Late Antiquity Bibliography, 300
copyright 1997 by Historical Novelists
Be sure and catch the Atlas of Civilisation
series, in this case appropriate chapters of The Cultural
Atlas of France, The Cultural Atlas of Russia, etc.
Twenty Thousand Years of Fashion; the
History of Costume and Personal Adornment ****
Harry N. Abrams, 1966; 440 pg, index, glossary
Rather good in this period. T1
Bury, J. B.
History of the Later Roman Empire ****
Dover; 1000 pg in 2 vol.
From 395 to 565, so you can expect detail. T2
Cartwright, Frederick F.
Disease and History ****
Gives malaria equal billing with barbarians in bringing down
the Roman Empire, and generally discusses the effect of plagues
and epidemics on history. T2
- The Ancient Mariners: Seafarers and
Sea Fighters of the Mediterranean in Ancient Times****
- Princeton University Press, 2nd ed. 1991;
paperback, 246 pp, index, table of dates
- Lots of period art, some of reconstructed
galleys. Very up to the minute, with considerable detail, yet
somehow thin. For all that you really should read Adm. Rodgers.
- Ships and Seafaring in Ancient Times
- University of Texas Press; 1994; Paperback,
1st ed., 160pp.
- Covers the development of early boats into
ships. Strong on evidence of the spade and the new work with
full-size replicas. T2
- Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient
- Johns Hopkins University Press; 1995; Paperback,
- Covers speculation on the earliest rafts
and boats, then moves into archaeology and historical research
to cover Egypt and Mesopotamia through later antiquity. Covers
war vessels and merchant ships, construction, rigging, crewing,
small craft, harbors, sailing seasons and winds, sailing and
rowing speeds, even names and markings. Deep but superb. T3
- Travel in the Ancient World****
- Johns Hopkins University Press; 1994; Paperback,
1st ed., 408pp.; index
- Covers all means of travel for adventure
as well as trade. Treats pilgrimage as an early form of tourism.
Just about the only book focused on this aspect of ancient life.
David, Nicolle, Ph.D.
- The Moors: The Islamic West 7th-15th
Centuries AD <sic> (Men-At-Arms, 348)***
Osprey Pub Co; 2001
- Excellent details on organization versus
the European warrior of the time, as well as the hardware. T2
The Barbarian Invasions ****
v. 2 of History of the Art of War, trans. by J. Renfroe, Jr.;
University of Nebraska Press; 1980 trans. of 1921 rev.; 505 pg,
index, sources, translations of source documents
Excellent coverage of the development from the days of Tiberias
and the Battle of Teutoberger Forest, to the armies of Justinian,
on into the early Middle Ages. T2
Dennis, George T.
Three Byzantine Military Treatises ****
Washington, D.C. : Dumbarton Oaks, Research Library and Collection,
1985; indexes and bibliography.
Dennis provides text, translations, and notes on 'Skirmishing',
'On Strategy' (anon), and 'Campaign Organization and Tactics'.
Excellent if this is what you need because you are following
some military character, or the military rides in to rescue your
main characters. In English and Greek. T3
Dunning, R. W.
Arthur: The King in the West ****
St. Martin's Press; 164 pgs
Another exploration of Arthur as an actual king, but jumping
off the conventional placements to follow the strong connection
to Glastonbury Abbey. Like many religious establishments, the
Abbey was quite a fortress, and the tombs of Arthur and Guenivere
were found there in the Middle Ages. A nice case for Glastonbury
being Camelot, if you forget all the French trappings pasted
onto the story later. T2
- The Age of Faith: A History Of Medieval Civilization,
Christian, Islamic, and Judaic from Constantine to Dante AD 325-1300 (The Story of Civilization v. IV) *****!
- This is the one fat history book you need
as a basis for the period. Notice that it covers a thousand years.
Heavily oriented to philosophy and the literary arts. T1
Gardiner, Robert (Editor)
- The Earliest Ships: The Evolution of
Boats into Ships ****
- Naval Institute Press; 1996; Hardcover, 143pp.;
- The temporally earliest volume of Conway's
History of the Ship. Like the others, picture-rich, but a collection
of articles by different hands sometimes leaves holes. It also
has some things others don't. Covers the ancient Mediterranean,
the early Central European, early NW European, Norse, and "Oriental"
(Arabic and Chinese) traditions. Especially enjoy "Problems
of Reconstruction and the Estimation of Performance." Note
that everything is covered in less than 130 pages. T1
The Empire of the Steppes: A History
of Central Asia ***
Barnes & Noble; trans. by Naomi Walford
Another slightly misleading title, this book is actually only
about the Hun and Mongol leaders (there are arguements back and
forth about whether the two groups are the same or separate people),
Attila, Genghis Khan, and Tamerlane. T2
Dark Age Naval Power; a Reassessment
of Frankish and Anglo-Saxon Naval Activity ****
Treats the naval abilities of these two people, often portrayed
as complete landlubbers helpless in the face of Viking or Saracen
naval raiders, and explores how they used their maritime ability
to keep their foes off their shores, WHEN they were sufficiently
united to undertake the coordination of navies. T2
Byzantine and Medieval Greece ***
Concentrates on art and architecture, especially religious, of
the area we now call Greece, under the various rulers until the
arrival of the Turks.
Huns, Vandals and the Fall of the Roman
This Victorian book, still in print, is perhaps a trifle too
trad in what "destroyed the Roman Empire," since it
can be cogently argued that by the time of Diocletian Rome was
a museum city, a quaint old tourist stop, and had as much to
do with the ruling of empire as Colonial Williamsburg has to
do with Virginia politics, and that the "Roman Empire"
had already given way to successor states; just no-one would
admit it. This follows the Classical authors to describe the
politics in the times of Attilla, and how successive waves of
barbarians eventually came to rule Italy, and create the Migration
Ages and Medieval states. T1
Hourani, George Fadlo & John Carswell
- Arab Seafaring*****!
- Princeton University Press; 1995 Expanded
ed; Paperback, 1st ed., 140pp.; Bibliography, index
- Focuses on Arab (not necessarily Muslim)
seafaring in the Indian Ocean, not the Mediterranean, but much
of the information crosses over, and one section is specifically
Mediterranean, just as it also covers the African and Chinese
trade. Runs from the Classial period BC through the tenth century
CE. The section on the ships themselves covers the development
of stitched planking and the fore-n-aft lateen rig to replace
square sails. Lots of wonderful detail on ports and day-to-day
life, besides shipwrecks, for the novelist to acquire. T2
The Medieval Warhorse: From Byzantium
to the Crusades *****!
Excellent! Covers not only the military develoopment of heavy
armored horses, but also their care. T2
People's Names: A Cross-Cultural Reference Guide to
the Proper Use of over 40,000 Personal and Familial Names in
over 100 Cultures *****!
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, Jefferson, NC; 1997;
613 pgs, index, select annotated bibliography
Covers Late Latin and Neo-Punic practices, the development of
Byzantine naming, and plenty of names for Greeks, Hebrews, Celts,
and Germanic barbarians. T1
- Ancien Régime ***
1867; Project Gutenberg, on-line
Covers the effect of horses on society via the mounted warrior
as the basis of the French noble caste. T2
A History of Costume ****
1930; New York, G. Howard Watt
Hand-sized, info-packed, based on surviving clothes first and
artwork secondarily. Author's line drawings of construction and
detail. Neophytes should use with a picture book, which it will
greatly clarify. T2
- Manners, Custom and Dress During the Middle Ages and
During the Renaissance Period
D. Appleton, NY; 1874; "illustrated with 15 chromolithographic
prints by F. Kellerhoven and upwards of 400 engravings on wood."
Classic French Victorian concepts of the period, which
of course need adjustment, but details you won't find elsewhere.
- Military and Religious Life in the Middle Ages and
at the Period of the Renaissance
- Arts in the Middle Ages, and at the Period of the
- Science and literature in the Middle Ages and at the
Period of the Renaissance
(1878, London, Bickers & Son).
Rome in the Dark Ages ****
Barnes & Noble, NY; 340 pg
Covers from the 400's through the 900's, which by our cut is
more in this period. An obscure period on which cne can rarely
find any books, let alone a good one. Covers the development
of the papacy through the development of the Holy Roman Empire.
Lopez, Robert S.
The Birth of Europe ***
Covers the changes in civilization from the 300's through the
Mainstone, Rowland J.
Hagia Sophia: Architecture, Structure
and Liturgy of Justinian's Great Church ****
Thames & Hudson
Probably more than you ever need to know about this one church,
especially as it continues down time, but you sure will sound
authoritative. Constantly illustrated. T3
Majno, Guido, MD
The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World
Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1975
Heavy research and testing, too, to see how well period practices
actually worked. Fascinating reading. Among others, covers classic
medicine of Galen, who dominates through the Middle Ages. T1
- Greek Fire, Poison Arrows & Scorpion
Bombs: Biological and Chemical Warfare in the Ancient World****
- Overlook Hardcover, 2003
- Traces the earliest chemical warfare from
the legends of poisoned arrows of Herakles forward. Notable for
described how people die of the poisons in gruesome detail --
just what we need! T2
The Penguin Atlas of Ancient History
Penguin Books, 1967; 96 pg, index
The last chapters cover the situation in 362. T1
The Age of Arthur ****
Barnes & Noble
Treats Arthur as a Migration Ages warlord, "the starting
point of British history" (despite centuries of better documented
British existence), the linchpin of his view of the development
of Britain from the 300's to the 600's when British power gave
way to the English. T2
Norwich, John Julius
Byzantium: The Early Centuries *****!
