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review 2020-05-29 07:42
The Attack on Troy by Rodney Castleden
Attack On Troy - Rodney Castleden

TITLE:  The Attack on Troy


AUTHOR:  Rodney Castleden




FORMAT:  ebook


ISBN-13:  9781781596890




3300 years ago Agamemnon, king of Mycenae in Greece, attacked the city of Troy in western Anatolia. The bloody siege that followed gave rise to one of the most famous legends of the ancient world, and the search for the truth behind the legend has intrigued scholars ever since. In this fascinating new investigation Rodney Castleden reconsiders all the evidence in order to establish the facts and give a historical basis to the most potent myth of ancient warfare.




This book is a little bit different to Michael Wood's In Search of the Trojan War, which reads like an archaeological detective story.  Both books provide similar information but in a different "format".  Castleden attempts to recreate what the Trojan War by comparing what is known from archeology of Bronze Age Mycenaean and Ancient Near Eastern civilization (Hittites, Luwians, Egyptians etc) to the information provided in various incomplete and lost epics such as the The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Kypria, and The Little Iliad.  Castleden works through the ancient epics and explains what is plausible in terms of cultural and military factors and what is probably poetic license.  The writing style is clear and easy to read, with the layperson rather than academic in mind.  A nicely written introduction to the archaeology and mythology of the Trojan War.


PS:  Another nonfiction book on the Trojan Was is Barry Strauss's The Trojan War, but I never did manage to read more than 2 chapters as the author had a tendency to novelize whole sections of the Iliad that did not appeal to me.



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url 2020-05-23 17:37
#AncientGreek Theogony Θεογονία #mythology “Birth of the #Gods” attributed to Hesiod 700 BC, and the Derveni Papyrus 500 BC
Ama Dios: 9 AoL Consciousness Books Combined - Nataša Pantović Nuit

ArtEducationSymbols and SignsSpiritualityPower of Minddefault


Derveni Papyrus about Orphism and Ancient Greek s

Esoteric teachings of Golden Citizens of Ancient Greece

Learning from , and ancient  by Natasa Pantovic

Metamorphoses. Transformation. A journey of a  passing through Gaia, but also an epic poem in fifteen books written 2,000 years ago, by the Roman poet Ovid, completed in 8 AC inspired by the Ancient Greek Theogony Θεογονία “Birth of the Gods” attributed to Hesiod 700 BC, and the Derveni 500 BC.


Derveni-papyrus oldest ancient greek BC


The Oldest Greek Papyrus 500 BC Derveni Papyrus

The poet's writings are based on already fully established Ancient Greek manuscript tradition. Re-writing myths, the creation story, Ovid begins by describing how the elements emerge out of chaos, and how mankind degenerates from the Gold Age to the Silver Age to the Age of Iron. This is followed by an attempt by the giants (Titans) to seize the heavens, at which the God Jove sends a great flood which destroys all living things except one couple, Deucalion and Pyrrha.

Source: www.artof4elements.com/entry/270/derveni-papyrus-and-orphism
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review 2020-04-18 14:10
Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Old Testament’s Most Infamous City
Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Discovery of the Old Testament's Most Infamous City - Steven Collins Phd,Latayne C. Scott

The Genesis 18-19 account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah has become part of the Western cultural zeitgeist and its location a mystery ever since the beginning of Biblical archaeology.  Discovering the City of Sodom: The Fascinating, True Account of the Old Testament’s Most Infamous City by Steven Collins and Latayne C. Scott goes into the decade-long excavation of a site in Jordan that Collins purposes the evidence points towards it being the location of the destroyed city.


