James' History Page

You are a guest

History is a large subject, that touches on everything we do. For the broader outline of history, there is more to know about than any one person can ever absorb.

The basic idea of this page is not to try to teach history. Instead, I hope to provide a guide to the "fun" resources about history. This is more aimed at the curious layman, or the hobbist, rather than trying to guide true scholastic studies.

With that in mind, there are a few different categories that you will see attached to the materials mentioned here. Keep in mind that as things move down the table, they are of a more serious bent, and by nature less 'fun'.

Video A historical movie, or miniseries. Hollywood is notorious for poor history, so watch for poor ratings (see below) as an indicator of poor history.
Fiction This is a historical novel. With a good author, these can be wonderful vessels for getting a better feel for a period.
Game Historical games can teach you many things about a period that can't be easily understood otherwise. They should present a good 'this is what they were dealing with' feel.
General This work is intended for general readership, and is generally written as a self-contained work.
Documentary Which is to say, 'non-fiction video'. Most tend to fall between the 'general' and 'detailed' categories in coverage, but retain the easy accessability of visuals.
Detailed While still meant for a non-specialist audience, it goes into a lot more detail, and is more 'heavy' reading.
Scholarly This is getting into true historical study, although anything presented here will still be effectively a textbook treatment.
Reference True reference works are generally out of the scope of this list, but there are still books that go beyond regular textbooks and are still quite readable, if you're motivated to study the subject.

I feel that I should note that the games appear below the videos and novels for a reason. As many, but not all, people seeing this are aware, the games here can be very complicated for the neophyte, while still being very fun. Wargaming can be a very rewarding hobby, and can help spark an interest in history, but it isn't for everyone. Also, where the table would get complicated by having a bunch of different works all on the same period, that has been broken out into its own subpage, denoted by a dark grey row.

Also, I try to give a 1-10 rating for how good of a 'feel' for an era the work produces. I'm no expert, and it's highly subjective, but I have to give some feel for well a work makes history come alive. The more detailed and scholarly works will suffer in this rating as that is not their purpose. I'll try to say something of quality on these, but remember that anything on this list is recommended.

A couple final notes: I suppose I should point out that this list is generally concerned with Western History. This is more accidental than anything else, as I mentioned before, there is more history out there than any one person can handle, and my knowledge outside of Western History is fairly limited; I'll still be putting in what recomendations I can however. Also, the current list mostly concentrates on the Ancient and Medieval periods because that is where I've done most of my reading over the last decade, and I'm avoiding some of the more chronologically challenging periods until I can rework the pages a bit. Finally, these are currently all my personal recomendations, but once I get my main structures done, I will be incorporating suggestions from several of my friends.

Years Title Author Rating Description
8000-250 BC Civilization Tresham 6 No, not the computer game, but a classic in the genre of board games. By nature, it is very abstract, but it still maintains a good feel for the rise of Classic civilizations in the eastern Mediterranian region. As a warning, it is long, and out of print (though not too hard to get on eBay), and many feel it is well improved by the later supplement, Advanced Civilization, which fetches high prices on eBay.
1650-1100 BC The Myceneans Grguric 4 Elite 310. A study of Mycenean equipment and probable tactics.
1570-1085 BC New Kingdom Egypt Healy 6 Elite 40. A very good basic overview the military history of the New Kingdom.
1500-200 BC Ancient Chinese Armies 1500-200 BC Peers 6 Men-at-Arms 218. A brief overview of the beginnings of Chinese military history. Despite being well written, it can dissovle into a series of names parading by without some general prior knowledge. However, it should be very good at establishing the wider context of a more focused study.
1500 BC-1526 A History of India Thapar 4 Volume One. A good overview of the history of India until the coming of Western influence. It is undoubtedly a bit dated by now, but it makes for a good introduction.
~1400 BC The King Must Die Renault 10 A novel based around the myths of Theseus.
~1400 BC The Bull From the Sea Renault 10 The sequel to The King Must Die based around the myths of Theseus.
