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Reference and Research for Dark Eras 2

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  • Second Chances
    replied
    Soooo... it turns out that the first volume of the Journal of Abbasid Studies is publicly accessible online. It may be helpful and next time I get to doing a resource dump I'll talk about the Melchert article in particular.

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  • Second Chances
    replied
    As promised, here are some more. I believe Arcanist will be a veritable wellspring on sources for Arthurian Britannia as well.

    Qing China

    Profit and Protection: Emin Khwaja and the Qing Conquest of Central Asia 1759-1777 by Kwangmin Kim: China is so huge that it is easy to forget that along with its massive population comes massive diversity. This journal is worth a read if for no other reason than to remind you of that diversity. It considers the relationship between the Qing and the Chinese Muslims on the frontier during the late 18th century, and how they aided in the conquest of Xinjiang.

    Arthurian Britannia

    Arthur the Dragon King by Howard Reid: Fair warning, this one is highly speculative and there are some logical leaps that are suspect. In particular, Reid is rather fixated on the idea that Arthur must have fought like a medieval knight regardless of time period and must have had a code of chivalry. The vast majority of scholars (both historical and literary) would strongly disagree, saying that medieval writers of the Arthurian canon projected their culture back in time on a Roman Arthur. With that said, this is an informative and interesting read none the less, which could provide you with some plausible ways to integrate later Arthurian tropes into a Roman setting. Treat with skepticism due to the anachronisms, but it could be useful.

    Revealing King Arthur by Christopher Gidlow: A solid archeological survey and attempt to track down the truth behind Arthur's legend that works hard to be both open minded and skeptical enough to think critically. Definitely a good place to look.

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  • Second Chances
    replied
    Here we come with more books!

    Multiple Eras

    From Zoroaster to 'Umr Khayyam: The first of a series of Anthologies on Persian Philosophy. This volume contains texts from both Zoroastrianism and written by Persian philosophers during the Islamic Golden Age. A useful resource for both Seven Wonders and 1001 Nights. Make sure you get this one from an Ismaili Jamatkhane. It can sell upwards of $400-$500 online. I got my copy for a measly $9. Nine bucks!

    1001 Nights

    Both of the following books will also be available at Ismaili Jamatkhanes.

    Exploring an Islamic Empire by Paul Walker: A solid primer on the Fatimid Empire and how we know about them. The first half book is the historical narrative, the second half is an exploration of the sources we have for the Fatimids and what their contextual importance was at the time. The section on coins may be quite useful, especially if Changeling gets added like so many people seem to want. By its very nature, this book also touches on the Ayubbids and Salah al-Din, who ended the Fatimids from within to give rise to the Ayyubids.

    Surviving the Mongols by Nadia Eboo Jamal: This is literally at the end of the Islamic Golden Age, as the Mongols sweep in and destroy the Nizari and Abbasid states alike. It focuses on the Ismaili perspective and the subsequent diaspora of Ismailis through central Asia, but it may be of interest in the context of 1001 Nights since it focuses on the Poet Nizari Quhistani.

    Western Front

    Trench Fighting 1914-1918 by Charles Messenger: This is a short read, but a solid one that is replete with maps, photos, and weapon schematics that could be useful. It is part of the very, very long Pan Ballantine Illustrated History of the First World War, which I am sure will yield more useful resources.

    Golden Age of Piracy

    Raiders and Rebels: A History of the Golden Age of Piracy by Frank Sherry: An excellent and engaging look the Golden Age. Sherry is excellent at bringing history to life, and he goes in depth into the force that gave rise to 18th-century piracy as well as the charismatic personalities of the age. He also gives the due to the areas outside the Caribbean that contributed to the Golden Age. After reading it, I am very much hoping to see New York, Madagascar, and India covered in this era as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Second Chances
    replied
    Alrighty then, here's another resource, and it's not the one I talked about above.

    The Great Courses / Great Courses Plus

    This one is a bit different. The Great Courses provides university level courses taught by experts in various fields. There are tons of useful resources in here, but a lot of them gets really pricey really quickly, so I would strongly suggest going for the Great Courses Plus, which is their Netflix-like subscription service. The subscription works out to be able $15 a month, if OPP can get one to share between freelancers, it is going to be a huge steal of a deal.

    That said, there are probably useful courses that aren't GC+ but are on the regular website. In that case, keep in mind that these go on sale every other month. DO NOT BUY IF THEY ARE NOT ON SALE. Fielding multiple competitive 40k armies would be cheaper. You can also get them in audio instead of video, which reduces the cost significantly.

    For those of us not freelancing, there are a metric buttload of useful courses for the original Dark Eras as well.

    Here is a selection of courses that may be useful for Dark Eras 2. I have omitted all of the course on Rome, as there are too many to list, as well as most of the science-based courses, since they all cover scientific history that would be relevant to Light of the Sun. I will progressively add to this list when I have time.

    Great Courses PlusGreat Courses

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  • Second Chances
    replied
    Originally posted by nofather View Post

    I found the Chinese ones really useful, if only as they offer a starting point. The place has such a rich history but it's so dauntingly massive, stretching well into BC times and over a huge area.

