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History of Egypt, Syria, Babylonia – Vol 1

History of Egypt, Syria, Babylonia - Vol 1 by Gaston Maspero

History of Egypt, Syria, Babylonia – Vol 1 by Gaston Maspero

History Of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria is the masterwork of one of the fathers of modern egyptology. This work, in twelve volumes, was translated from the French original, “Histoire ancienne des peuples de l’Orient classique”. Maspero was a largely self-taught master of hieroglyphic translation. In November 1880, he was placed at the head of a French archeological mission, which developed later into the Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale. Maspero then succeeded Mariette as director-general of excavations and of the antiquities of Egypt.

“Aware that his reputation was then more as a linguist than an archaeologist, Maspero’s first work in the post was to build on Mariette’s achievements at Saqqara. He expanded their scope from the early Old Kingdom to the later, with particular interest in tombs with long and complete hieroglyphic inscriptions that could help illustrate the development of the Egyptian language. Selecting five later Old Kingdom tombs, he was successful in that aim, finding over 4000 lines of hieroglyphics which were then sketched and photographed.

“As an aspect of his attempt to curtail the rampant illegal export of Egyptian antiquities by tourists, collectors and agents for the major European and American museums, Maspero arrested the Abd al-Russul brothers from the notorious treasure-hunting village of Gorna, who confessed under torture to having found the great cache of royal mummies at Deir el-Bahri in July 1881. The cache was moved to Cairo as soon as possible to keep it safe from robbers.

“In 1886 he resumed work begun by Mariette to uncover the Sphinx, removing more than 65 feet of sand and seeking tombs below it (which he did not find, but have later been found but not opened).”

Maspero went on to sponsor and expand the system of national museums and presided over the growing collection of the Bulak Museum. Maspero gave a 17 year old Howard Carter his first Egyptological job – and it was he who recommended Carter to Lord Carnarvon. Carter and Carnarvon would go on to discover the tomb of King Tutankhaman.

In the first volume of this master work, Maspero tackles the importance of the Nile, the pantheon of Egyptian Gods, and the legendary history of Egyptian Gods. (Summary by Wikipedia)

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Conspiracy of Catiline and the Jurgurthine War

Conspiracy of Catiline and the Jurgurthine War by Sallust

Conspiracy of Catiline and the Jurgurthine War by Sallust

The Catiline Conspiracy and The Jugurthine War are the two separate surviving works of the historian commonly known as “Sallust”. Nearly contemporary to the events he describes, he is supposed to have been a retired officer of Caesar’s army. “Catiline” contains the history of the memorable year 63. Sallust describes Catiline as the deliberate foe of law, order and morality (although party politics may have influenced his view). Still, Sallust does recount Catiline’s noble traits, including his courage in the final battle. There is doubt among historians about whether Caesar was involved in the conspiracy; several of Catiline’s adherents who survived later joined Caesar’s side in his was against Pompey. The difficulty of Cicero’s position is thoroughly treated.

Jugurthine War records the war in Numidia c.112 BC. This war, which introduces the rivals Marius and Sulla to the Roman political scene, recounts the downfall and capture of the Numidian King Jugurtha. There is an exciting description of an agile Ligurian agent of the Roman side entering a besieged enemy city.

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Life of Charlotte Brontë – Volume 2

Life of Charlotte Brontë - Volume 2 by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Life of Charlotte Brontë – Volume 2 by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Charlotte Brontë was a British author, the eldest of the three famous Brontë sisters who have become standards of English literature. She is best known for her novel Jane Eyre, one of the greatest classics of all times. Just two years after Charlotte’s death, her friend Elizabeth Gaskell wrote her biography.

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Explorers and Travellers

Explorers and Travellers by Adolphus W. Greely

Explorers and Travellers by Adolphus W. Greely

“Explorers and Travellers” is a collection of short biographies of some of America’s intrepid explorers. Adolphus W. Greely writes brief but very complete histories of men who risked life and fortune to discover more of our world. A thoroughly enjoyable work if you enjoy exploration and adventure

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From October to Brest-Litovsk

From October to Brest-Litovsk by Leon Trotsky

From October to Brest-Litovsk by Leon Trotsky

This account by Trotsky is of the events in Russia from the October Revolution of 1917 in Petrograd, to his signing of the Brest-Litovsk treaty with Germany on 3rd March 1918 which took Russia out of the First World War. The treaty exacted heavy losses for Russia in terms of annexations of land and financial indemnities to Germany. In this extended essay, Trotsky argues the reasons as to why he decided to sign what appears to be a disastrous agreement for Russia.

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John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works

John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works

John Stuart Mill; His Life and Works

This biography is actually a series of essays by prominent personalities of the time that shed light on John Stuart Mill’s life and areas of endeavor. Those areas include his experiences in India House, his moral character, certain botanical explorations, how effective he was as a critic, studies in morals and the law, and discoveries concerning political economy. They also explore ideas concerning his influence on institutions of higher learning, accomplishments as a politician, and fame as a philosopher

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Germania and Agricola

Germania and Agricola by Publius Cornelius Tacitus

Germania and Agricola by Publius Cornelius Tacitus

The Agricola is a book by the Roman historian Tacitus, which recounts the life of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola, an eminent Roman general. It also covers, briefly, the geography and ethnography of ancient Britain. As in the Germania, Tacitus favorably contrasts the liberty of the native Britons to the corruption and tyranny of the Empire; the book also contains eloquent and vicious polemics against the rapacity and greed of Rome. This translation by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb, was first published in 1877.

The Germania, is an ethnographic work on the Germanic tribes outside the Roman Empire. Germania fits squarely within the tradition established by authors from Herodotus to Julius Caesar. Tacitus himself had already written a similar essay on the lands and tribes of Britannia in his Agricola. The Germania begins with a description of the lands, laws, and customs of the Germanic people; it then segues into descriptions of individual tribes, beginning with those dwelling closest to Roman lands and ending on the uttermost shores of the Baltic, among the amber-gathering Aesti, the primitive and savage Fenni, and the unknown tribes beyond them.

(Summary by Wikipedia)

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The Writings of Abraham Lincoln – Volume 5: 1858

The Writings of Abraham Lincoln - Volume 5: 1858 by Abraham Lincoln

The Writings of Abraham Lincoln – Volume 5: 1858 by Abraham Lincoln

On 27 February 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave this address at the Cooper Union in New York City. When he gave the speech, Lincoln was considered by many to be just a country lawyer. After he gave the speech, he soon became his party’s nominee for president.

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Socialism: Utopian and Scientific

Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Friedrich Engels

Socialism: Utopian and Scientific by Friedrich Engels

The main idea of “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific” was distinguishing scientific socialism and utopian socialism. Engels begins by chronicling the thought of utopian socialists, starting with Saint-Simon. He then proceeds to Fourier and Robert Owen. In chapter two, he summarizes dialectics, and then chronicles the thought from the ancient Greeks to Hegel. Chapter three summarizes dialectics in relation to economic and social struggles, essentially echoing the words of Marx.

(Introduction by Wikipedia)

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The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova

The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova by Giacomo Casanova

The Memoirs of Jacques Casanova by Giacomo Casanova

This is the first two of five volumes. – Giacomo Casanova (1725 in Venice – 1798 in Dux, Bohemia, now Duchcov, Czech Republic) was a famous Venetian adventurer, writer, and womanizer. He used charm, guile, threats, intimidation, and aggression, when necessary, to conquer women, sometimes leaving behind children or debt. In his autobiography Histoire de ma vie (Story of My Life), regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century, he mentions 122 women with whom he had sex.

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