Sketches of the East Africa Campaign

These sketches of General Smuts' campaign of 1916 in German East Africa, do not presume to give an accurate account of the tactical or strategical events of this war. The actual knowledge of the happenings of war and of the considerations that persuade an Army Commander to any course of military conduct must, of necessity, be a closed book to the individual soldier. To the fighting man himself and to the man on the lines of communication, who helps to feed and clothe and arm and doctor him, the history of his particular war is very meagre. War, to the soldier, is limited to the very narrow horizon of his front, the daily work of his regiment, or, at the most, of his brigade. Rarely does news from the rest of one brigade spread to the troops of another in the field. Only in the hospital that serves the division are the events of his bit of war correlated and reduced to a comprehensive whole. Even then the resulting knowledge is usually wrong. For the imagination of officers, and of men in particular, is wonderful, and rumour has its birthplace in the hospital ward. One may take it as an established fact that the ordinary regimental officer or soldier knows little or nothing about events other than his particular bit of country. Only the Staff know, and they will not tell. Sometimes we have thought that all the real news lives in the cloistered brain of the General and his Chief of Staff. Be this as it may, we always got fuller and better correlated and co-ordinated news of the German East African Campaign from "Reuter" or from The Times weekly edition.

The Life of Apollonius of Tyana

This is the lively account of the many miracles wrought by Apollonius as well as his journeys to Egypt and India and finally his showdown with the Emperor of Rome. It is also a philosophical and religious work that for a long time rivalled Christianity and Jesus Christ.In the Life of Apollonius, the Athenian author Philostratus, a sophist who lived from c.170 to c.247, tells the story of Apollonius of Tyana, a charismatic teacher and miracle worker from the first century CE who belonged to the school of Pythagoras. (A summary can be found here.) It is an apologetic work, in which Philostratus tries to show that Philostratus was a man with divine powers, but not a magician. He also pays attention to Apollonius' behavior as a sophist.

A Narrative of Captivity in Abyssinia

The British 1868 Expedition to Abyssinia was a punitive expedition carried out by armed forces of the British Empire against the Ethiopian Empire. Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia, also known as "Theodore," imprisoned several missionaries and two representatives of the British government in an attempt to get the attention of the British government, which had been ignoring his requests for military assistance. The punitive expedition launched by the British in response required the transportation of a sizable military force hundreds of miles across mountainous terrain lacking any road system. Harold G. Marcus described the action as "one of the most expensive affairs of honour in history."

Apollonius of Tyana

'To the student of the origins of Christianity there is naturally no period of Western history of greater interest and importance than the first century of our era; and yet how little comparatively is known about it of a really definite and reliable nature. If it be a subject of lasting regret that no non-Christian writer of the first century had sufficient intuition of the future to record even a line of information concerning the birth and growth of what was to be the religion of the Western world, equally disappointing is it to find so little definite information of the general social and religious conditions of the time.' Mead examines all the available evidence about the life of Apollonius in this remarkable study. Pukka scholarship and meticulous research provide the reader with a fascinating look at the real Apollonius and his possible connections with Christianity.

The Pneumatics of Hero of Alexandria

Hero (or Heron) of Alexandria (c. 10-70 AD) was an ancient Greek mathematician and engineer who lived in the Roman province of Egypt; He is considered the greatest experimenter of antiquity and his work is representative of the Greek scientific tradition. Hero published a famous description of a simple steam engine called an aeolipile. Among his most famous inventions were a windwheel, a cuckoo clock and a vending machine. Much of Hero's original writings and designs have been lost, having been burned by anti-pagan Christians sometime in the late 4th to 5th century but what remains of his work gives a fascinating insight into how advanced ancient Greco-Roman civilization was technically.

The golden Towers of Khadamain

Few adventurous incidents in our lives seem romantic at the time of their happening, and few places we visit are invested with that glamour that haunt them in recollection or anticipation. I remember comparing the colour scheme of a barge in Baghdad with that of one in Rochester. It was a comparison most unfavourable to Baghdad-a thing the colour of ashes with a thing of red and green and gold. Yet now that I am back in Rochester, the romance lingers around memories of dusty mahailas. It is easy to forget discomfort and insects and feel a certain glamour coming back to things which, at the time, represented the commonplaces of life. There certainly is a glamour about Mesopotamia. It is not so much the glamour of the present as of the past. To have travelled in the land where Sennacherib held sway, to have walked upon the Sacred Way in Babylon, to have stood in the great banquet hall of Belshazzar's palace when the twilight is raising ghosts and when little imagination would be required to see the fingers of a man's hand come forth and write upon the plaster of the wall, to wander in the moonlight into narrow streets in Old Baghdad, with its recollections of the Arabian Nights: these things are to make enduring pictures in the Palace of Memory, that ideal collection where only the good ones are hung and all are on the line. Although it was for the Imperial War Museum that I went to Mesopotamia, these notes are not about the War, but they are a series of impressions of Mesopotamia in general. The technical side of my work I have omitted, and any account of the campaign in this field I have left to other hands. The sketches here collected might be described as a bye-product of my mission in Mesopotamia; but most of them are the property of the Imperial War Museum, and it is by the courtesy of the Art Committee of that body that I have now been able to reproduce them.

Chinese Sketches

Life in 19th Century China

The Secret History of Procopius

Germany and Agricola

The Syrian Goddess

Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture

The Mysteries of Mithra

The Religion of Numa

The Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries