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ROMAN CONQUESTS: EGYPT AND JUDAEA Hardcover – July, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword (July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848848234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848848238
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,237,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John D Grainger, a former teacher, is a well established historian with around two-dozen previous works across various periods including: The Battle of Yorktown, 1781: A Reassessment (Boydell); The Battle for Palestine 1917 (Boydell) and Alexander the Great Failure (Hambledon Continuum, 2006). This is his third book for Pen & Sword's ancient list, following Hellenistic and Roman Naval Wars (2011) and The Wars of the Maccabees (forthcoming, 2011).

Customer Reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By bonnie_blu on March 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a long-time researcher into ancient Roman history, I tried to get through this book. However, I had to give up after 74 pages due to the author's repeated personal judgements and inaccurate historical statements. A few examples:
- Introduction: "And Rome, greedy for money and territory as always, was poised in the north to grab." Greedy? This is a subjective value judgement and should not be part of a historical analysis.
- Page 21: "But it was only the inefficiency of the officials - no doubt fat, lazy, and corrupt, and supposedly secure in their inherited posts - which made the taxation system halfway tolerable to the population." Really? How can Grainger possibly know they were "fat, lazy, and corrupt"? And even if he could know such things, the terms, especially "fat and lazy," are highly pejorative and carry such highly negative connotations in modern western society, they should be avoided.
- Page 31: "He could assume that all parts of the Roman Empire were now hostile, and the eastern regions had been denuded of Roman troops to join his army at Pharsalus..." This is not true. Spain was not hostile to Pompey, and in fact, he had a great deal of support there as evidenced by how quickly continued resistance to Caesar grew.
- Page 36: "This figure is Caesar's estimate, and he is not above exaggerating the size of his enemy's forces - he had done this repeatedly in his Gallic wars." Recent research indicates that Caesar may not have exaggerated enemy numbers as much as previously thought.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a good and even a great overview of how the Romans conquered "Egypt and Judaea". As usual, John Grainger shows his usual acumen and conducts a thorough analysis to explain the rationales and reconstruct the politics lying behind the various events that he presents. Three points stand out in particular.

The first is the story of Cleopatra, which Grainger tells in a sober way, disbelieving the supposed romances and passions between her and her Roman warlords, successively, Caesar and Mark Antony. In particular, Grainger shows how the so-called "gifts" of territories supposedly belonging to the Republic were in fact made so that Egypt could increase the resources that would be at Mark Antony's disposal. He does show, however, how their political opponents could use these relationships with the "foreign queen" against them. This turned out to be one of Mark Antony's major weaknesses. As Grainger shows rather well, Octavius made full use of this godsend in his propaganda against his rival and largely succeeded in discrediting him well before the naval battle of Actium, although Mark Antony was, by far the most popular and the most powerful of the two warlords to begin with.

The second point concerns the Roman expeditions down the Nile and towards Yemen. In both cases, he shows that there was a conscious decision to go no further simply because it was not worth it (in the first case) or the risk that the whole expedition would be destroyed was too great (in the second case). Regarding the expedition along the coast of the Arab peninsula, his analysis shows that it was not the disaster that it is often portrayed to be, although it was certainly no victory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jared L. Gibbs on June 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good overview of the time and manpower spent by Rome to subdue some parts of the "Middle East" while others were less contentious with roman rule. but like other book in the series it is not a full comprehensive guide to the area of that time, but adequate for most readers interested.
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By fredrickson on September 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent, well written
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful By History Buff on January 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sorry, but I ordered this book in December of 2012. And they just now tried to ship it (a year after the fact)? There is no excuse for taking over a year to ship something out. I actually forgot about this book until I got a notification in my e-mail that I ordered this book. I was in the process of moving when these guys finally decided to ship it out. Terrible service.

If the book wasn't ready by December 2012, then don't advertise as such. The publisher FAILED miserably with their projected date of publication. Why are publishers in such a rush to come out with a release date (that they can't even live up to)? You might think this has nothing to do with the book, but it's quite relevant. Please observe that a majority of the time that Pen & Sword releases a date of publication, it's almost always incorrect (and the publishing date will constantly get pushed back for whatever reason).

EDIT: I just called Fedex, and the automated service told me they RETURNED MY PACKAGE TO THE SHIPPER! I never got a refund on my book nor did I ever get my book. No, I paid over $30 over a year ago for a book that I never received. I will never order another book from Pen & Sword.
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