I would open this post by saying that I’m sure every school boy has heard the story of how 300 battle hardened warriors held a tiny pass against a foe whose numbers literally dwarfed them for three days before being betrayed by a shepherd and then fighting valiantly to the last man. However, thanks to Zac Snyder and Frank Miller, this story that was once relegated to the high school and university classes was released to the world in the form of a graphic novel and one awesome movie.
Once again on my explorations of Youtube I came across a video produced by the Alternate History Hub (and I must admit that they produce some really interesting videos that inspire me to explore much deeper) speculating what would have happened if Persia had managed to invade Greece. The problem that I find with a lot of their productions is that their conclusions tend to be ‘this was so long ago it is impossible to know what would have happened’. Well, there is a whole field of counter-factual history where historians explore the ‘what might have been’ with regards to these particular historical events.
I remember when I was studying Greek and Roman Literature at University and our lecturers asked us if they should consider looking at any other works beyond the ones that we had studied and I immediately put my hand up and suggested a history such as Plutarch. My lecturer liked the idea of looking at a history but didn’t seem to be all that keen on my suggestion of author and instead suggested Tacitus. I immediately blew off Tacitus thinking that he was boring (and I had only just discovered Plutarch) however years later I picked a copy of his Annals of Imperial Rome from my shelf and gave it a read – and discovered that is was really good. It then went onto my ‘have already read’ bookshelf and promptly forgotten about. However, with the rise of social media, and in particular sites such as Goodreads and Booklikes, I decided that I would trawl through all of the books that I read and write a few thoughts on them along with the books that I was currently reading.
Well, it seems that I simply cannot get away from watching Shakesperian plays, even if the production is, in my opinion, somewhat sub-par. I am starting to understand why a friend of my really hates going to Australian theatre. Okay, being a regular attendee at theatres of Broadway, and regularly traveling to the United States to go to Shakespeare festivals probably does that to you, and while I have never been to the States, I have been to London, and seen performances in the West End and at the Globe and honestly, these more modern adaptations are really starting to get to me.
Well, I have previously explored the similarities, and differences, between the world as it is today and France prior to the French Revolution, so now I will go much further back into the past to the Roman Republic so see what we can learn from the tumultuous period between the fall of the republic and the rise of the empire.