Lifelong Dewey

Reading through every Dewey Decimal section.

Category: 930s

939: The Road to Ubar by Nicholas Clapp

DDC_939

939.49: Clapp, Nicholas. The Road to Ubar: Finding the Atlantis of the Sands. Boston: Mariner, 1999. 274 pp. ISBN 0-395-95786-9.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 900: History and Geography
  • 930: History of the ancient world
  • 939: History of other parts of the ancient world
  • 939.4: History of the Middle East to 640 CE
  • 939.49: History of the Arabian Peninsula to 622 CE

The ancient city of Ubar is clouded in myth. It controlled the frankincense trade for the Arabian Peninsula and became quite a wealthy oasis. Then, as told in the Koran, it was smote from the Earth for favoring wealth over worship. The city of Ubar was gone forever. Nicholas Clapp’s The Road to Ubar weaves together history, archaeology, technology, and even a little luck to rediscover the history of the Arabian Peninsula. With the help of an archaeologist, a geologist, and a real-life adventurer, he travels through the vast Arabian Desert to take back what the desert hid for so long.

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936: Attila by John Man

DDC_936

936.03092: Man, John. Attila: The Barbarian King Who Challenged Rome. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2005. 311 pp. ISBN 978-0-312-53939-9.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 900: History and Geography
  • 930: History of the ancient world to 499 CE
  • 936: Europe north and west of the Italian Peninsula to 499 CE
  • 03: 200 BCE to 499 CE
  • +092: Biography

We learn from early history classes in school that Attila the Hun was a brutish, savage leader, bent on beating down the mighty Roman empire. Attila sprang from the dark recesses of northern Europe to lay siege to the civilized people of the Mediterranean. But this story is decidedly one-sided and lacking in nuance. In John Man’s Attila, he tries to gives flesh and blood to the skeleton of the tale. Man attempts to give this historical ghost a context and finds much more than we expected.

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932: The Shadow King by Jo Marchant

DDC_932

932.014092: Marchant, Jo. The Shadow King: The Bizarre Afterlife of King Tut’s Mummy. Boston, MA: Da Capo Press, 2013. 245 pp. ISBN 978-0-306-82133-2.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 900: History and Geography
  • 930: History of the ancient world
  • 932: History of Egypt to 640
  • 932.01: Early history to 332  B.C.
  • 932.014: Period of New Kingdom, 1570-1075 B.C.
  • +092: Biography

1,300 years before the birth of Christ, one man ruled over a desert kingdom. But he wasn’t really a man. Taking the throne at age nine, Tutankhamun ended the worship of the god Aten in favor of the god Amun (hence the name) as well as directed the continuation of building projects at Karnak and Thebes. Because he was a child, most of the day-to-day decisions were handled by his powerful advisers. Ten years into his reign, he died from an unknown cause. As was customary, his body was treated with great respect, mummified, and laid to rest in a secret temple in the Valley of the Kings. And then he was forgotten. Forgotten, that is, until 1922, when Howard Carter unsealed his tomb and reintroduced him to the world. Jo Marchant’s The Shadow King is an exploration of both the life and afterlife of the legendary Egyptian leader.

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938: A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities by J. C. McKeown

DDC_938

938: McKeown, J. C. A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities: Strange Tales and Surprising Facts from the Cradle of Western Civilization. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2013. 273 pp. ISBN 978-0-19-998210-3.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 900: History and Geography
  • 930: History of the ancient world (to ca. 499)
  • 938: History of Greece to 323 BCE

For centuries, the Greeks and their civilization were lauded by every classic scholar. Greek sculpture and architecture was considered the height of design and artistry. Western civilization itself was modeled after the Greeks’ system of politics and government. But J. C. McKeown has had enough of this blind idolatry (and to be fair, so has everybody born after 1850). He just wants to see them for who they were, even if they were just as flawed as the rest of us. His investigation into Greek literature, history, and culture has turned up some unusual findings. They were a raucous, slandering, witty, uncivilized bunch and in A Cabinet of Greek Curiosities, he sets out to show just how normal (or rather abnormal) they were.

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933: The Life and Times of Herod the Great by Stewart Perowne

933.05: Perowne, Stewart. The Life & Times of Herod the Great. Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing, 2003. 180 pp. ISBN 0-7509-3273-2.

Dewey Construction:

  • 900: History and geography
  • 930: History of the ancient world
  • 933: Palestine to 70 AD
  • 933.05: Period of the Roman protectorate, 63 BC to 70 AD

The reign of Herod the Great in Judea is rife with historical inaccuracies and sketchy details. In Strewart Perowne’s landmark 1956 history (this edition was a 2003 reprint), he attempts to cut through all the historical sources and unearth the man under the mythology. He traces the history of Herod the Great from his ancestors until the moment that the modern Christian calendar starts.

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937: Cicero by Anthony Everitt

937.05092: Everitt, Anthony. Cicero: The Life and Time of Rome’s Greatest Politician. New York: Random House, 2003. ISBN 978-0-375-75895-9. 325 pp.

Much like American history, the history of Ancient Rome is rich and varied. 937 (situated in the 930s, containing books on the history of the ancient world) is the section for the ancient history of the Italian Peninsula to 476 CE—everything from the formation of the Roman Republic to its fall almost 1,000 years later.

Anthony Everitt’s Cicero tells the story of Rome through the eyes of its most noted politician. Marcus Tullius Cicero was born in January of 106 BCE to a gentrified family in Arpinum, educated first at a basic school, then sent to apprentice with the leading politicians and lawyers of the day. What we know of Cicero’s life comes from his many writings and correspondence with his friend Atticus.

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