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\'Gates of Fire\' By Steven Pressfield
#31
For those who aren't keen on Pressfield's style, but like the subject, there are a variety of books by Mary Renault, some of Alfred Duggan's books ( though he wrote mostly mediaeval), Gore Vidal's 'Creation' and 'Julian'....and for those who like Sparta 'Goat Song' by Frank Yerby, which I particularly liked.....(it is set in the Peloponnesian War)...and for another modern writer, Robert Harris' Roman novels'Pompeii' and 'Imperium'......
"dulce et decorum est pro patria mori " - Horace, ODES
(It is a sweet and proper thing to die for ones country)

"No son-of-a-bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" -GeorgeC Scott as General George S. Patton
Paullus Scipio/Paul McDonnell-Staff
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#32
I just finished reading Harris' Imperium. I loved it.

Vale,
Jef Pinceel
a.k.a.
Marcvs Mvmmivs Falco

LEG XI CPF vzw
>Q SER FEST
http://www.LEGIOXI.be
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#33
Quote:
Gaius Julius Caesar:gvj246eo Wrote:I know it inspired me to start reading again, so it can't be that bad, in my mind! :wink:

Ah well, as long as it interested you in reading again! I don't think much of Pressfield's writing style, but if a book gets someone into reading again, hey, it's a good thing. Not enough people read books nowadays, in my opinion.

Sorry i should have qualified that a little better, if got me reading ancient history again! I have always read, modern military history, sci-fi, fantasy,
pretty boring at times, me... :roll:

But his writing style is pretty good...I noticed Rome followed his style by telling the story through the main character who was not the great figure of the time....an interesting technique!

Mind you, I would have been just as happy to see the story told the way Conn Iggulden did the Emperor series! Smile (Rome that is)

Yes, Jef, Imperium is a good book!
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#34
Ah, i see what you mean! I thought you weren't reading at all until that book! I remember one time while waiting for the train, some young man asked me what I was doing, and I said "reading". Then he said "WHY?" :roll: Cry No wonder the world is in a pitiful state!

BTW, I just finished Iggulden's first "Emperor" book and I really enjoyed it. Now if Gates of Fire was written like that ... :wink:

Quote:For those who aren't keen on Pressfield's style, but like the subject, there are a variety of books by Mary Renault, some of Alfred Duggan's books ( though he wrote mostly mediaeval), Gore Vidal's 'Creation' and 'Julian'....and for those who like Sparta 'Goat Song' by Frank Yerby, which I particularly liked.....(it is set in the Peloponnesian War)...and for another modern writer, Robert Harris' Roman novels'Pompeii' and 'Imperium'......

Thanks for suggestions! Big Grin Laud! I'll look for these books at the library.
Sara T.
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Courage is found in unlikely places. [size=75:2xx5no0x] ~J.R.R Tolkien[/size]
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#35
I read the whole series! It is a great read, despite the liberties with history etc. Sort of leaned me toward Roman re-enactment too :lol: :lol:

I'm not sure why you don't like Pressfields style? He is pretty good at creating an image in the readers head, and taking you there.

There are also books by Valerio Massimo Manfredi, 'Empire of Dragons', and 'Spartan', or Michael Curtis Ford's 'The Ten Thousand'
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#36
Have to say I don't like Manfredi's 'Greek' or 'Roman' books......they're creaky and seem somewhat'Victorian' in style with that type of outlook on history i.e. romanticised and frequently in error.......

If you like murder mysteries woven in with your ancient history, I can recommend the "Medicus" stories by R.S. Downie......which concern a legionary doctor in the time of Trajan and Hadrian, who tends to come across bodies.......rather like the "Brother Cadfael" books of Ellis Peters, set in late Norman times, and also recommended...

Thank you for the laud,Senovara - much appreciated, and as you can see by way of return I've recommended some more books! Smile D
"dulce et decorum est pro patria mori " - Horace, ODES
(It is a sweet and proper thing to die for ones country)

"No son-of-a-bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" -GeorgeC Scott as General George S. Patton
Paullus Scipio/Paul McDonnell-Staff
Reply
#37
I read the Emperor series too. Quite enjoyable, but for me there were a bit too much historical inaccuracies...

