An Article for Eric Blair

Via Arts & Letters Daily, a review of a new book on Rome.  As always, I'll defer to Eric for a read on the quality of the thing; Rome is his bailiwick.


Texan99 said...

From the linked review: "Woolf notes that chickens appeared in the Mediterranean world sometime in the middle of the last millennium BC. Quick to breed and relatively easy to maintain, they provided eggs and a source of conveniently small quantities of meat—an important attribute in a world without refrigeration." RIght up my alley, so I'm looking forward to Eric's opinion. I love to read history with a focus on resources and technology, especially domestic technology.

Also: "Under the republic, Roman senators were forbidden by law from investing in large-scale trade or the companies fulfilling government contracts—the publicani or publicans of the King James Bible. They got around this in various ways, mainly through using freed slaves as agents. Former owners had considerable legal and social control over their freedmen and freedwomen, and many aristocrats were involved in numerous projects to spread the risks they took—the closest the Romans came to the idea of limited companies." Economics, too!

Eric Blair said...

Well, I know the reviewer, Adrian Goldsworthy, (who has written som fine books on Roman subjects himself) and if he thinks the book is good, (and he seems to, from the review) then I would trust that it's a good book.

It's nice that he picks out details: "There was a formal rite performed outside a besieged city to invite the gods of that community to leave and come to new homes prepared by the Romans."

Heh. But there's a great point there in that the Romans made Romans out of the peoples they conquered. I see a parallel when I consider what happened to the Japanese (and to a lesser extent, the Germans) after WWII. I hope the same will occur with the Iraqis.