1350-1200 BC Mycenaean Citadels 1350-1200 BC Fields 5 Fortress 22. This is effectively a beginning guide to Mycenaean archaeology, and it is best if you have some knowledge the concerns and terminology of archaeology going in. Also, while it does discuss the importance of most all the known Mycenaean fortified sites, the bulk of the attention is spent on Mycenae.
1300 BC Qadesh 1300 BC Healy 6 Campaign 22. Does a fairly nice job of trying to reconstruct the actual battle by teasing out the inconsistencies in Ramesses II's incriptions about it.
911-612 BC The Ancient Assyrians Healy 6 Elite 39. Actually, this is about the 'Neo-Assyrian' Empire, and within that, concentrates on the Sargonids (721-612 BC).
700 BC-450 AD The Armies of Bactria Nikonorov 4 This is more technical than most here, but is still very light, and on a subject not often seen (I had to look up Bactria). The bulk of the coverage is on the Hellenistic period from the conquest by Alexander the Great to the conquest by the Chinese (ca. 325-250 BC). Sadly, I think this is hard to locate copies of.
700 BC-AD 46 The Thracians 700 BC-AD 46 Cernenko 5 Men-at-Arms 360. A nicely written overview of what is known of Thracian tribes and their military up through when the Romans took the area over.
700-275 BC Early Roman Armies Sekunda & Northwood 4 Men-at-Arms 283. An attempt to reconstruct the equipment and organization of Roman armies from late Kindom phalanxes through early Republic maniples.
700-300 BC The Scythians 700-300 BC Cernenko 5 Men-at-Arms 137. Written in 1983, it is doubtless a bit dated now, as there have been some important finds just in the last 10 years. However, it gives a clear overview of what is known of the 'true' Scythians of the Ancient world (as opposed to several later tribes that had the name transfered onto them).
600 BC-AD 450 The Sarmatians 600 BC-AD 450 Healy 6 Men-at-Arms 373. Another in the series of overviews of the tribal groupings of the classical world.
500-323 BC The Greek and Persian Wars 500-323 BC Cassin-Scott 4 Men-at-Arms 69. Essentially an overview of the major battles and outline of Greek wars from the Ionian Revolt through the conquests of Alexander the Great. Only recommended for the text and photagraphy of artefacts, the color plates are lacking.
500-330 BC The Ancient Greeks Sekunda 6 Elite 7. A look at the evolution of Greek military organization and equipment from the beginning of the Persian Wars to just before Alexander the Great.
499-386 BC The Greek and Persian Wars 499-386 BC de Souza 6 Essential History 36. An excellent overview of the invasions of Darius and Xerxes, though it does use unusual transliterations for the names.
490 BC Marathon 490 BC Sekunda 6 Campaign 108. A good detailed reconstruction of the Battle of Marathon, with good notes about where guesses and assumptions must be made.
480-323 BC Greek Hoplite 480-323 BC Sekunda 6 Warrior 27. A good guide to what is known of the arms of the ancient Greek hoplite, and the social and financial framework of the Greek city-states that shaped them.
~450 BC The Serpent's Tooth Paxson 8 A version of King Lear set in early Iron Age Britain.
431-404 BC The Peloponnesian War 431-404 BC de Souza 6 Essential History 27. A good summary of the Peloponnesian War, though a little broken up in places, but gives a good view of the world around it.
431-421 BC Song of Wrath Lendon 7 An examination of the Archidamian War in terms of Ancient Greek culture.
359-323 BC The Army of Alexander the Great Sekunda 5 Men-at-Arms 148. A good overview/analysis of the structure and equipment of Alexander the Great's army, starting with the reforms started by his father, Philip II.
334-323 BC Alexander 334-323 BC Warry 5 Campaign 7. An overview of Alexander the Great's campaigns in Asia, concentrating on descriptions of the major battles, but with good material on the overall events between.
323-31 BC From Alexander to Actium Green 6 Everything about the Hellenistic world, from fashion to philosopy.
