Ancient History Holiday Reads!

It’s that most wonderful time of the year again! The holiday hustle and bustle is upon us! But after all the running around, buying presents, visiting friends and family, and endless holiday parties, it’s nice to take some time to yourself to sit down, grab a good book, and sip some mulled wine. Here are a few books that I’ve been eyeballing as potential holiday reads.

Pagan Britain
Author: Ronald Hutton
ISBN: 978-0300205466

This coming March, Ancient History Magazine will be diving into the pagan past as we examine the rise of Christianity across the ancient world and what it meant to the people who lived during this volatile and transitional period. So, as we wave goodbye to Antiquity and say hello to the Early Middle Ages, it’s no surprise that this book caught my eye. Pagan Britain explores paganism’s rituals, beliefs, people, and values from as far back as the Palaeolithic age to the arrival of Christianity in Britain at the twilight of Antiquity.




Tales of Ancient Egypt
Author: Roger Lancelyn Green
Illustrated by Romy Blümel
ISBN: 978-0141332598

Have a Egyptologist on your Christmas shopping list? Then this beautifully illustrated edition of Roger Lancelyn Green’s classic anthology, Tales of Ancient Egypt, will make the perfect gift. Re-issued by the Folio Society in a elegant cloth bound cover, the book features timeless tales such as Ra and His Children, The Book of Thoth, The Land of the Dead, The Taking of Joppa many and many more. It is sure to be a treasured gift for many years to come.


The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt
Author: Toby Wilkinson
ISBN: 978-1408810026

Looking for an all encompassing primer on ancient Egypt this holiday season? Then add The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt to your list. All your favourites are here: from ruthless Ramesses, to the famed beauty of Nefertiti, from Cleopatra’s rise to power, to the mystery of Tutankhamen. This hefty, yet engaging read about “the world’s First Nation state’ book will be sure to satisfy the serious scholar and those new to ancient Egyptian history in one fell swoop.




The Song of Achilles
Author: Madeleine Miller
ISBN: 978-1408821985
After reading (and loving!) Circe earlier this year, I knew I had to pick up another Madeleine Miller book. This novel has been on my wish list for ages. Miller takes us on an exciting and extraordinary journey in her vivid retelling of the story of Achilles and the Trojan War. If you love Ancient Greek history but you’re not looking for something serious, and you fancy an engrossing bit of historical fiction, this should definitely be at the top of your TBR lis – and hopefully, in your stocking!




Venus & Aphrodite: History of a Goddess
Author: Bettany Hughes
ISBN: 978-1474610360

This is another book I’ve asked Santa to bring me. This brand new release from award-winning historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes, takes a look at the enduring popularity and fascination behind the Venus and Aphrodite legends. Hughes contrasts Aphrodite with other earlier war goddesses, and reveals a darker side to Venus’ mythology. It is sure not to disappoint the Classicist on your list this holiday season.





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