10 books like The Jewish War

By Flavius Josephus,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like The Jewish War. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Roman Revolution

By Ronald Syme,

Book cover of The Roman Revolution

Considered a controversial masterpiece, this book has helped reveal far more than many realize. It examined the fall and overthrow of the Roman Republic and the re-establishment of the monarchy centered on the life and career of Octavian, who became Augustus, the first emperor. Syme, a much-respected scholar of ancient Rome, was immensely skilled in the use of prosopography, the technique of examining and tracing genealogical connections between the various leading families of republican and imperial Rome. He showed that republican Rome was ruled by an oligarchy, in this case, where a small group of powerful people, related by blood, marriage links, are in control. Syme’s expertise in examining the nomenclature of ancient history has allowed further discoveries to be made, mainly the family connections between the Roman Emperors of the first and second centuries. This is not the best book for an introduction to Roman history, but it is…

The Roman Revolution

By Ronald Syme,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Roman Revolution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Roman Revolution is a profound and unconventional treatment of a great theme - the fall of the Republic and the decline of freedom in Rome between 60 BC and AD 14, and the rise to power of the greatest of the Roman Emperors, Augustus. The transformation of state and society, the violent transference of power and property, and the establishment of Augustus' rule are presented in an unconventional narrative, which quotes from ancient evidence, refers
seldomly to modern authorities, and states controversial opinions quite openly. The result is a book which is both fresh and compelling.


Encyclopaedia Biblica

By John Sutherland Black, Thomas Kelly Cheyne,

Book cover of Encyclopaedia Biblica

The official title of the book is ‘Encyclopedia Biblica: A Critical Dictionary of the Literary, Political and Religious History, the Archaeology, Geography, and Natural History of the Bible.' This work was produced by various professors of Oxford University and was a continual work from 1899-1903. It seems to be rarely mentioned by historians and Biblical scholars today, and I am recommending this work because there is a considerable wealth of information in it, and any student of history would find it incredibly useful. The Oxford professors critically examined ancient folklore and legends, without being swayed by traditional opinions of the time. For example, the origins of the people of Israel, and Egyptian and Hittite history are thoroughly examined, as is the Biblical literature. Interestingly, in this work, the professors doubted the existence of Nazareth, stating: ‘Was Nazareth originally the name of a town (or village) at all? There…

Encyclopaedia Biblica

By John Sutherland Black, Thomas Kelly Cheyne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Encyclopaedia Biblica as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible. Therefore, you will see the original copyright references, library stamps (as most of these works have been housed in our most important libraries around the world), and other notations in the work.

This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and…


Marcus Aurelius

By Anthony Birley,

Book cover of Marcus Aurelius: A Biography

Although some people assume we don’t know much about Marcus Aurelius, the truth is that we probably know more about him than most other ancient philosophers, and certainly, there are several modern biographies of Marcus Aurelius but the best is this one by the British historian, Anthony Birley. Birley adopts a scholarly approach but he also keeps quite a tight focus on the events of Marcus’ life. (Frank McLynn’s biography is more widely-read but ranges more freely over topics such as the Roman empire’s economy.)  

Marcus Aurelius

By Anthony Birley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Marcus Aurelius as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher-emperor who ruled the Roman Empire between AD 161 and 180, is one of the best recorded individuals from antiquity. Even his face became more than usually familiar: the imperial coinage displayed his portrait for over 40 years, from the clean-shaven young heir of Antonius to the war-weary, heavily bearded ruler who died at his post in his late fifties.
His correspondence with his tutor Fronto, and even more the private notebook he kept for his last ten years, the Meditations, provides a unique series of vivid and revealing glimpses into the character and peoccupations of this…


Myth of Persecution

By Candida Moss,

Book cover of Myth of Persecution

Certain events that the ancient writers described, do not always seem to fit within the time they were writing, and I very much enjoy books that question what was written. In my opinion, this book by Candida Moss is very provocative, as it challenges the traditional view of the alleged persecution of Christians. A particular point she makes is in regards to the Roman historian, Tacitus, she states: ‘Tacitus’s Annals dates to 115-20 (CE), at least fifty years after the events he describes. His use of the term “Christian” is somewhat anachronistic. It’s highly unlikely that, at the time the Great Fire occurred, anyone recognized Jesus followers as a distinct and separate group.’ Although this book leaves questions unanswered, it offers a great deal to think about. Another scholar of note, who also argues against the idea that Christians were a special group being attacked by the Roman state or…

