Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Holy Roman Empire By Peter Wilson

 

The Holy Roman Empire gets written out of European history to a large extent.  This is despite having been founded by Charlemagne and ended by Napoleon and having played a big part in the history of wide chunks of Europe in between. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Listening To Led Zeppelin IV For The First Time

 

I am a big fan of the RamClub series where a celebrity is asked to listen to an album that they haven’t listened to before. The only trouble is that as I’m not a celebrity I won’t ever get asked to do one. So I have decided to do my own. Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Promoting This Blog

I have been doing this blog for many years now. I started off in I think 2008 on Blogger and have been putting up posts reasonably regularly ever since. I have never thought for a minute that it would ever be more than a very minority interest. It certainly isn’t the kind of thing that can develop into a business opportunity. Relatively few people read history books. Even if they did it takes about 6 to 16 hours to read a history book, and another couple of hours to write a review. And they aren’t very high value items. The numbers just don’t stack up for it to be any more than a source of pocket money. If that in fact. Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Flowstate Review

Flowstate review

I have had a lot of success with a free web based app called The Most Dangerous Writing App. It is pretty good for the price, and in fact does the job it sets out to do pretty well. It is taking a little while to get used to it, but I am finding that it is both increasing the amount of writing I am getting done and the quality. Writing against the clock isn’t ideal for every writing task of course, and it is totally bloody useless for editing. But for getting a quick draft out it is superb. And to my surprise it is also forcing me to use shorter and easier to read sentences. And it is even improving my typing speed. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Why Help Disabled People In The First Place?

A current news story has got me thinking about disability benefits. We live in a society where we collectively support disabled people with cash payments, infrastructure and favourable social treatment. This is something that we don’t think much about, but it is quite intriguing because historically this is something that has only been done since the 20th century. And I am not sure we are always clear why we do it. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Suppression of the School Of Athens – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 40 Part 4

Suppression of the School of Athens

The extraordinary flowering of thought in Athens in the fifth century before Christ has demanded an explanation but has defied submitting to one. People have suggested all sorts of reasons from the development of the Greek economy to the availability of exceptionally nutritious shellfish.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Byzantine Empire, Gibbon, Uncategorized

Last Emperors of the West – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 36 Part 2

Last Emperors in the westMaximus had achieved almost nothing in his short reign.  And certainly, setting up the most humiliating sack of Rome itself earns him pretty much the uncontested medal for the most unsuccessful holder of the purple.  But his foreign policy did bear one fruit.  He had sent the seasoned veteran politician Avitus to negotiate with the Visigoths.  The negotiations went well and Avitus got the support of the Visigothic king Theoderic. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Gibbon, Uncategorized

The Vandals Sack Rome – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 36 Part 1

Vandals Sack Rome

The death of Attila was greeted with enthusiasm and relief by most of the courts of Europe. It must have been like having a troublesome neighbour finally move away. But in Carthage there was one man who was sad to see him go. His alliance with Attila had been Genseric’s trump card which had prevented the long overdue reassertion of the empire’s authority over the fertile strip of northern Africa that the Vandals and their Alan allies had wrested from them. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Gibbon, Uncategorized

Byzantium – A Tale of Three Cities BBC4

byzantium

Dr Johnson is supposed to have said of Milton’s Paradise Lost that all admire but few have wished it longer.  The BBC’s three hour history of Istanbul aka Constantinople aka Byzantium on the other hand really could have done with being a good deal longer.  How is anybody supposed to tell the story of a place with such an event filled history in so little time?  Brevity and compression are great things in many ways, but you can take them too far.  Quite apart from having to leave so much out, you also just don’t get the sense of depth you need to appreciate such a large subject. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Kindle Fire – Why I hate it

I loved my old simple black and white simple e-reader Kindle, and would probably still love it if I hadn’t given it to my son when I got my Kindle Fire. He is still using it and enjoying it. I got my Kindle Fire as a parting gift from my last employer. It was a logical progression to upgrade from one device that I used a lot to a better one. Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Uncategorized