluid text that makes for easy reading. He pulls no punches in his assessment of the "great" conqueror, and in doing so offers a valuable corrective to the overlarge reputation Alexander enjoys today. This is a book that anybody interested in a measured assessment of the legendary figure, one that details just how much of it rested on the shoulders of his predecessors and depended on the achievements of his successors.

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text 2018-08-13 08:31
How to Buy Replica Gold Coins – 4 Tips for Coin Collectors

Collecting coins is a very unique and interesting hobby that exists even before the Roman Empire existed. Hence, you’ll find a number of people,who love purchasing and collecting rare coins from all over the world. However, only few of them will have the most exotic, rare and impressive collection of coins. Such people are the most successful collectors, and often display their collection at museums, seminars or global exhibitions.


So, if you also want to buy replica gold coins and become a successful collector, here are some amazing tips to follow –


  1. a) Coin Collection Concept

First of all, make sure that you understand the concept of coin collection pretty well. There’s no point of collecting coins, if you do not understand the worth of it. Due to lack of information, you may either deprive yourself of the profit, at the time of selling or you may buy them at very unfair rates. Also, you should have thorough knowledge of different factors, such as condition of the coin. What is acceptable and what is not, is very important to analyze, so as to assess the right value of the coins.


  1. b) Contact Dealers

It is very important to get close to the real sources. Contact the best online coin dealers; ask them about the price of the coins, variety of inventory they have and places from where they get their pieces. Doing this, you will have a pool of information about all the different types of coins available in the market and where can you get the same at affordable rates.


  1. c) Highly Graded Coins

When you visit a store or a website for purchasing ancient coins for sale, you’ll find that there are ‘n’ numbers of options available. Certified professionals grade the coins as per their quality. Hence, whenever you search for coins, do look for highly graded pieces, if you want your collection to be extremely impressive and artistic.


  1. d) Take Good Care Of Coins

Mere collecting the coins is not important; you need to take proper care of them, and makesure that they are lustrous and flawless for generations to come. You can store them in a box, to avoid them getting in contact with dust, water or any other element that disrupts their original appeal. Most of the antique and rare coins, such as the 3 dollar gold coin of 1858 demands high precaution, when it comes to storing the same.




These tips will help you become a successful collector. However, during the process of following these tips, you will learn new facts about collectibles and the importance of having a huge rare collection. So, basically, it is quite a fun activity that will help you grow and uncover unknown things.


For more details Coinscollectors.net.

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text 2018-08-10 12:51
Why People Love To Collect Or Buy Ancient Coin Replicas Online?

Coin collecting is often considered as a pointless and boring hobby. But, to those, who are deeply in love with this hobby, clearly understand the magic of buying and collecting these miniature works of art.Compared to the earlier times, buying ancient coin replicas is much easier today; thanks to the online platform. This is the major reason why more individuals are getting interested in buying that are artistic, rare and tells a hidden story about good old days.


Further, the hobby of collecting coins has gone far beyond than just a hobby; people have found unique reasons to purchase and collect coins. Here are some of them –


  1. Rarity and Beauty

Something which is beautiful and rare at the same time attracts everybody’s attention. People often buy coins for this very reason. Most of the ancient coins are quite rare. Hence, buying them becomes a matter of pride for the collectors, as they have access to a hidden treasure, which nobody has. Apart from this, most of the collectors have a unique love for beauty and artwork. This is why people seek out for the best online coin dealers, who specialize in offering rarest of the rare coins with impressive design.


  1. Educational Value

Another reason justifying the great demand for coins is its eternal educational value. Collecting coins helps one to learn the amazing facts about politics,history, culture and society. Hence, in a way, you get to learn everything related to the coins, for example when they were issued, how the coin design evolved over years and so on.


  1. Investment

If you do not understand the logic behind collecting coins, you will never understand that coin collecting is a form of investment. Just like you invest your money in gold, silver, real estate, shares etc., numismatists (coin collectors) invest their money in collecting ancient coins. Although the price of the coins fluctuates with metal prices, yet there are always more chances of increase in metal rates.


  1. Eternal Relief

This is the most obvious reasons for buying or collecting coins. You adopt a particular hobby because you understand the fact that the hobby gives you ultimate solace. This is what happens with coin collectors. Buying different types of coins and making a huge collection out of it, provides them with sheer pleasure that no other activity in the world can.