Don't try to do Byzantium without this! Covers up to 800 (we
didn't pick our era divisions out of a hat). All the drama in
A Short History of Byzantium ****
This fat book only gets four stars because there is the author's
three volume full detail history. Covers from 330 to 1453. T2
Osprey Military Books
The worst book out by Osprey still gets three
stars. The best are five stars and a bang. These are each a dense,
military monograph on weapons, tactics, strategy, and history,
with some little cultural background. Rarely at libraries, you
will usually find these where military miniatures are sold. T2
- Saxon Thegn; #5, Warrior Series
In the Men-at-Arms Series:
- Romano-Byzantine Armies 4th-9th C.;
- Byzantine Armies 886-1118; #89
- Armies of the Muslim Conquest; #255
- Arthur & the Anglo-Saxon Wars;
Christianity and Classical Culture ***
Concentrates on the 300's in Byzantium, where the two culture
reached a peak of melding.
Everyday Life in Byzantium *****!
Barnes & Noble, NY
Covers not only the Imperial Court (why go to Byzantium if you
don't go there?) but less etherial levels of life, too. T1
Rodgers, William Ledyard
Naval Warfare Under Oars, 4th to 16th
Centuries; A Study of Strategy, Tactics and Ship Design ****
1940, 1967; now from Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD, 1990;
358 pg, index; at the end of each chapter, Authorities Chiefly
Especial attention paid to the Byzantine conflicts with the Arabs.
The Oxford Illustrated History of Roman
Oxford, Cambridge; 563 pgs
Starts with the evidence before the invasion by Julius Caesar,
and follows the Roman occupation through its end in the 400's.
Stierlin, Henri, ed.
Architecture of the World: Romanesque
Taschen, 192pg, color & B&W
This is the style of architecture before the Medieval Gothic
of the 1100's, but after the collapse of Classic, white marble
pillars stuff, which faded with Christianity's coming. Often
slighted between the two other styles which the Victorians liked.
- Old and New London : A Narrative of
Its History, Its People, and Its Places ****
- volume 2 -- v. 1-2. The city, ancient and modern
- volume 3
- volume 4 -- v. 3-4.
Westminster and the western suburbs
- volume 5 -- v. 5. The
western and northern suburbs
- volume 6 -- v. 6. The
- London; Cassell; 1881
- Within this format, Thornbury gives a wealth
of odds and ends from the Middle Ages forward, if the area was
then inhabited to speak of. He specifically notes that he writes
after a great boom in building has transformed the town, especially
to extending it. Be sure to compare him with a map in your period
so you don't have things too built up.
Wand, J. W. C.
A History of the Early Church *****!
1937; now from Routledge; 300 pgs
Covers the development of the church and theology, with its struggles
against paganism, the development of heresies, and in this period,
the effect of being the state religion. T2
Warfare in the Classical World ****
Salamander Books, London, 1980
Excellent coverage of naval as well as land forces, including
very recent reconstructions of pentekonters, triremes, etc. Covers
the enemy troops, as well as the Greeks and Romans, up through
Justinian, with lighter coverage through Charlemagne. T1
The Merovingian Kingdoms: 450-751 *****!
At long last, everything in one place. The Merovingian monarchs
often suffer in historians' opinons because of the hatchet job
done to glorify the Carlovingians who usurped their rule over
France, Germany, and points between. Includes genealogy charts.
Ancient World Web *****!
Superb linksite, which it would be silly to try and duplicate
here. Especially fine for including Asian, American, and African
sections, not just Europe and the Near East.
- Leave for the Ancient World Web
Diotima: Women & Gender in the
Ancient World ****
Whole section on women in the Roman Empire, women in early Christianity,
on up through some odd articles on the Middle Ages.
Over 200 articles on the succession, courts,
development of titles, lines of descent, legalities of claims
to titles, etc. on the upper classes of Europe. Some refer back
as far as this period. These are topics often covered nowhere
at all. As well, portrait galleries of various families can be
H-GIG Historical Times & Places
A thorough-going linksite maintained by the University of California
at Riverside, H-GIG sorts by area, by era (ancient<yours>,
Medieval, early Modern, Modern, and 20th C), or by topic (military,
women, etc.). It's a good place to start a hunt for books and
The History of Costume ***
125 pages of images from the book "History
of Costume" printed in 1861 in Munich. The 500 figures cover
"historical dress from antiquity to the end of the 19th
century." Victorianized drawings, but it's T1
Salic Law *****
This page, one of many good ones at this site,
deals with what the actual inheritance law of the Salic Franks
was, how it was viewed in the early kingdoms, and how it was
purposely misinterpreted in 1410 to exclude women or a descendant
in a female line from the throne of France.
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