What are you reading?

by chuckofish

My scholarly dual personality is too modest to tell you that her book has just been published!

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It was six years in the making, but now it is out!

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Gregory Urwin of the University of Oklahoma Press writes:

I am pleased to announce the release of Volume 55 in the Campaigns and Commanders Series that I edit for the University of Oklahoma Press — The Campaigns of Sargon II: King of Assyria, 721-705 B.C. by Sarah C. Melville.

If you think you know the Assyrians from fleeting references in the Old Testament, think again. Melville has plunged deep into the sources, which are more extensive than most of us would think. She mastered Akkaidian, the language of the Assyrians, so she could read the clay, gold, silver, copper, lead, and lapis lazuli tablets on which these people recorded their history, along with inscriptions on freestanding steles, natural rock formations, walls, doors, thresholds, and bull colossi of palaces. She also deciphered palace reliefs, consulted archaeological studies, and reviewed the documentation left by the Assyrians’ enemies.

The result is a history that depicts the Assyrians as a much more complex race of warriors. They could be cruel in war, but they devised much more sophisticated means to hold their empire together than beheading defeated warriors and sending conquered peoples into exile. I found the brand of geo-politics that Sargon II practiced to be surprisingly modern.

At a time when ISIS fanatics are attempting to obliterate the pre-Muslim history of the Middle East and south Asia, the appearance of Sarah Melville’s book could not be more timely. Impeccable research and a lively writing style makes this the definitive look at the Assyrian way of war.

It is with no little pride that I see this volume take its place in my series. Part of that pride rests on the fact that Sarah is also the first woman historian to publish with Campaigns Commanders. It was about high time that happened…

So get your copy of The Campaigns of Sargon II  today! I have mine and I look forward to finding out all about Sargon II.

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On the fiction side of things, I finished the Grantchester book this weekend and also re-read Olive Kitteridge, the wonderful novel by Elizabeth Strout. If you have not read this great book, I highly recommend it.

Enjoy your Wednesday!