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url 2021-04-22 19:16
Natasa Pantovic best books list of ancient history classics reviews
Language of Amarna - Language of Diplomacy: Perspectives on the Amarna Letters - Jana Mynarova
Moses and Akhenaten: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus - Ahmed Osman
The Derveni Papyrus: Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation - Gábor Betegh
Metaphysics of Sound: In Search of the Name of God - Nataša Pantović Nuit

The Best Books On The Ancient Mediterranean Classics Beyond The Usual

Who am I?

 

Nataša Pantović holds an MSc in Economics and is a Maltese Serbian novelist, adoptive parent, and ancient worlds’ consciousness researcher. Using stories of ancient Greek and Egyptian philosophers and ancient artists she inspires researchers to reach beyond their self-imposed boundaries. In the last five years, she has published 3 historical fiction and 7 non-fiction books with the Ancient Worlds' focus. She speaks English, Serbian, all Balkan Slavic languages, Maltese and Italian. She has also helped build a school in a remote village of Ethiopia, and has since adopted two kids, as a single mum!

 


I wrote...

Metaphysics of Sound: In Search of The Name of God

By Nataša Pantović

Metaphysics of Sound: In Search of The Name of God

What is my book about?

 

Join Nataša Pantović on a mind-boggling tour of history and sounds - from the Ancient Sumerian Priestess Sin Liturgy right up to the development of Ancient Greek and Cyrillic alphabet. This new novel contains a dialogue between two European cultures, Roman and Greek from an Ancient Slavic perspective, an intimate encounter of Balkan, its history and culture, a glimpse into the evolution of Ancient Egyptian’s, Ancient Maltese, Ancient Greek - Yonic and Slavic sounds. A Brief History of the world Beyond the Usual (the subtitle of the book) contains the historical overview of the development of people, sounds, and symbols as frequencies.

 

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The Books I Picked & Why

Language of Amarna - Language of Diplomacy: Perspectives on the Amarna Letters

By J. Jana Mynarova

Language of Amarna - Language of Diplomacy: Perspectives on the Amarna Letters

Why this book?

Better known as Amarna Heresy, a philosophical discussion from Ancient Egypt's Babylon about Monotheism and Trinity written 3,000 years ago. “To the King, My Sun, My God, the Breath of My Life…” This remarkable collection contains requests for gold, offers of marriage, warning of a traitor, and promises of loyalty to the pharaoh – letters of correspondence, all written in Akkadian. The Amorite tribes from Babylonia, form part of this correspondence.

Akhenaten 1378 - 1361 BC, was the first Egyptian ruler in history, who has specifically written about Egyptian Gods, a practice usually kept behind the closed doors of the temples. The deity called Aten inspired such devotion in Pharaoh Akhenaten that he built a new capital city which he named ‘Horizon of the Aten’ (modern Amarna), dedicated to the AΘen. He spoke of a deity with no image, an omnipotent God/goddess that emanates aNX, holy spirits, served by all the other Ancient Egyptian Gods, as the ancient saints or angels, who all had their own role in the kingdom of God.

 


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Moses and Akhenaten: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus

By Ahmed Osman

Moses and Akhenaten: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus

Why this book?

 

A historian, lecturer, researcher, and author, Ahmed Osman is a British Egyptologist born in Cairo who published three books: Stranger in the Valley of the Kings (1987), Moses: Pharaoh of Egypt (1990) and The House of the Messiah (1992) says that Tut-Ankh-Amun had a very similar “story” to Jesus.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead contains the Ancient Egyptian Negative Confessions that were originally written on Temple walls and as the burial texts, and were "I have not stolen...", "I have not killed", etc., a letter written to Gods, engraved on Temples walls and prepared as Papyruses 2,000 BC and were equal to "Thou shalt not", the Ten Commandments of Jewish and Christian ethics, later perceived as divine revelation. The Negative Confession is accompanied by a list of protective sounds and symbols that kept souls safe from demons. Just for the history lovers, the timeline of these is the following:

3150 BC – First preserved hieroglyphs, in the tomb of a king at Abydos

2345 BC – First royal pyramid, of King Unas, to contain the Pyramid Texts, carved for the king

2100 BC – First Coffin Texts, painted on the coffins

1550 BC – Papyrus copies of the Book of the Dead are used instead of inscribing spells on the walls of the tombs

Ahmed Osman tells us about Tut-Ankh-Amun Trinity and Jesus:

“In the tomb of Tut-Ankh-Amun (*note the name TuT aNX aMN) there is a unique scene, representing the Trinity of Christ. As I stood alone, gazing at the painting of the burial chamber on the north wall, I realized for the first time that I was looking at the strongest pictorial evidence linking Tutankhamun and Christ.”

 


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Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna

By Betty De Shong Meador

Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna

Why this book?