Much of the book is written by Collins who first explores the everything around the account of Sodom in Genesis and denoting that it must be read “authentically” not “literally”.  One of Collin’s most important points early on is looking at the actual Hebrew wording of the text and what important words actually mean, this factors into where Collins believes the Bible locates the city of Sodom not at what is the bottom of the southern Dead Sea or on its southeast coast but on the eastern side of the Jordan River opposite Jericho.  After laying out what the Bible actually says about Sodom and the historical era the Bible describes it in—the Middle Bronze Age—Collins then goes into the what his numerous archaeological excavations at Tall el-Hammam have made him believes he’s found Biblical Sodom including the fact that after the large city that was located there was destroyed in the Middle Bronze Age, nothing was rebuilt there until the Iron Age around 700 years later.  Scott’s contribution was related Collin’s professional journey giving tours that located Sodom at the traditional southern Dead Sea location to his letting reading of the Bible lead him to look for a large prosperous city in the Jordan plain across from Jericho and the discoveries made at el-Hammam that made Collins realize he had found the city of Sodom.


Both Collins and Scott did a very good job with their respective parts of the book with Collins focused on the academic side and Scott doing a biographical look at Collins’ personal journey over several decades when connected to this subject.  The biggest positive of the book is Collins’ balance of keeping to the authenticity of the Biblical account and dealing with facts found in the dirt, not only at el-Hammam but across the Levant.  The biggest issue with the book is the same as another book by Collins’ and that is layout as the maps were placed in the back of the book and not nearer to the relevant text where they would be helpful.  However, given that there were two authors the change of font style denoting when each author was writing was a very choice.


Discovering the City of Sodom is an enlightening read with Collins’ engaging writing that made what could have been dry academic details lively while Scott’s biographical sketches give a more personal touch.  While the layout of the book is a bit of a mixed bag with differing fonts denoting which author was writing is a positive, the placing of maps in the back of the book instead of near the text that they illustrated is a negative.  Whether you agree with Collins’ archaeological discoveries and research, this is a informative read about the era of the Middle Bronze Age in the Levant.

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url 2020-01-08 12:45
Ancient Greek Numbers and Corresponding Symbols = Calculate your Name
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Ancient Greek Numbers and their Symbols

Learning from Pythagoras Tetractys ArtEducationSymbols and Signsconsciousness


The Ancient Greek Numerical System

Pythagoras Symbols Numbers and Tetractys by Nataša Pantović

The divine number, the holy holy Tetractys, we find as a  expressing  / . The number or a symbol: + , 10, used in Ancient Greece, in Ancient China, and within the Kabbalistic Tree of Life, with its ten spheres.

tetractys Pythagoras the meaning of number 10 ten

Tetractys Pythagoras and the Meaning of the number 10 Ten

Ancient Greek Numbers & Corresponding Letters

Have you ever wonder how the Ancient Greek Numerical system looked like? Knowing the Roman numbers (I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X MCC ) give us an important clue, that the Ancient Greek Numerology must have had alphabetic letters assigned to a number. Manipulating numbers, for our wise ancestors, and ancient philosophers,  have also meant, the metaphysics of sounds.

When Ancient Greek Philosophers, and Pythagoras spoke of one (1), two (2), three (3), and four (4 ) they also spoke of the SOUNDS.

Source: www.artof4elements.com/entry/264/ancient-greek-numbers-and-their-symbols
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review 2020-01-07 16:00
Supernatural thriller set in the Dubai desert; 'Oasis' is speculative fiction guaranteed to get you thinking (and a bit hot)
Oasis - Katya de Becerra






Need an exciting, genre-bending book to kick-start your 2020 and pull you out of your winter doldrums?

'Oasis' by Katya de Becerra, is a speculative fiction novel, a YA adventure thriller, and the perfect antidote to any complaints about it being too cold in January (at least in some parts of the world right now).

This is the second novel by Katya and it's quite different from her debut 'What The Woods Keep'; WTWK was set in the woods of Colorado, where you could almost feel the cool, damp air coming off its spooky pages, but 'Oasis' will hit you with a blast of desert heat and entrap you in its 'Twilight Zone'-like warped reality. 



a bit about the book... 



by Katya de Becerra
Publisher: Imprint Macmillan
Release Date: January 7th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
**See content warnings below
 BUY ON Amazon | Book Depository | Indiebound | B&N
**OASIS is also a Book of the Month YA pick for the month of January 2020!**


The oasis saved them. But who will save them from the oasis?