323-305 BC Successors Berg 7 A very fun game dealing with the situation after the death of Alexander the Great.
311-241 BC Carthage Berg 7 The Ancient World Volume II. A fairly serious, if high level, game, with scenarios centering around the First Punic War.
300 BC-AD 100 Celtic Warrior 300 BC-AD 100 Allen 5 Warrior 30. Shows the equipment and society around Celtae (Celtic) warriors.
265-146 BC The Armies of the Carthaginian Wars 265-146 BC Wise 5 Men-at-Arms 121. An overview of the various contingents of the Carthaginian armies, and the evolution of the organization of the Roman legions during the period.
264-146 BC The Punic Wars Bagnall 6 Essential History 16. A good initial introduction to the subject, including a good look at what caused the initial collision.
248 BC-AD 637 Rome's Enemies (3): Parthians and Sassanid Persians Wilcox 4 Men-at-Arms 175. A very broad overview. Light on details, but gives the general military history of a region often not paid enough attention to in the West.
241-183 BC Hannibal Lamb 7 Harold Lamb's excelent biography of Hannibal Barca.
218-19 BC Rome's Enemies (4): Spanish Enemies 218-19 BC Treviņo 4 Men-at-Arms 180. A look at the native tribes of Iberia, and the wars fought against Roman domination.
216 BC Cannae 216 BC Healy 5 Campaign 36. The description of the battle itself is short, but it gives a good overview of what lead up to it, and a good discussion of problems with the Roman accounts of the campaign.
210-104 BC Republican Roman Army 200-104 BC Sekunda 5 Men-at-Arms 291. A fairly light overview, but gives the basics of how the classic Roman Legion worked, as well as some hints to its evolution in the Republic era.
168-145 BC The Seleucid Army Sekunda 3 Seleucid and Ptolemaic Reformed Armies 168-145 BC. Volume 1. An excerpt of a longer work (I don't know if the full version got published), it examines the available evidence for the 'Romanization' of the Seleucid army after the Third Macedonian War.
168-145 BC The Ptolemaic Army Sekunda 3 Seleucid and Ptolemaic Reformed Armies 168-145 BC. Volume 2. An excerpt of a longer work (I don't know if the full version got published), it is largely involved with the examination of a set of grave stelae from ancient Antioch.
157 BC-AD 73 Warriors of Rome Simkins 5 A broad overview of some of the campaigns of the Roman military. However, it also has good reference of Roman equipment, including photographs of several of the author's reconstructions.
146 BC-AD 633 Rome's Enemies 5: The Desert Frontier Nicolle 5 Men-at-Arms 243. Covers the various desert tribes and nomads of North Africa, Sudan, Arabia and Syria. It is a very general overview, but there are not a lot of good sources for some of the subjects.
110-100 BC The First Man in Rome McCullough 9 Book 1 of Masters of Rome. An excellent novel of Ancient Rome and the start of series that covers the transition from the Republic to the Empire.
109 BC-AD 313 Roman Battle Tactics Cowan 6 Elite 155. A fairly thourough look at something there is just not enough evidence about.
100 BC-AD 200 Gladiators 100 BC-AD 200 Wisdom 6 Warrior 39. A good basic guide to the different types of gladiators, their equipment, and how gladitorial events were run.
100 BC-AD 200 Roman Military Clothing (1) Sumner 3 Men-at-Arms 374. A study in detail of late Roman Republic and early Empire military clothing, concentrating on tunics, and colors.
99-86 BC The Grass Crown McCullough 9 Book 2 of Masters of Rome. Not as good, or as independent as the first volume, but still a very good work that is well worth reading.
83-69 BC Fortune's Favorites McCullough 9 Book 3 of Masters of Rome. I feel it's still somewhat downhill here, but some of that is that I don't like Sulla as much, and some is the fact that McCullough is getting into better-documented periods that tie her hands more.
68-58 BC Caesar's Women McCullough 9 Book 4 of Masters of Rome.