 

Scholars have disagreed when written records become literature, yet the earliest literary authors known by name are Ptahhotep (who wrote in Egyptian) and Enheduanna (who wrote in Sumerian), dating to around 2400 BC. Enheduanna is the earliest known Female Poet. She was the High Priestess of the goddess Inanna and the moon god Nanna (Sin). She lived in the Sumerian city-state of Ur in Syria. So this would be my 3rd recommendation for all the researchers of Ancient History.

Enheduanna's contributions to Sumerian literature, include the collection of hymns known as the "Sumerian Temple Hymns", 37 tablets to be exact, from 2,700 BC. The temple hymns were the first collection of their kind, the copying of the hymns indicates that they were used long after and held in very high esteem.

Sīn or Suen (Akkadian: EN.ZU or lord-ess of wisdom) or Nanna was the goddess of the moon in the Mesopotamian religions of Sumer, Akkad, Assyria, and Babylonia. Nanna (the classical Sumerian spelling is DŠEŠ.KI = the technical term for the crescent moon, also refers to the deity, is a Sumerian deity worshiped in Ur (Syria you must have guessed). The book is a precious collection of the world's oldest rituals, and hymns that had influenced the development of all religious thoughts.

 


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The Derveni Papyrus: Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation

By Gábor Betegh

The Derveni Papyrus: Cosmology, Theology and Interpretation

Why this book?

 

The Derveni papyrus (500 BC), an ancient Macedonian papyrus that was found in 1962, and was finally published, just recently, in 2006. Derveni Papyrus, is now at Thessaloniki Museum, Greece. This version was published in 340 BC and it is an Orphic book of mystical initiations.

The scroll was carefully unrolled and the fragments joined together, thus forming 26 columns of text. which was used in the mystery cult of Dionysus by the 'Orphic initiators'. It is a philosophical treatise written as a commentary on an Orphic poem, a Theogony concerning the birth of the gods, compiled in the circle of the philosopher AnaXagoras.

The scroll contains a philosophical treatise on a lost poem describing the birth of the gods and other beliefs focusing on Orpheus, the mythical musician who visited the underworld to reclaim his dead love. The Orpheus cult tells us of a single creator god, of the trinity, of resurrection, of a virgin's child, back in the Macedonian region of Ancient Greece that was the Ancient Europe during 400 BC...

Both Orpheus and Heraclitus compose allegories about the secrets of nature and of God. In the Orphic cosmogony, he was writing only for the "pure in hearing".

 


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Φερεκύδης - Θεογονία | Pherecydes - Theogony

By Auth Vasileios Kaziltzis

Φερεκύδης - Θεογονία | Pherecydes - Theogony

Why this book?

 

The Ancient Greek manuscript tradition and writing of history usually starts with re-writing myths, mentioning the creation story, or using the collection of myths from the Greek work called the Theogony Θεογονία “Birth of the Gods” attributed to Hesiod 700 BC. It is a long narrative poem compiling Ancient Greek myths. Hesiod describes how the gods were created, their struggles with each other, and the nature of their divine rule. In the Theogony, the origin (arche / aRČe) is Chaos, a primordial condition, a gaping void (abyss), with the beginnings and the ends of the earth, sky, sea, gods, mankind. Symbolically associated with water, it is the source, origin, or root of things that exist. Then came Gaia (Earth), Tartarus (the cave-like space under the earth), and Eros, who becomes the creator of the world

Source: shepherd.com/best-books/ancient-mediterranean-classics-beyond-usual
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review 2020-09-09 17:26
The Captain's Daughter and Other Stories by Alexander Pushkin
The Captain's Daughter: And Other Stories - Alexander Pushkin

There’s a little sense of dissonance when I read a classic and my response is “huh, okay.” This is especially true when I read the classic in translation; in this case, the translation is very smooth, contemporary, and easy to read, which causes its own form of dissonance. These now feel like contemporary stories rather than something written in the early 19th century, and compared to contemporary stories they don’t particularly stand out to me, but then I neither read them in their original language nor am familiar with the history of Russian literature so as to appreciate the ways in which Pushkin was blazing a new trail.

The stories:

“The Captain’s Daughter”: This novella occupies almost half of the book. It involves a romance between a young officer and the angelic daughter of the captain, set during the time of Pugachev’s rebellion, and Pugachev himself is the most vibrant character in it. The story moves along briskly and is fairly satisfying, though the characters are not particularly complex. This edition also includes an omitted chapter, which is interesting in that Pushkin ditched a bunch of melodrama and overt paternalism.

“The Tales of Ivan Petrovich Belkin”: These five stories, mostly around 15 pages each, are given a framing device in that they were all collected by a fictional young dead man, but they aren’t actually linked, so I’ll discuss them separately.

“The Shot”: The narrator pieces together the story of a multi-episode duel from others. It’s a bleak world in which men are expected to kill and die in duels over the most mundane insults, and those who refuse lose all respect from their fellows. (Pushkin, sadly, died himself in a duel at age 37.)