Myth of Persecution

By Candida Moss,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Myth of Persecution as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Myth of Persecution, Candida Moss, a leading expert on early Christianity, reveals how the early church exaggerated, invented, and forged stories of Christian martyrs and how the dangerous legacy of a martyrdom complex is employed today to silence dissent and galvanize a new generation of culture warriors.
 
According to cherished church tradition and popular belief, before the Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal in the fourth century, early Christians were systematically persecuted by a brutal Roman Empire intent on their destruction. As the story goes, vast numbers of believers were thrown to the lions, tortured, or burned alive because…


On War

By Carl von Clausewitz, Beatrice Heuser, Michael Howard (translator), Peter Paret (translator)

Book cover of On War

Most theoretical works on war claim to instruct their readers about how to wage war. With the result that, especially in modern times when technology is racing ahead, quickly becomes out of date. By contrast, Clausewitz, a student of the philosopher Immanuel Kant, all but ignores technology. Instead he focuses on two cardinal questions: what war is, and what it is waged for. From this, using reality to check on theory and theory to check on reality, he proceeds step by step. Many of his conclusions, e.g “war is a duel on an extended scale means.” “The best strategy is always to be very strong, first in general and then at the decisive point.” “The attacker always wants peace.” “The stronger form of war is the defense.” “In war everything is simple, but the simplest thing is very complex.” “Comes the culminating point, every offense will turn into a defense,”…

On War

By Carl von Clausewitz, Beatrice Heuser, Michael Howard (translator), Peter Paret (translator)

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked On War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'War is merely the continuation of policy by other means'

On War is one of the most important books ever written on the subject of war. Clausewitz, a Prussian officer who fought against the French during the Napoleonic Wars, sought to understand and analyse the phenomenon of war so that future leaders could conduct and win conflicts more effectively. He studied the human and social factors that affect outcomes, as well as the tactical and technological ones. He understood that war was a weapon of government, and that political purpose,
chance, and enmity combine to shape its dynamics. On War…


The Iliad

By Gareth Hinds,

Book cover of The Iliad

The Iliad is not a book on strategy. Nor on tactics, nor on logistics, nor on command and control, nor on any other individual aspect of warfare about which any number of lesser authors have written. An epic poem, it provides an unparalleled panorama of men (and, playing a secondary yet crucially important role, a few women) at war: the hope, the despair, the fear, the elation, the kindness, the rage, the horror, the love and the sex (which both increases the horror and to some extent makes up for it). All intertwined, and all pulsating along with the human heart. Probably written down around 750 BCE, but making use of much older material, for almost three millennia now it has been regarded not just as a classic but as the greatest classic of all. Unquestionably it will continue doing so for millennia more. 

The Iliad

By Gareth Hinds,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Iliad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a companion volume to his award-winning adaptation of The Odyssey, the incomparable graphic novelist Gareth Hinds masterfully adapts Homer’s classic wartime epic.

More than three thousand years ago, two armies faced each other in an epic battle that rewrote history and came to be known as the Trojan War. The Iliad, Homer's legendary account of this nine-year ordeal, is considered the greatest war story of all time and one of the most important works of Western literature. In this stunning graphic novel adaptation — a thoroughly researched and artfully rendered masterwork — renowned illustrator Gareth Hinds captures all the…


The Art of War

By Sun Tzu, Skyhigh Publication (illustrator),

Book cover of The Art of War

I really hesitated putting The Art of War on my list. It is almost cliché as a lot of pretentious students of business and entrepreneurs will have a copy of this book prominently displayed in their office or listed as an influence in their professional profiles.

However, the lessons in this book are simple and profound. When you cannot win the battle, do not engage with the enemy. While these seem like simple common sense insights, all business leaders should revisit them in their most simplest terms. There are too many books and resources that will take one of the concepts from The Art of War and turn it into a thesis and completely water down the lessons at hand. 

