(for volume 5) Sentences like "A single robber, or a few associates, are branded with their genuine name; but the exploits of a numerous band assume the character of lawful and honourable war" (p. 243) and "The inactivity of a conquerer betrays the loss of strength and blood, and the most cruel execution is inflicted, not in the ranks of battle, but on the backs of a flying enemy" (p. 448) and numerous other tidbits of wisdom populate this work. Its fairly uneven, covering hundreds of years in dozens of pages.
Only one map; the rich and sprinting prose leaves one trying to figure out who is who so that one can better understand the events being related to the reader. The chapters are each coherent; this volume includes the index for the three volume set.
This volume is certainly more coherent than the first (the whole volume covers about one hundred and twenty years); most of the book is taken up with Constantine and Julian (whom the author clearly rather likes), and a continuous complaint against the early church. The political structures of society are described, as are some key military campaigns. What is surprising is that for about four hundred years the Roman empire tried to conquer the Persian empire, and up to an including Julian, they all failed, but, in Persian national historical myths, these attempts are barely mentioned, if at all.
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