62-51 BC Druids Llywelyn 7 The story of the Roman conquest of Gaul from the Celtic perspective. The main character is Vercingetorix's (convienient) fictional main advisor.
58 BC-AD 69 Roman Legionary 58 BC-AD 69 Cowan 5 Warrior 71. Describes the general organization, training, equipment, and fighting style of the early Imperial Roman Army. Does a very good job on the general tactics.
55 BC-AD 1485 The Birth of Britain Churchill 4 Volume I of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples. Yes, that Churchill. An excellent overview of British history through the Wars of the Roses.
54-48 BC Caesar McCullough 9 Book 5 of Masters of Rome.
49-44 BC Caesar's Civil War 49-44 BC Goldsworthy 6 Essential History 42. A good guide to the end of the Roman Republic, with a discussion of the forces that led to its end.
48-43 BC The October Horse McCullough 9 Book 6 of Masters of Rome. This one swings back up in terms of quality. Her bias in favor of Caesar is also quite visible in this volume, but understandable given the nature of the series.
40-30 BC Throne of Isis Tarr 9 A novel of the famously tragic relationship between Cleopatra and Mark Anthony.
32 BC-AD 305 The Praetorian Guard Rankov 5 Elite 60. An overview of the history and equipment of the most politically active branch of the Roman military.
26 BC-AD 100 City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction Macaulay 6 Macaulay's fictional Roman city of Verbonia is a classic visual guide to Roman archetechture, construction techniques and city planning.
9-1241 The Barbarians Newark 5 A look at the various peoples who, in turn, each threatened 'civilized' Europe from the Germans to the Mongols. A fairly nice overview, with good observations on the contemporary European reactions.
150-552 History of the Goths Wolfram 3 A very weighty work, it is nonetheless well-presented, and well worthwhile for anyone wanting a detailed study of a part of the decline of the Roman Empire in the west.
161-284 Imperial Roman Legionary Cowan 5 Warrior 72. An examination of the Roman legions of the mid-Empire, with attention to arms and equipment.
170-750 The World of Late Antiquity Brown 5 Library of World Civilization. A very good look at how the Ancient world went from a single Mediterranean culture to the three-way split of Catholic Western Europe, Orthodox Eastern Europe, and Muslim Near East.
175-177 Island of Ghosts Bradshaw 10 An excellent novel of Roman Britain, and probably my favorite novel on this list.
200-471 How Rome Fell Goldsworthy 4 A look at the collapse of the western Roman Empire.
200-400 Roman Military Clothing (2) Sumner 3 Men-at-Arms 390. A study in detail of later Roman Empire clothing, concentrating on tunics, and colors.
220-651 Sassanian Armies Nicole 4 The Iranian Empire early 3rd to mid-7th centuries AD. A good look at what is known of the structure of the Sassanian military.
236-565 Late Roman Infantryman MacDowall 5 Warrior 9. An examination of late Roman infantry, with attention to arms, equipment, and training.
236-565 Late Roman Cavalryman MacDowall 5 Warrior 15. An examination of late Roman cavalry, with attention to arms, equipment, and training.
236-568 Germanic Warrior MacDowall 5 Warrior 17. A look at the likely arms and equipment of the various German tribes during the breakup of the western Roman Empire.
293-696 Rome at War AD 293-696 Whitby 5 Essential History 21. An overview of the period that transformed the Roman Empire from the pagan master of the Mediterrean to a much reduced Near Eastern Orthodox state.
297-841 Pictish Warrior AD 297-841 Wagner 5 Warrior 50. Given the sparseness of evidence, a great introduction to Pict history from their first mention to their final defeat by the Scots.
300-1000 Early Medieval Europe Collins 4 A wonderful introductory work on the period from the decline of the western Roman Empire to the breakup of the Carolignian Empire.
304-1206 Attila and the Nomad Hordes Nicolle 4 Elite 30. A look at the various nomad tribes of Europe and Asia and a run-down of the changing empires created by them.
