epub ☆ The Life and Legend of Mithradates ð Adrienne Mayor
A compelling biography of the legendary king rebel and poisoner who defied the Roman EmpireMachiavelli praised his military genius European royalty sought out his secret elixir against poison His life inspired Mozart's first opera while for centuries poets and playwrights recited bloody romantic tales of his victories defeats intrigues concubines and mysterious death But until now no modern historian has recounted the full story of Mithradates the ruthless king and visionary rebel who challenged the power of Rome in the first century BC In this richly illustrated book the first biography of Mi This was my favorite non fiction read of 2020 Mayor's prose is sensual and sparkling and I was utterly captivated by her account and research of this larger than life ruler One of the easiest ways for me to find inspiration is to stumble across a word and dig deeper and deeper into its origins I was first aware of the term mithradatism back in 2014 I knew that it was the process of immunizing oneself from poisons by ingestingpoison This immunizing method which appears in tales across South Asia most memorably for me in vishakanyas or poison courtesans inspired one of my first published short stories The Vishakanya's Choice From there I wanted to understand about the king who had given this method its name I love how Mayor suggests that Mithradates was both aware of and fanned the flames of cult status around his rule and I loved her discussion of power courtly intrigue and of course exotic toxins
pdf The Poison King
The Poison King The Life and Legend of Mithradates Rome's Deadliest EnemyThradates in fifty years Adrienne Mayor combines a storyteller's gifts with the most recent archaeological and scientific discoveries to tell the tale of Mithradates as it has never been told before The Poison King describes a life brimming with spectacle and excitement Claiming Alexander the Great and Darius of Persia as ancestors Mithradates inherited a wealthy Black Sea kingdom at age fourteen after his mother poisoned his father He fled into exile and returned in triumph to become a ruler of superb intelligence and fierce ambition Hailed as a savior by his followers and feared as a second There are very few books on Mithridates and even fewer dedicated biograpies; in fact The Poison King is the only one written in over a century which was part of the reason I was so excited to read it Unfortunately the book failed to contribute too much to the literature of the ancient Near East; this might not have disappointed me too much except for the length of the book which was not brimming with uniue historical insights but instead brimming with Adrienne Mayor's Mithradates fangirl speculations and musings Don't get me wrong as Mayor obviously put in a lot of historical research and the actual historical analysis that is in the book is perfectly fine; the disappointing part was that huge swathes of the book were not actually historical analysis or often even exposition Mithridates VI was the king of Pontus a little kingdom in what is today Northern Turkey during the final expansions of the Roman Republic and built Pontus into a Near East powerhouse with the intent of challenging Rome's growing power Unlike many of Rome's other famous enemies Mithradates actually represented a very real threat to Roman power and The Roman Republic's only serious rival in the Mediterranean The allure of course is that much of Mithridates's character is behind the veil of fiction and propaganda; as the title The Poison King suggests Mithridates had a history with experimentation with poisons and searching for antidotes Adriennne Mayor's book however seems to represent Mayor's own struggle between recognizing fact and being drawn towards legend; The Poison King almost feels like two books blended together in one the first being a well researched and clear historical monograph from a rare non Roman perspective the second being a historical fiction novel that Mayor desperately wants to be true Again don't get me wrong Adrienne Mayor is not trying to pass off fiction as fact in the book at least not intentionally; she notifies the reader of fact fiction discontinuities by prefacing sections with One can imagine Mithradates riding on his horse and saying X to his friend Y She does however occasionally rush through the disclaimer and if the reader is not paying attention it may seem like she is presenting her imagination as historical fact This either angers history purists who think shame on her for presenting speculation as history or this leads people who don't know any better to think she may be actually presenting history I personally don't think she is trying to misrepresent fact nor do I think she is intentionally trying to allow her own imagination to take over her book However I do think she often runs the danger of both of those things throughout much of this book and it makes the book less clear than it should be She chose to present Mithradates or Mithridates because frankly he's simply a very interesting character He's one of my favorite ancient figures up there along with Alcibiades However Mayor's own personal admiration for Mithradates gets in the way of her writing a professional expository non fiction This issue is perhaps even compounded by the fact that she is actually a very good fiction writer Her little musings and tangent style speculations about the personal life of Mithridates actually makes for engaging reading; I just really wish she would have put those into a historical fiction novel It would have made for an engaging yarn I've read some of Adrienne Mayor's other work and articles she's written and I know she is capable of good historical work; however she does seem to occasionally have the problem of getting carried away with the story aspect of history rather than the evidence and interpretation aspect of history Time for my own biases to come forth now Again my biases Meaning what I'm about to say will likely be unfair possibly narrow minded and not based upon observable evidence Adrienne Mayor is employed by Stanford as a research scholar Yet as far as I know she holds no graduate degree in anything let alone the field she is studying Assuming that is true Stanford is obviously okay with that fact; however I can't help but wonder if going through the dissertation process would be a big help to Mrs Mayor Being constantly challenged by peers and mentors having to defend propositions in an open forum painstakingly making sure each fact is backed up with evidence each reference properly cited though it may be a pain when going through the academic process it instills certain methodological practices that are good for overall scholarly thought Having to publish papers through a peer review process might work out some of the criticisms a popular audience book like this faces Adrienne Mayor's book is the first biography of Mithradates in over a century; is it because there is so much new information we know now that has been recently discovered and allows a publication of this book now? Was Adrienne Mayor simply the first write it? Or is it because what little we do know of Mithradates is so wrapped up in propaganda and legend that the attempt to write a historical biography of him never passed the publication standards of other historians?
Adrienne Mayor ð Rome's Deadliest Enemy reader
doc ´ The Poison King Þ reflectionslisburnltd Ã A compelling biography of the legendary king rebel and poisoner who defied the Roman EmpireMachiavelli praised his military genius European royalty sought out his secret elixir against poison His life inspired Mozart's first opera while for centuries poets and playwrights reciteHannibal by his enemies he envisioned a grand Eastern empire to rival Rome After massacring eighty thousand Roman citizens in 88 BC he seized Greece and modern day Turkey Fighting some of the most spectacular battles in ancient history he dragged Rome into a long round of wars and threatened to invade Italy itself His uncanny ability to elude capture and surge back after devastating losses unnerved the Romans while his mastery of poisons allowed him to foil assassination attempts and eliminate rivals The Poison King is a gripping account of one of Rome's most relentless but least understood fo An insight on Romans impact on Eastern world Mithradates An awesome read Couldn’t give 5 stars because of the speculations but don’t blame Author for the same as lack of records An Amazing account on life of Mithradates and impact of Roman Empire on eastern world At the end of day Individuals Roman Generals scummed to power greed and fame A very detailed account on life of Mithradates the Poison King