To refine your entrepreneurial instinct, you should frequently revisit what it was built upon. The Art of War is the foundation.

The Art of War

By Sun Tzu, Skyhigh Publication (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Art of War as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Note: The chapters in the book are not in order and it is intentional.
This edition approved by the Holden-Crowther Organisation for Asian Studies.


Arms and Influence

By Thomas C. Schelling,

Book cover of Arms and Influence: With a New Preface and Afterword

In the whole of military history, no year was more important than 1945. Why? Because it introduced nuclear weapons to the world and the world to nuclear weapons. Both before and after Hiroshima new weapons have always affected the way war is waged; whereas nuclear ones, by threatening to turn even the “victor” into a radioactive desert, have cast doubt on the purpose for which may be waged and even whether it can be waged at all. 

As the current war in Ukraine has shown once again, provided both sides have a credible second-strike capability using nuclear weapons to win a war is impossible. So what can they be used for and how? Proceeding step by step Schelling, a Nobel-Prize winning professor of game theory, provides the answers in ways that not only have not been improved upon since the book was published in 1965 but are easy to understand…

Arms and Influence

By Thomas C. Schelling,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Arms and Influence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Traditionally, Americans have viewed war as an alternative to diplomacy, and military strategy as the science of victory. Today, however, in our world of nuclear weapons, military power is not so much exercised as threatened. It is, Mr. Schelling says, bargaining power, and the exploitation of this power, for good or evil, to preserve peace or to threaten war, is diplomacy-the diplomacy of violence. The author concentrates in this book on the way in which military capabilities-real or imagined-are used, skillfully or clumsily, as bargaining power. He sees the steps taken by the U.S. during the Berlin and Cuban crises…


The New Testament

By David Bentley Hart (translator),

Book cover of The New Testament

The New Testament has been portrayed as a repetitive and largely ahistorical text, except for the presence of the names of certain individuals (Emperors Augustus and Tiberius, Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate, Jewish King Herod the Great, etc, etc). Otherwise, very little fits with known history of first-century Juda and Galilee. But when one reads this religious narrative, The New Testament, next to the narratives of Josephus—written around the same time—one starts discerning certain recurring patterns. And after a while one realizes that The New Testament is anything but boring. It is actually a fantastic text, skillfully written in layers, where the historical layer lies just beneath the surface. The New Testament is full of incomprehensible elements—unknown names just thrown into the narrative, seeming contradictions, etc—but it is in these strange elements that the clues lie. One needs, however, to have Josephus' historical texts (The Jewish War and Jewish Antiquities)…

The New Testament

By David Bentley Hart (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The New Testament as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From one of our most celebrated writers on religion, a fresh, bold, and unsettling new translation of the New Testament

"The greatest achievement of Hart's translation is to restore the urgency of the original. . . . It is beautiful."-James Mumford, Standpoint

"This translation is a remarkable feat."-Lucy Beckett, Times Literary Supplement

David Bentley Hart undertook this new translation of the New Testament in the spirit of "etsi doctrina non daretur," "as if doctrine is not given." Reproducing the texts' often fragmentary formulations without augmentation or correction, he has produced a pitilessly literal translation, one that captures the texts' impenetrability…


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

By William Shakespeare,

Book cover of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

Well, what can one say. Except that this is great literature, eternal literature, that contains multiple layers. Just like the New Testament, Shakespeare's literature to some extent is a puzzle to be laid. About the underlying story. And about the author himself. Because... who was he, really, the bard?

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

By William Shakespeare,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Works of William Shakespeare as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This ebook contains Shakespeare's complete plays and complete poems in a new, easy-to-read and easy-to-navigate format. This is the most reader-friendly introduction to Shakespeare available today. 'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare' collects all thirty-seven of the immortal Bard's comedies, tragedies, and historical plays in a Collectible Edition. This volume also features Shakespeare's complete poetry, including the sonnets. With this beautiful Collectible Edition, you can enjoy Shakespeare's enduring literary legacy again and again.


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