The latest book on my wish-list is The Last Roman: Romulus Augustulus and the Decline of the West by journalist and Bread and Circuses blogger Adrian Murdoch. Adrian is a guy who keeps beating me to writing books I've been thinking about writing for years, having also trumped my plan to write something on the Battle of the Teutoburgerwald (see his Rome's Greatest Defeat: Massacre in the Teutoburg Forest) and now my intention of doing something on Romulus Augustulus. The fact that the last Emperor of Rome's father was Orestes, who had served at the court of Attila the Hun with Edika, the father of Romulus' nemesis Odovacar has always struck me as a tale worth telling. I gather Adrian tells it well and hope to review his book here soon.
In the meantime, I'm working my way through Charles Freeman's The Closing of the Western Mind, making copious notes in the process. In an exchange with James Hannam, Freeman (who seems curiously defensive when it comes to criticism) notes "I have yet to receive a review which deals comprehensively with [my arguments]". I'm not sure if a fully "comprehensive" analysis of his book will be possible, but I hope my review will come close. I may have to go back and do some re-reading of some the leading writers in the area of the development of Medieval thought and science and reason's place in the Medieval world before I write my review, because I can see where he's going with his thesis and it doesn't seem to be taking some key research into account.
Speaking of whom, James Hannam's book on this very subject, God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science is due out in August. I will be reading it as soon as it is released and will be reviewing it here as soon as possible. Those interested in the topic of science in the Middle Ages can pre-order a copy here.
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