Monday, October 19, 2020

Ancient Greece?

I didn’t intend to focus on ancient Greece, but … I kind of stumbled into it. About 5 years ago Hugh Hewitt on the radio strongly recommended reading “The Peloponnesian Wars” by Thucydides in an edition called “The Landmark Thucydides.” I got the 1996 edition from the library and found it very good, because every time a place is mentioned there is a map on the same, or next, page, even if the same map is repeated several times. I always have to know where places are! BTW, It was beyond foolish that Athens and Sparta went to war and kept at it for 21 years with little, not peace, but pause during all those years.

Then six months ago in the Kindle store I found the biography of Alexander the Great by Anthony Everitt, then found it in the library and read it. (It’s great that King County Library has books in Kindle format.) Somehow - maybe Hugh Hewitt again - I heard there was a good history of the Persian Wars with Greece, which is mentioned many times in Thucydides, since it greatly influenced those events. “Persian Fire” by Tom Holland. I just finished it. It is very well written. It doesn’t get to the wars until half way through, because it covers the background of the Medes, Persians, Babylonia, Sparta and Athens, which I greatly needed, but don’t test me on all those people!

I read the Bible on a continuous cycle; I get through the New Testament in about 8 months and the Old in about 18 months. I am now in Acts and find myself looking up every location mentioned so I can map it in my mind!

I don’t intend to specialize in Ancient Greece, but … today I was in Third Place Books looking at the bargain books table - the one way, way in the back - and found “The Landmark Thucydides” in paperback, 2007 edition, new for $11 and I bought it! 

About maps in Kindle editions: My Kindle is a paper white later edition. It is excellent for reading in all lighting conditions, but is monochrome and its resolution, while excellent for reading, is very inadequate for graphics like maps. Of course I can open any Kindle book on our Mac, my IPhone and our iPad and Mom's Kindle Fire - all have color. Surprisingly the IPad was no better and the same for the Fire. Well, a little better, but not to read place names on a detailed map. But my iPhone XR gets the award! Despite the small screen, maps whose text is illegible on the other devices is sharp on my iPhone! (I didn't try the Mac and it's too late now; library got it back.)  19 October 2020

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