324-1453 Lost to the West Brownworth 5 A readable and enjoyable history of the Byzantine Empire.
324-886 Romano-Byzantine Armies 4th-9th Centuries Nicolle 4 Men-at-Arms 247. A good overview of later Roman armies, though there's barely room to scratch the surface.
378 Adrianople AD 378 MacDowall 4 Campaign 84. A very good examination of the Battle of Adrianople and the events leading up to it.
400-1450 Medival Society 400-1450 Cantor & Werthman eds. 5 The Structure of European History II. A set of essays that are actually segements of influental historical works from the first half of the 20th century.
400-640 Roman Military Clothing (3) D'Amato 3 Men-at-Arms 425. A study in detail of very late Western Roman Empire, and early Eastern Empire, clothing, with B/W photographs of surviving examples.
409-652 British Forts in the Age of Arthur Konstam 5 Fortress 80. A study of British fortifications after the Roman withdrawl.
410-1066 Arthur and the Anglo-Saxon Wars Nicolle 4 Men-at-Arms 154. A look at the general organization and equipment of the various peoples of post-Roman, pre-Norman Britain.
421-1797 A History of Venice Norwich 4 While the rest of the Venitian Empire appears, mostly this is a history of the city itself.
449-1066 Anglo-Saxon Thegn 449-1066 AD Harrison 5 Warrior 5. A look at the arms, equipment, and organization of the Germanic warrior class of pre-Norman England.
450-1260 European Medieval Tactics (1) Nicolle 5 Elite 185. A good look at early Medival tactics with several illustrated battles.
450-751 The Merovingian Kingdoms Wood 4 A look at the entire Merovingian period and area of influence.
475-751 Before France & Germany: The Creation & Transformation of the Merovingian World Geary 2 A good short survey of the era, and a very good introduction to the subject. Sadly, very little is available on this period in English.
500-1400 Cathedral, Forge and Waterwheel Gies & Gies 4 The latest and best-written of the Gies' treatments of the Middle Ages, it is a wonderful guide to the new developments that appeared throughout the period, and explodes the myths about how much was actually "lost" durring 'the not so Dark Ages'.
500-1500 Marriage and the Family in the Middle Ages Gies & Gies 3 An examination of family and home life in the Middle Ages. While not strictly written for a technical audience, it is pretty heavy going, and is best for research purposes.
550-1087 Anglo-Saxon England Stenton 4 A complete look at the history of Britain from the founding of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms through the aftermath of the Norman Conquest.
590-1260 Imperial Chinese Armies (2) Peers 4 Men-at-Arms 295. A whirlwind tour of the last few Chinese dynasties before the Mongols. Too broad for details, but provides a partial framework.
600-1453 Byzantium at War AD 600-1453 Haldon 5 Essential History 33. A primer on the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire's military history through the fall of Constantinople.
632-1086 The Armies of Islam 7th-11th Centuries Nicolle 3 Men-at-Arms 125. A centuries-long overview, looking at the changing tactics and styles of Islamic armies.
632-861 Armies of the Muslim Conquest Nicolle 3 Men-at-Arms 255. A look at the styles of arms, and general tactical units of the early Muslim armies.
636 Yarmuk 636 AD Nicolle 4 Campaign 31. A look at the Musim conquest of Syria.
643-1492 The Moors: The Islamic West 7th-15 Centuries AD Nicolle 3 Men-at-Arms 348. An overview of the Iberian and African Islamic kingdoms from the conquest of North Africa through the fall of Granada.
750-1250 Armies of Medieval Russia 750-1250 Nicolle 3 Men-at-Arms 333. A short look at the history and equipment of the early Rus.
750-1000 The Age of Charlemagne Nicolle 4 Men-at-Arms 150. A summary of the evolution of warfare in Western Europe from the Pippinids to the beginning of the Holy Roman Empire.
789-1066 The Vikings Heath 4 Elite 3. Vikings from England to Russia to Stamford Bridge.
