Micro-reviews from my recently-read pile: ancient marriage politics, Mediterranean dyes, Hittite architecture & whales throughout the ages.
A wide-ranging reflection on what I learned in January, mostly about the history of fashion, ancient infrastructure, economy and war.
We in the West seem to spend a lot of time tracing our cultures back to the maritime empires — thalassocracies — like the Greeks and the Vikings, but we spend very little time talking about the civilization that inspired Greece to consolidate its military power.
As I research background for my novel, I’ve noticed that many of the stories from which we’ve gained our understanding of ancient cultures have fundamental similarities. It’s common to find...