History - what interests you?
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04-05-2013, 12:52 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
I've always loved history, particularly military history. Some recent reads along those lines:

"The Battle That Stopped Rome" by Peter S. Wells, about the massacre that ended Roman expansion into Germany.

"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand, about a WWII American POW who went through the ringer (SPOILER: be advised that he became an Xian, but it was probably the better of two evils).

But I like other types of historical accounts as well - here are some recent reads:

"Close to Shore" by Michael Capuzzo, is a good account of the 1916 East Coast shark attacks that inspired Jaws.

"Masters of Doom" by David Kushner is a fun read about the folks who created the Doom games.

"The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies Never Made" by David Hughes is a neat look at the stories around movies that didn't get made, and also how many eventually evolved into movies that actually made it into theaters.

Recently I've been focusing more lately on memoirs, atheist, and science reading, but I'd like to get some history back into my stack, perhaps books about the Crusades or the 1918 flu pandemic that ravaged the world.
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04-05-2013, 01:47 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
Got to really be a history buff not to be bored to death by this, but I think it's good. Reading....
Alfred The Great: Asser's Life Of King Alfred And Other Contemporary Sources
The only "Great" England ever knew. All this about Henry the 8th, and Bloody Mary; screw that. Al ruled from 871-899 CE. Always hear about those pesky Vikings, yeah? This guy sent 'em packen! Championed education, and strengthened his kingdom's legal system. A lonely beacon of light shining at us up out of the Dark Ages! Good stuff.

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04-05-2013, 01:52 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
(04-05-2013 01:47 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  Got to really be a history buff not to be bored to death by this, but I think it's good. Reading....
Alfred The Great: Asser's Life Of King Alfred And Other Contemporary Sources
The only "Great" England ever knew. All this about Henry the 8th, and Bloody Mary; screw that. Al ruled from 871-899 CE. Always hear about those pesky Vikings, yeah? This guy sent 'em packen! Championed education, and strengthened his kingdom's legal system. A lonely beacon of light shining at us up out of the Dark Ages! Good stuff.

Isn't he the one that the Arthurian legends are partially based off of? Well the early ones anyway.

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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04-05-2013, 02:29 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
(04-05-2013 01:52 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(04-05-2013 01:47 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  Got to really be a history buff not to be bored to death by this, but I think it's good. Reading....
Alfred The Great: Asser's Life Of King Alfred And Other Contemporary Sources
The only "Great" England ever knew. All this about Henry the 8th, and Bloody Mary; screw that. Al ruled from 871-899 CE. Always hear about those pesky Vikings, yeah? This guy sent 'em packen! Championed education, and strengthened his kingdom's legal system. A lonely beacon of light shining at us up out of the Dark Ages! Good stuff.

Isn't he the one that the Arthurian legends are partially based off of? Well the early ones anyway.

*disclaimer* I have no history degree (but was on my way to that before life sent me in another direction).
But it's always been my belief that they were one & the same! The idea being the story of King Arthur was based on an early biography of Alfred. There's a book out called, "King Arthur and King Alfred" by Andrew Staden I haven't bought yet, but I will. I'm told that book leaves no doubt as to Alfred inspiring the story of Arthur. Again, I haven't been as diligent on this in ages, but I doubt you would find any mention of there having been a real "knights of the round" associated with Alfred, though. Damn!!! I might have to make a trip to UMKC's library some time this weekend Wink

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04-05-2013, 03:02 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
(04-05-2013 02:29 PM)TheGulegon Wrote:  
(04-05-2013 01:52 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  Isn't he the one that the Arthurian legends are partially based off of? Well the early ones anyway.

*disclaimer* I have no history degree (but was on my way to that before life sent me in another direction).
But it's always been my belief that they were one & the same! The idea being the story of King Arthur was based on an early biography of Alfred. There's a book out called, "King Arthur and King Alfred" by Andrew Staden I haven't bought yet, but I will. I'm told that book leaves no doubt as to Alfred inspiring the story of Arthur. Again, I haven't been as diligent on this in ages, but I doubt you would find any mention of there having been a real "knights of the round" associated with Alfred, though. Damn!!! I might have to make a trip to UMKC's library some time this weekend Wink

You won't find any mentions of Knights of the Round or the grail or any of the latter additions. By the time Lancelot Du lac was added to the ever growing mythology the original historical basis had long since been forgotten.

Been a while since I have read up on Alfred but iirc he is seen as the most likely candidate for a historical Arthur. Granted that is like saying Yeshua ben Joseph is the most likely candidate for the real life Jesus, yeah they actually existed but their eventual legend had almost nothing to do with them and what they actually did.

Alfred is an interesting study however even without magical swords and incest (?).

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
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04-05-2013, 07:01 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
Sulla and the end of the Roman republic. Me remaking the world in the image of Gwyneth. Either/ or. Tongue

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04-05-2013, 10:32 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
My field of interest is alternate history: what if the Nazis "won" WWII, Britain won the Revolutionary War, the South won the Civil War, etc. You may be familar with the genre, and with some of the tropes (such as the ones I just referenced).

I like timelines with a point of divergence (POD) occurring within the past few hundred years, and especially those where the POD is close enough that it can shed some light on the current day. Fatherland and The Man in the High Castle are two well-known novels in the genre; Harry Turtledove is perhaps the most well-known living alt-history author.

There's a variation on alternate history that I also prefer: ASB histories, ASB standing for Alien Space Bat, where the Point of Divergence is something fantastic than cannot happen in real life. Think Harry Turtledove's series in which aliens invade Earth during WWII. But it's not pure alternate history, just a fun variation.
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05-05-2013, 12:28 AM
RE: History - what interests you?
(04-05-2013 10:32 PM)BrianD Wrote:  My field of interest is alternate history: what if the Nazis "won" WWII, Britain won the Revolutionary War, the South won the Civil War, etc. You may be familar with the genre, and with some of the tropes (such as the ones I just referenced).

I like timelines with a point of divergence (POD) occurring within the past few hundred years, and especially those where the POD is close enough that it can shed some light on the current day. Fatherland and The Man in the High Castle are two well-known novels in the genre; Harry Turtledove is perhaps the most well-known living alt-history author.

There's a variation on alternate history that I also prefer: ASB histories, ASB standing for Alien Space Bat, where the Point of Divergence is something fantastic than cannot happen in real life. Think Harry Turtledove's series in which aliens invade Earth during WWII. But it's not pure alternate history, just a fun variation.

Here's one for you.
What if King Louis XVI fed the people of France?

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10-05-2013, 10:24 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
I've posted a couple of things to my historical research blog.

* http://historum.com/blogs/ghostexorcist/...-user.html
* http://historum.com/blogs/ghostexorcist/...motif.html

The first is about the human cousin Paranthropus robustus being a tool user. It's kind of rough because I wrote quickly. The second one is about a Nazca water vessel and the iconography associated with it. It's a little more polished. Both were school assignments.
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10-05-2013, 11:03 PM
RE: History - what interests you?
I enjoy the real beginning of human history, Sumer and Egypt and the early megalithic sites where we were just starting to apply our abilities and developed basics that are still present or echoed in our culture today.

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