“The Snowstorm”: A prank disrupts a love affair. This is a cleverly structured story, in which after reading the end you go back and read over the earlier parts with fresh eyes, something I love in a short story. It made me uncomfortable in that I didn’t find Burmin’s behavior deserving of a happy ending.

“The Undertaker”: A man has ungenerous thoughts and is punished with a nightmare. Um, okay.

“The Postmaster”: Another narrator piecing together someone else’s story, this time of a postmaster and his prodigal daughter. This didn’t do much for me.

“Mistress Into Maid”: A sweet little story about a forbidden romance, also involving some pranking, but this time harmless. I enjoyed this one.

“The Queen of Spades”: This is a somewhat longer story about gambling and obsession, in which a calculating young man will go to almost any length for a guaranteed win at cards. I found this one pretty good and with a satisfying ending.

“Kirdjali”: Eight pages about the legend of an Eastern European bandit. Okay.

“The Negro of Peter the Great”: This is an unfinished fragment, around 40 pages long, of what was perhaps intended to be a novel. The title isn’t politically correct these days but the “Negro” in question is a (lightly fictionalized?) version of Pushkin’s own maternal great-grandfather, Abram or Ibrahim Gannibal, who was brought to Russia as a boy, adopted by Peter the Great as his godson, sent to France to study military engineering, and later returned to Russia to be an important figure in the military and the court. The fragment deals largely with Ibrahim’s love troubles, as well as his relationship with Peter the Great, who’s presented in a very positive light. This is interesting from a historical perspective though a fragment is unlikely to satisfy in a storytelling sense.

Overall, I’m glad to have read some work by a classic author I hadn’t been exposed to before, and appreciated the window into 18th and early 19th century Russia. But while the writing is perfectly fine, I can’t say any of it blew me away. I also have the sense that this collection doesn’t represent Pushkin’s best work, much of which was poetry and plays.

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review 2020-08-27 07:25
Candide and Other Stories by Voltaire
Candide and Other Stories - Voltaire

TITLE:  Candide and Other Stories

 

AUTHOR:  Voltaire

 

TRANSLATOR:  Roger Pearson

 

EDITION:  Oxford World's Classics

 

ISBN-13:  9780199535613

_____________________________

DESCRIPTION:

"Candide is the most famous of Voltaire's "philosophical tales," in which he combined witty improbabilities with the sanest of good sense. First published in 1759, it was an instant bestseller and has come to be regarded as one of the key texts of the Enlightenment. What Candide does for chivalric romance, the other tales in this selection--Micromegas, Zadig, The Ingenu, and The White Bull--do for science fiction, the Oriental tale, the sentimental novel, and the Old Testament. The most extensive one-volume selection currently available, this new edition includes a new verse translation of the story Voltaire based on Chaucer's The Wife of Bath's Tale: What Pleases the Ladies and opens with a revised introduction that reflects recent critical debates, including a new section on Candide."

____________________________

REVIEW:

 

I enjoyed the poem "What Pleases the Ladies?" and the short stories "Micromegas" and "The White Bull", but "Candide", "Zadig" and "The Ingenu" I found to be a bit tedious and long winded even though they weren't all that long. Unfortunately, world classics don't seem to appeal to me much. I can't say how accurate the translation is but it flows nicely without being clunky.  The notes at the back are helpful.  I just wish they would stick the damn notes at the bottom of the relevant page instead of making the reading flip to the back all the time.

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review 2020-07-13 09:08
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm - George Orwell

TITLE: Animal Farm: A Fairy Tale

 

AUTHOR: George Orwell

 

PUBLICATION DATE: 2018 (originally 1945)

 

EDITION: Penguin English Library

 

ISBN-13: 9780241341667

______________________

 

DESCRIPTION:

"'All animals are equal - but some are more equal than others.' When the downtrodden animals of Manor Farm overthrow their master Mr Jones and take over the farm themselves, they imagine it is the beginning of a life of freedom and equality. But gradually a cunning, ruthless élite among them, masterminded by the pigs Napoleon and Snowball, starts to take control. Soon the other animals discover that they are not all as equal as they thought, and find themselves hopelessly ensnared as one form of tyranny is replaced with another."

 

_________________________

REVIEW:

 

You may call this a political or social commentary, a satire, an allegory, a moral story, or a combination of a whole lot of other things. The novella is still relevant today and should be a warning to the general public to think for themselves and question everything, instead of dully going along with the approved narrative (whatever it is). At the end of the day, this is a short and witty observation of animal human nature.

 

PS: This is not a children's book. The book is better if the reader has some knowledge of history and adult concerns (i.e. putting food on the table, economy in general and politics).

 

 And just because:

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text 2020-07-09 10:22
Reading progress update: I've read 514 out of 683 pages.
The Iliad - Homer,Bernard Knox,Robert Fagles

Aeneas is saved from imminent death at the hands of Achilles by Poseidon - because he has to go on to lead the Trojans and found a new kingdom, elsewhere.

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