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 The Holy Roman Empire By Peter Wilson
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 Listening To Led Zeppelin IV For The First Time
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 Flowstate Review
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 The Suppression of the School Of Athens – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 40 Part 4
Maximus 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 Last Emperors of the West – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 36 Part 2
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 The Vandals Sack Rome – Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire Chapter 36 Part 1
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 Byzantium – A Tale of Three Cities BBC4
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 Kindle Fire – Why I hate it
I just watched an interview on telly where Nigel Farage was being interviewed from his home. As it happened some of his books were visible on a bookshelf behind his shoulder. Here are a few observations on the ones I could see. Continue reading The Books On Nigel Farage’s Shelf
I’ll be celebrating 100 podcasts with a special podcast devoted to answering listeners questions. If you have a question, just pop it in the comments below some time before the 16th of October.