793-1066 Viking Hersir 449-1066 AD Harrison 4 Warrior 3. A look at the arms, equipment, and society of the Scandiavian warrior class.
800-1066 Viking Longship Durham 3 New Vanguard 47. An overview of the evolution of Skandinavian shipbuilding, and a study of the ships of the Viking age.
900-1500 The Knight in History Gies 6 A look at the role and evolution of the knight in mideval society (and later).
911-1204 The Normans Nicolle 4 Elite 9. A look at the history of the Normans in France, Englanc, Italy, and Syria.
940-1600 The Samurai Bryant 5 Elite 23. A quick tour of Japanese military history and study of changing armor styles.
950-1204 Norman Knight 950-1204 AD Gravett 5 Warrior 1. A look at the arms, equipment, and society of the Norman warrior.
968-984 The Eagle's Daughter Tarr 9 A very well-written novel of of the beginings of the Holy Roman Empire.
1000-1568 Hungary and the Fall of Eastern Europe Nicolle 4 Men-at-Arms 195. The military and fall of the early medieval states of the Balkans.
1000-1300 French Medieval Armies 1000-1300 Nicolle 4 Men-at-Arms 231. The military organization of northern and southern France (considered somewhat separately).
1000-1300 German Medieval Armies 1000-1300 Gravett 4 Men-at-Arms 310. The military organization of the German empire.
1000-1300 Italian Medieval Armies 1000-1300 Nicolle 4 Men-at-Arms 376. The military concerns of Medieval Italy.
1050-1492 El Cid and the Reconquista Nicolle 4 Men-at-Arms 300. A look at the military organization of Christian and Muslim Spain.
1066-1650 Castles of the British Isles Fry 2 An overview history of castles in Britain. The bulk of the book is a gazetteer of all the sites in England, Wales and Scotland.
1066 Hastings 1066 Gravett 4 Campaign 13. An account of the Battle of Hastings, with looks at the situation in England before and after the Norman Conquest.
1066-1073 Sherwood Godwin 9 The Robin Hood legend is really collected from stories about a variety of different outlaws ranging over the course of much of English history. This is effectively a (very good) novel of the Norman Conquest, using the Robin Hood cast as the main characters.
1095-1302 The Crusades Nicolle 6 Essential History 1. A too short overview of the Crusades in the Middle East, but a very good initial introduction to the subject.
1095-1302 The Crusades Nicolle 5 Elite 19. A look at the Crusades with an eye to origins of Crusader equipment and the pattern of cultural influences on it.
1095-1100 The First Crusade and the Foundations of the Kingdom of Jerusalem Runciman 6 Vol I of A History of the Crusades. A good detailed history of the First Crusade and its background in the Near East.
1096-1291 The Crusades Through Arab Eyes Maalouf 5 A very readable narrative entirely from the arab point of view.
1097-1192 Onward, Christian Soldiers Berg 9 Covers the first three Crusades in separate scenarios. Gives a good feel for medieval warfare by making battles very chaotic and chancy affairs, and pays attention to the problems of attrition caused by the harsh climate. No provision is given to show the campaigns between Crusades.
1100-1306 Knight Hospitaller (1) Nicolle 5 Warrior 33. A look at the arms, equipment, organization, and rules of the Hospitallers.
1100-1300 Saladin and the Saracens Nicolle 4 Men-at-Arms 171. An overview of the major Islamic empires of the 11th-12th Centuries.
1100-1187 The Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Frankish East Runciman 6 Vol II of A History of the Crusades. A good detailed history of the Crusader states from after the First Crusade to the rise of Nur el-Din and the Battle of Hattin.
1118-1565 The Knights of Christ Wise 4 Men-at-Arms 155. A quick look at all the various militant orders of the Christian Church.
1118-1461 Byzantine Armies Heath 4 Men-at-Arms 287. The history of Byzantium from the death of Alexius I to the fall of Trebizond.
1120-1216 The Conquering Family Costain 7 Vol. 1 of The History of the Pantagents. Covers from Henry I to the death of King John. Stands on its own as a very readable history.