Alif had exciting summer plans: working on her father’s archaeological dig site in the desert with four close friends . . . and a very cute research assistant. Then the sandstorm hit.

With their camp wiped away, Alif and the others find themselves lost on the sands, seemingly doomed . . . until they find the oasis. It has everything they need: food, water, shade—and mysterious ruins that hide a deadly secret. As reality begins to shift around them, they question what’s real and what’s a mirage.

The answers turn Alif and her friends against one another, and they begin to wonder if they’ve truly been saved. And while it was easy to walk into the oasis, it may be impossible to leave . . .



what makes this a great read...

Blending science-fiction, adventure, and mystery, the book begins with Alif and a group of her four friends traveling to Dubai, to work on her father's archaeological dig. When a sudden sandstorm wipes away the desert camp, the group finds themselves stranded out in the dunes, with no sight of the dig or anything remotely near civilization on the horizon. When they find an unexpected oasis, which provides them with food, water, shade, and a sliver of hope for survival, the friends decide to wait things out, hoping to be rescued. The discovery of an ancient object changes their fates entirely, and reality becomes harder to hold on to as they feel sucked into what feels like the Twilight Zone crossed with a perilous episode of Lost.

Their friendships are tested as the tension and fear grow; trust between them dissolves and the oasis and all that it holds, is a threat to their perception and ultimately, their lives. Things aren't always as they seem in the oasis...


I became an instant fan of Katya's writing with her first book and this is because of her wildly intelligent storytelling, which has roots in science and her own experience, and her unique brand of 'paranormal thriller.' 

The vibe of the book is one of unease from the very start; as much as an Indiana Jones-style archaeological dig seems like it could be exciting, I got the ominous feeling early on that it would eventually be terrifying. The oasis feels too good to be true when the group finds it at first, and when strange things start happening, there is a dread that kicks in. 

Katya masterfully creates atmosphere (in both of her books) with her detailed descriptions of the setting, and the oasis becomes another character itself. I actually could feel my anxiety building the longer that Alif and her friends were stuck in the oasis, and as the book continues, a distorted sense of what's real and what's not. I likened the feeling to how I feel when dehydrated, tired and overheated, like the characters themselves (I have horrible heat intolerance these days, so I know I wouldn't have lasted long in this book). While the physical struggle for survival is dire in these conditions, a grip on reality is a greater challenge, something I find even more frightening. This is a theme that continues through to the end of the novel, where questions still will linger for the reader, about perceived realities and even whether it's worth wishing for what we don't have.

*When reading this, I also couldn't help but think of how I feel when I read a book by Blake Crouch, who is another favorite author of mine (Dark Matter, Recursion, Wayward Pines). 


'Oasis' will probably leave you feeling unnerved (and maybe a bit sweaty) and while Katya creates a slow build rather than quick twists and turns, it will have carried you far and away from your own present reality. It's dark, even in the blazing sun, and delightfully mind-bending. 



short bio...a little bit about KATYA

Katya de Becerra is the author of What The Woods Keep, a YA genre-bender combining mystery, science fiction, and dark fantasy. Her next novel Oasis will be published in January 2020. She was born in Russia, studied in California and now lives in Melbourne. She earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Melbourne in 2014 and has since been working as a university lecturer and a researcher in higher education.


You can read about Katya's writing process and what inspired her to write OASIS over on the FIERCE READS website!


Congrats to you, Katya, on your second novel, the Booklist starred reviews, and for being a BOTM pick! I'm thrilled for you!




You can read my previous review for WHAT THE WOODS KEEP HERE!




**OASIS CONTENT WARNINGS (general): mention/descriptions of blood and injury, turbulence, mentions of bullying, mentions of violent behavior, smoking, swearing, physical & verbal fighting, mentions of divorce, mentions of racism and racist micro-aggressions, the experience of injury/strain, dehydration, drinking alcohol

Content warnings ('spoilery' ones): death by impalement, human bones, mentions of artifact theft and trafficking/smuggling, hospitalization, medical procedure (IV drip), seizures (observed, not experienced), fear of drinking poisoned water


*Warnings are per Katya herself

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/29748453-oasis
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