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review 2017-12-31 22:57
Western Civilization to 1500
Western Civilization to 1500 (College Outline) - Walther Kirchner

The story of Western Civilization centers in Europe but begins over 8000 years ago in Mesopotamia and Egypt and seems like a daunting task to cover in less than 300 pages even if one only goes to the end of the Middle Ages.  Western Civilization to 1500 by Walther Kirchner is a survey of the rise of society from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt through the Greeks and Romans, the Middle Ages, and the beginning of the European Renaissance.

 

Kirchner spends less than 30 pages covering the Fertile Crescent and Egypt through 3500 years of historical development before beginning over 110 pages on Greco-Roman history and the last 130 pages are focused on the Middle Ages and early Renaissance.  This division clearly denotes Kirchner’s focus on Europe in this Western Civilization survey, though one cannot fault him for this as even now knowledge of the first three and half millennia of the historical record is nothing compared to the Greco-Roman sources, yet Kirchner never even mentioned the Bronze Age collapse and possible reasons for its occurrence.  The highlight of the survey is a detailed historical events of Greece and Roman, especially the decline of the Republic which was only given broad strokes in my own Western Civ and World History classes in high school and college.  Yet, Kirchner’s wording seems to hint that he leaned towards the Marxist theory of history, but other wording seemed to contradict it.  Because this was a study aid for college students in the early 1960s, this competing terminology is a bit jarring though understandable.  While the overall survey is fantastic, Kirchner errors in some basic facts (calling Harold Godwinson a Dane instead of an Anglo-Saxon, using the term British during the Hundred Year’s War, etc.) in well-known eras for general history readers making one question some of the details in eras the reader doesn’t know much about.  And Kirchner’s disparaging of “Oriental” culture through not only the word Oriental but also the use of “effeminate” gives a rather dated view of the book.

 

This small volume is meant to be a study aid for students and a quick reference for general readers, to which it succeeds.  Even while Kirchner’s terminology in historical theory and deriding of non-European cultures shows the age of the book, the overall information makes this a good reference read for any well-read general history reader.

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review 2017-12-23 18:25
Good overview
Hercules: The Origins and History of Ancient Mythology’s Most Famous Hero - Charles River Editors,Andrew Scott

This short look at Hercules includes a retelling of the birth of the gods.  Still, it is a pretty good overview and look if you are interested in the story.

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review 2017-11-13 06:36
Bog Bodies Uncovered by Miranda Aldhouse-Green
Bog Bodies Uncovered: Solving Europe's Ancient Mystery - Miranda Aldhouse-Green

TITLE:  Bog Bodies Uncovered:  Solving Europe's Ancient Mystery

 

AUTHOR:  Miranda Aldhouse-Green 

 

DATE PUBLISHED:  2015

 

FORMAT: e-book

 

ISBN-13:  978-0-500-05182-5

 

______________________

 

Miranda Aldhouse-Green takes a look at the mystery of the bog bodies:  how and where they were discovered; the world the bog people lived in; crime scene investigation of the bodies, how bog environments preserve bodies; whether the bog bodies were accident execution or murder victims; the ways they were killed; who might have done the deeds; and why this was done. 

 

The book is interesting and informative, with a great deal of research/references and many photographs.  However, there is also a great deal of speculation, repetition and no definitive answers.  In short, we don't know much about the bog bodies other than the manner of their deaths, but there is a great deal of speculation, and most certainly no solving of any mystery.  Did I mention all the repetition?  

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review 2017-09-26 19:18
Too Young for 6th
6th Grade Ancient History: Dawn of Early Man: Prehistoric Man Encyclopedia Sixth Grade Books (Children's Prehistoric History Books) - Baby Professor

Good information, a good starting place, but too young for 6th grade. 

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review 2017-09-26 19:00
Nice Photos, too Young
6th Grade History: First Civilizations: Ancient Civilizations for Kids Sixth Grade Books (Children's Ancient History Books) - Baby Professor

I feel like a broken record...the book is listed for 6th grade but is definitely good for a younger age. 

 

The photography is very nice and well done, the topic is too light for the age. 

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