1122-1204 Eleanor of Aquitaine Weir 6 Not so much a biography, as a 'life and times' of Eleanor of Aquitaine.
1147-1525 The Northern Crusades Christiansen 3 A heavier, more scholarly work than this list is meant for, but there's not a lot written in English about the Crusades that created the Baltic states.
1150-1600 Knights at Tournament Gravett 4 Elite 17. The history and evolution knightly tounaments over the centuries.
1172-1227 Genghis Khan Lamb 9 A very readable and enjoyable biography of Genghis Kahn.
1172-1175 A Wind in Cairo Tarr 6 A fantasy with a strong historical backdrop of Egypt under Saladin and his conquest of Syria.
1176 Alamut Tarr 7 A historical fantasy novel dealing with the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Assassins.
1183-1600 Battles of the Samurai Turnbull 5 Nine important battles from Japanese history.
1185-1638 Samurai Heraldry Turnbull 4 Elite 82. A quick tour of Japanese flags and standards.
1187 Hattin 1187 Nicolle 7 Campaign Series 19. As usual, a good solid description of the battle of Hattin as well as the campaign that led up to it.
1187-1464 The Kingdom of Acre and Later Crusades Runciman 6 Vol III of A History of the Crusades. A good detailed history of the Third Crusade, the fall of the Crusader states and the end of the Crusading movement.
1194 Ivanhoe Scott 8 Sir Walter Scott's classic tale of all the tropes of the Middle Ages with knights, tournaments, seiges and romance. Also resposible for the fixing Robin Hood right after the Third Crusade.
1200-1670 The Venetian Empire Nicolle 5 Men-at-Arms 210. The history of Venice's overseas possessions, and Terra Firma.
1200-1300 English Medieval Knight 1200-1300 Gravett 5 Warrior 48. Covers the changes in equipement, and often circumstances, of English knights through the 13th Century.
1206-1294 The Mongols Turnbull 5 Men-at-Arms 105. A quick guide to the history of the Mongol conquests, and how their army worked.
1216-1272 The Magnificent Century Costain 7 Vol. 2 of The History of the Pantagents. Covers the reign of Henry III. Stands on its own as a very readable history.
1223 Kalka River 1223 Nicolle 4 Campaign 98. Gives a look at the entire Mongol Campaign from the Caucasus to the battle, and a look at medieval Russia.
1230-1466 Crusader Castles of the Teutonic Knights (1) Turnbull 6 Fortress 11. A guide to the brick castles of Prussia.
1250-1400 The Scottish and Welsh Wars Rothero 5 Men-at-Arms 151. From the initial troubles with the Welsh to the second Scottish War of Independce, with a look at the tactics used.
1260-1500 European Medieval Tactics (2) Nicolle 5 Elite 189. A good look at later Medival tactics with several illustrated battles.
1272-1377 The Three Edwards Costain 7 Vol. 3 of The History of the Pantagents. Edward I through Edward III.
1296-1305 Braveheart Gibson 8 There are some creative liberties taken (like the lack of a bridge at the Battle of Stirling Bridge), but overall a very good effort, and gives a good idea of what the period was like.
1300-1774 Armies of the Ottoman Turks Nicolle 5 Men-at-Arms 140. Not detailed, but talks about the types of troops employed and where they came from.
1300-1500 Medieval European Armies Wise 5 Men-at-Arms 50. An informative, if whirlwind, look at the evolution of Medieval warfare in Western Europe.
1300-1500 Medieval Warfare Wise 5 A good introductory survey of warfare in the later part of the middle ages, but necessarily breif in its overview.
1300-1500 Italian Medieval Armies Nicolle 4 Men-at-Arms 136. A look at Italian armies through much of the condottiere period, and a summary of a few campaigns.
1300-1500 German Medieval Armies Gravett 5 Men-at-Arms 166. A quick tour of the various areas of the Holy Roman Empire, and which groups dominated military organization, with a summary of a few campaigns.