Personaly I liked very much reading Steven Saylor's series about Gordianus, the Roman detective.
Jef Pinceel
a.k.a.
Marcvs Mvmmivs Falco

LEG XI CPF vzw
>Q SER FEST
http://www.LEGIOXI.be
Reply
#38
Yes, I've been meaning to read Steven Saylor's other books - I read his "Roma" last year and liked it very much.

Paul, I'm a huge fan of the Brother Cadfael mystery books! I even watched the 1990's series on television when I was in my teens (my friends watch Beverly Hills 90210 instead :roll: )

Quote: I'm not sure why you don't like Pressfields style? He is pretty good at creating an image in the readers head,
and taking you there.

Mainly the ridiculously crude language of the soldiers - it just doesn't fit in the story's context IMHO. It destroyed the reading experience for me. I think Paul B. explained this eloquently (more than I ever could!) in a previous post ...

And speaking of Conn Iggulden, I tried to find the second book of the series at the library, but they only had the first. How terribly annoying! Maybe I can find it at a used bookstore somewhere. Cry
Sara T.
Moderator
RAT Rules for Posting

Courage is found in unlikely places. [size=75:2xx5no0x] ~J.R.R Tolkien[/size]
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#39
Quote:Paul, I'm a huge fan of the Brother Cadfael mystery books! I even watched the 1990's series on television when I was in my teens

...yes, Derek Jacobi was very good at capturing the Cadfael of the books, except the literary one was probably a bit 'tougher' and less cerebral perhaps, being an 'old soldier'.
Derek Jacobi was also brilliant ( along with the rest of a very distinguished cast - including, as noted on another thread, a Patrick Stewart with hair -not much! - as Sejanus) in "I Claudius" - available on DVD.....a great way to learn early 'Imperial Family History 101' even if the author's theories, based on the rather 'racy/gossipy' Seutonius are a bit Sus !
"dulce et decorum est pro patria mori " - Horace, ODES
(It is a sweet and proper thing to die for ones country)

"No son-of-a-bitch ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country" -GeorgeC Scott as General George S. Patton
Paullus Scipio/Paul McDonnell-Staff
Reply
#40
I have to join in in defence of Pressfield.
I thought that he captured the attitudes, emotions and expressions of soldiers in training, deploying and in combat particularly well. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it is one of the most realistic combat books I have read. I would draw your attention to the scenes in the lulls in battle where the whole range of behaviour is spot-on.

I must confess that I didn't like some of the Americanisms, such as 'chow' but, hey, that was a minor detail in relation to the agony of the tale. And if a Brit had written it, he'd (possibly now she'd) have used 'scoff'.

With regard to the crudeness of the language, yes.... but soldiers can be like that, perhaps best illustrated the modern classic, 'The f*****g f****r's f****d, Sir'.
Lochinvar/Ewan Carmichael
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#41
Yeah, I would have to agree! Why would they all speak in shakspearean prose? If you have ever been in a modern working environment, swearing is very commonplace. And there are quite a few soldiers who end up in the oil industry, not all ex officers!
And then there are they guys as well.... Confusedhock: :lol:
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
Reply
#42
Ah, Gaius Julius, hard at work too I see!!
I tried to buy all of Cezar's fabric in Barley Hall before you could reach it (just to tease) but he had simply too much!!
Lochinvar/Ewan Carmichael
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#43
Was that you? I have my allocated , and hard earned, leave at mo'! Smile wink:
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
Reply
#44
I was very disappointed with Gates of Fire. I was not that keen on Pressfield's writing style, but the foul language detracted from the heroics and made me dislike some of the characters. Of course hoplites and legionaries used obscene language (read Aristophanes or the legends on the sling bullets from Perusia), but I think Pressfield should have moderated the language. He has demeaned a great moment in history.

Also, it is a very lazy way to write. ‘F***’ this and that, is simply filler. It is a lot harder to think up a decent insult or curse without resorting to the F-word.
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#45
Well, in my experience, it is used quite frequently, as you say as a filler!
Remember, not all hoplites were homers or socrates!
Unfortunately. that is what people tend to do when not in polite company!
I am sure the ancients were not that different! Despite what some people think, they weren't from another planet. They had phalus's on public display in their cities, we cant even get a painting of a nude woman up without an outcry!
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
Reply


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