You would be amazed to know that coin collectors are not new to this world; they exist even before the Roman Empire. So, now when you come across any coin collector, do not put up some weird expressions. They are simply doing what they love. Even you can start collecting coins by searching for coin websites that sell coins. You’ll be simply mesmerized with this hobby!!


For more details visit Coinscollectors.net

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review 2018-07-31 18:16
The Roman Way: How to Grow Old - Ancient Wisdom for the Second Half of Life by Marcus Tullius Cicero
How to Grow Old: Ancient Wisdom for the Second Half of Life - Marcus Tullius Cicero,Philip Freeman


Cicero was full of shit.

Though I did some Classics in the 80s, I barely read any Cicero. (This was out of personal indolence, not the fault of my courses...) He is one of the people from the Graeco-Roman world I really would like to read a bit more of than I did back then - probably in translation on a long National Express coach journey, or something. The impression I retain of Cicero is attractive: someone vain, voluble, companionable, and - crucially - warm; somewhat larger than life, volcanic by temperament, capable of being quite formidable. I think he was like some figures in the performing arts up and down my lifetime, certain directors - I can't even name names right now - rather than politicians I can think of who are active now. I'm sure I've met something of him in a number of people. I dare say the bar still accommodates people with his talents and personality and virtues - I have just known very few people who work there.


If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-07-20 08:13
The Portable Cosmos by Alexander Jones
A Portable Cosmos: Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World - Alexander Jones

TITLE:  The Portable Cosmos:  Revealing the Antikythera Mechanism, Scientific Wonder of the Ancient World


AUTHOR:  Alexander Jones




FORMAT:  Hardcover


ISBN-13:  9780199739349


Book Description:


"From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Terracotta Army, ancient artifacts have long fascinated the modern world. However, the importance of some discoveries is not always immediately understood. This was the case in 1901 when sponge divers retrieved a lump of corroded bronze from a shipwreck at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea near the Greek island of Antikythera. Little did the divers know they had found the oldest known analog computer in the world, an astonishing device that once simulated the motions of the stars and planets as they were understood by ancient Greek astronomers. Its remains now consist of 82 fragments, many of them containing gears and plates engraved with Greek words, that scientists and scholars have pieced back together through painstaking inspection and deduction, aided by radiographic tools and surface imaging. More than a century after its discovery, many of the secrets locked in this mysterious device can now be revealed.

In addition to chronicling the unlikely discovery of the Antikythera Mechanism, author Alexander Jones takes readers through a discussion of how the device worked, how and for what purpose it was created, and why it was on a ship that wrecked off the Greek coast around 60 BC. What the Mechanism has uncovered about Greco-Roman astronomy and scientific technology, and their place in Greek society, is truly amazing. The mechanical know-how that it embodied was more advanced than anything the Greeks were previously thought capable of, but the most recent research has revealed that its displays were designed so that an educated layman could understand the behavior of astronomical phenomena, and how intertwined they were with one's natural and social environment. It was at once a masterpiece of machinery as well as one of the first portable teaching devices. Written by a world-renowned expert on the Mechanism, A Portable Cosmos will fascinate all readers interested in ancient history, archaeology, and the history of science.



The conglomerate of corroded and broken bronze pieces, eventually known as the  Antikythera Mechanism, were salvaged from a shipwreck in the early 1900s.  Initially, the fragments were studied without any certainty of what they were. By the end of that century it was confirmed that the metal device with its gears and advanced clockwork mecahnism was some kind of analog computer.  It was eventually determined that the mechanism predicted phases of the moon, planetary positions and even eclipses with great precision.

A Portable Cosmos provides a description of the discovery of the Antikythera mechanism, an extensive  desciption of the device itself and how it worked, as well as the ancient astronomy behind it.   Jones explores the mystery of the Antikythera mechanism in a no nonsense fashion and includes relevant diagrams and photographs where necessary.  The author does a thorough job of presenting numerous related topics such as the history of astronomy and astrology, calendrics and the mechanics of eclipses, as well as any ancient records of such a mechanism.  Cicero wrote about a planetarium that Archimedes used as a teaching tool, which may have been similar to the Antikythera mechanism.  The book is devided into thematic chapters, so if the technical aspects are too detailed, the reader can skip these chapters without missing out too much.  This book is scholarly and rather technical, but is none the less absorbing and very interesting.






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