1303-1399 A Distant Mirror Tuchman 8 A century of war, plauge, religious infighting, and rebellion, mostly told though following the life of Enguerand VII of Coucy.
1364-1477 Armies of Medieval Burgundy Michael 5 Men-at-Arms 144. A good outline of the organization of the armies of Valois Burgundy.
1377-1485 The Last Plantgenets Costain 7 Vol. 4 of The History of the Pantagents. Mostly concentrates on Richard II, and the prinicple characters of the Wars of the Roses.
1401-1500 The Fifteenth Century: The Prospect of Europe Aston 6 The transition from the Middle Ages and 'Christendom' to the Renaissance and 'Europe'.
1431-1476 In the Shadow of Empires Jens 6 The story of the actual Vlad Dracula, King (Voivode) of Wallachia.
1455-1487 The Wars of the Roses Wise 5 Men-at-Arms 145. A good outline of the fighting in the Wars of the Roses, and some information on the equipment.
1483-1530 Babur the Tiger Lamb 7 Harold Lamb's biography of Babur, the founder of the Mogul Empire in India.
1485 Bosworth 1485 Gravett 5 Campaign 66. The last stages of the Wars of the Roses. Slightly outdated.
1507 The Fourth Part of the World Lester 7 How the Waldsemuller Map came to call the New World "America".
1512-1589 The Ottoman Age of Exploration Casale 7 The Ottoman Empire's attemt to acheive dominance in the Indian Ocean.
1517-1555 Here I Stand Beach 8 A very solid game that does a good job with the interplay between religious and political events in the Sixteenth Century.
1521-1571 Empires of the Sea Crowley 7 The grand sweep the the struggle for dominance in the Mediterranian in the Sixteenth Century.
1559-1598 Virgin Queen Beach 8 A solid game of the Elizabethan Era.
1600-1947 Iron Kingdom Clark 7 The story of Brandenberg and the disparate possessions that became Prussia.
1642-1645 Unhappy King Charles! Vassey 8 Covers the English Civil War from a strategic point of view, and makes an effort to bring the right feel to warfare of the era.
1786-1789 Origins of the French Revolution Doyle 4 A lighter textbook dealing with the financial crisis and social pressures that sparked the French Revolution.
1787 Miracle at Philadelphia Bowen 6 The story of the Constitutional Convention.
1850-1914 Dreadnought: Britain, Germany, and the Coming of the Great War Massie 7 The subtitle is a far better indication of the subject of the book. In the mid-19th Century, Britain was committed to a policy of staying away from Continental affairs, and the royal family was of German extraction. Massie examines the half-century that ended up with Britain allying with it's traditional enemy (France) against the European country they were most closely related to (Germany). Massie goes into wonderful detail, creating a rich portrait of the personalites involved.
The American Civil War
1866 There Must Be A Victory Rohrbaugh 7 The naval part of the Seven Weeks War, with the Battle of Lissa and the campaign that led to it.
1879 Zulu Endfield 8 A good, fairly simple film of the Battle of Rorke's Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War. Not entirely accurate, but generally quite acceptable.
1896-1899 The River War Churchill 6 A study of the campaign to supress the rebellion in the Sudan. Much of the last section of the book changes markedly in tone, as Churchill was there for that part of the war, and he's giving his eyewitness account. There is a bias of the most marked Imperialsist sort, but this is also useful as lens into the thinking of the era.
1914-1918 Pursuit of Glory Stock & Stock 7 A game on WWI in the Balkans and Middle East. The game itself is good and will give a good overview of the situation, and there is a host of notes included about the actual history surrounding the design of the game.
1937-1939 The Dreamer Eisner 8 A fictionalized autobiographical account of the beginnings of the the comic book industry.
World War II
1965-1978 Playing at the World Peterson 5 A massive and thourough look at the creation of Dungeons & Dragons.
1970 Apollo 13 Howard 10 A excellent film that gives a slightly fictionalized account of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission. The technology and people are exceptionally well depicted.