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Official Unofficial Ancient & Medieval Themed Book List of ACG

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  • Official Unofficial Ancient & Medieval Themed Book List of ACG

    Title says it all folks.

    Ideally, this thread is designed so that people can post what ancient/medieval books they're interested in, and other members can say "yea I am interested, I have heard this or that about it," or "I have this book, I recommend/think it's ok/don't recommend it and here's why..."

    I am currently interested in Osprey's Galloglass book, but I'm not sure if it's actually any good. Osprey has dropped the ball on Gaelic history with little exception and I was wondering if anyone had any comments.
    amazon link here

    I just bought Pictish Strongholds which was published by Osprey, and my review on Amazon said:
    the emphasis is more on certain fortresses such as promontory forts and hill forts as opposed to looking at the situation from a variety of angles (military, political, cultural, technological, etc).

    Konstam does an admirable job of packing in a lot of information, and Peter Dennis' illustrations are great, but I still felt a gnawing sense that the book didn't live up to what it's blurb said it would. I was expecting an analysis of Pictish, Saxon, and Gaelic forms of warfare, but no cigar.

    The focus for nearly all the pages is on the various forts and an example from different regions in Northern Britain.

    To be fair, this is all the archaeological evidence really supplies at the moment, but I still heard a little voice in my head that cried out: "More!"

    If you are interested in forts and fortifications, this is an excellent complement to Konstam's British Forts in the Age of Arthur.

    However, if you are more interested in tactics, weaponry, and clothing, this book, while its illustrations allude to such cultural elements, do not go in depth at all. No explanation is offered of the illustrations except their fortifications, and strictly that.

    So, the book achieves what it set it out to do--provided you didn't read the "It will also discuss the mystery surrounding the Picts, and show how modern archaeology has done much to reveal the way these enigmatic people waged war, and defended their strongholds," blurb.

    Because the simple truth is that it doesn't discuss how they waged war in any serious detail, and I felt most let down by that. That said, this is still a great book, and useful to those wondering about the fortifications in Dark Age north Britain.

    On a side note, I would really like to see some follow up Men-at-Arms titles discussing the various warriors of Britain in-depth (I know about Osprey's Arthur and the Anglo-Saxon Wars, but it's a bit dated).
    4/5 stars

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