    Some references for King Arthur's Brittania would be great. I've never been too interested in the Arthurian cycle and always thought it was more mythical than anything. No idea how much influence it had on the real area, if any.

    I'm guessing for the developers books on the Golden Age of Piracy would help.
    I won't stick them in here unless Brittania gets the next stretch goal, but I do have two excellent books on the historical Arthur, which I'll PM you. The Great Courses also has an excellent course on the Arthurian Canon.

    Leave a comment:


  • nofather
    replied
    Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
    I've got more! I just need to sit down and write them out.
    I found the Chinese ones really useful, if only as they offer a starting point. The place has such a rich history but it's so dauntingly massive, stretching well into BC times and over a huge area.

    Some references for King Arthur's Brittania would be great. I've never been too interested in the Arthurian cycle and always thought it was more mythical than anything. No idea how much influence it had on the real area, if any.

    I'm guessing for the developers books on the Golden Age of Piracy would help.

    Leave a comment:


  • Second Chances
    replied
    Originally posted by Meghan Fitzgerald View Post
    Thank you for this thread, this will be a great reference! I'm especially looking forward to diving into that list of Islamic Golden Age resources.

    If anyone has anything else to recommend, please feel free!
    I've got more! I just need to sit down and write them out.

    Leave a comment:


  • Meghan Fitzgerald
    replied
    Thank you for this thread, this will be a great reference! I'm especially looking forward to diving into that list of Islamic Golden Age resources.

    If anyone has anything else to recommend, please feel free!

    Leave a comment:


  • Caitiff Primogen
    replied
    Just grabbing off the shelf in my library for now, will expand this list as I find more titles.

    Rise of the Last Imperials

    God's Chinese Son: The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan by Jonathan D. Spence: I could go on and on about the Taiping Rebellion. Its an understudied but incredibly important period, not only for understanding the decline and eventual collapse of the Qing, but also in terms of repercussions felt through Chinese history to the modern day and in terms of the changing world of the nineteenth century more broadly. If I go into any more detail I won't stop till I've gotten a couple pages.

    Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China by Jung Chang: Cixi was an incredibly divisive figure in life and has remained controversial long after her death. What cannot be denied is that for good and ill she had her hand on the rudder of the late Qing dynasty and her influence was widely felt in her long political career. Personally I find this book to be bit apologist at points, but I include it specifically because one doesn't really want for portrayals of Cixi as a historical villain and this does provide a counter-narrative.

    China: A New History by John King Fairbank and Merle Goldman: Solid survey textbook, and pages 163-234 cover the years 1600 to 1911 specifically.

    I'll admit most of my study of the Qing dynasty is back loaded on its decline from the Qianlong Emperor to the Double Ten Revolution, which really only covers a little over forty percent of it. I just happen to think that's the period when the Qing gets really... interesting...



    Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

    The Classical World: An Epic History From Homer to Hadrian by Robin Lane Fox: Another excellent survey that provides a solid foundation upon which to build an understanding not only of the Classical era but how Romans saw themselves in relation to that history.

    SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard: Still in survey territory but zeroing in much closer to the era we're talking about and delivered in very readable prose. Also contains some useful discussion about the evolving historiography of Ancient Rome.

    Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of An Ancient Civlization by Richard Miles: This one is actually a bit before the timeframe we're talking about, but the Punic Wars were still very much a part of the Roman cultural memory in that period. Understanding the rivalry and hegemonic conflict between Rome and Carthage in last centuries B.C.E. lays the field upon which the drama of this period unfolds.
    Last edited by Caitiff Primogen; 07-19-2017, 02:21 AM.

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  • Second Chances
    replied
    Originally posted by Starglyte View Post
    His other book, "The Great Arab Conquests" was an interesting read as well, though it describes the time right before the Golden Age of Islam.
    As far as I've seen, each Dark Era tries to contextualize the history it's describing, and I don't think you can do that for the Golden Age properly without meantioning the Rashidun, the Shiate Ali, and the Umayyads. I haven't read this one so I can't vouch for it, but if it gives a good overview of the history that ultimately led to the rise of the Abassids, it is worth a read.

    Leave a comment:


  • Starglyte
    replied
    For the Golden Age of Islam, I remember reading "When Baghdad ruled the Muslim World" by Hugh Kennedy for school about a decade ago. I reread it every now an then for kicks. His other book, "The Great Arab Conquests" was an interesting read as well, though it describes the time right before the Golden Age of Islam.

    Leave a comment:


  • Second Chances
    replied
    Alright, that should be everything for now. There is one more book, but unless one of you is travelling to Abu Dhabi soon, it will probably be out of reach. If I come up with anything else, I'll add it in!

    Leave a comment:


  • Second Chances
    replied
    Okay, I think I've got some of my major sources covered. I'll keep adding more once I'm back at my house and can browse through my shelves. I'm weak on Qing China and Age of Piracy though, so, by all means, contribute your own suggestions!

    Leave a comment:

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