This episode was really intense–both to research and record. If you’re now as obsessed with the human experience of ancient siege warfare as we are, we have a lot of suggestions for further reading. Here are some of the sources we relied on for this episode.
We relied on several sources, including A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind by Michael Axworthy:
John Man wrote an epic account of the Mongol Empire that includes the siege of Merv, as well as an equally epic biography of Genghis Khan:
We also found this book to be a great resource about the collision of the Mongols with the Islamic world:
Also, for anything Mongol-centric, Secret History of the Mongols is pretty much required reading:
As for podcasts, once again Dan Carlin has a blisteringly good account of all things Mongol in his Wrath of the Khans series–and it’s not free, but trust me, it’s probably the most fun you can have for under $10.
Our sources here include:
Chinese Walled Cities 221 BC-AD 1644 by Stephen Turnbull:
Our contemporary sources on Suiyang are tough to find in English translation; if you speak Chinese, you get to read The Twenty-Four Histories in the original (and we’re jealous). (Hint: the good stuff on Suiyang is in the Old and New Book of T’ang):
For those who don’t speak Chinese, this wikipedia article gives some vivid translations of the parts of these works that deal with Suiyang, and it’s a great resource.
We’re a little obsessed with ancient Greek protest theatre. We relied on The Birds and The Trojan Women while writing the section on the sack of Troy:
We also leaned on the Illiad and Odyssey. We used the Stephen Miller translations for both:
And the Frederick Ahi translation of the Aeneid:
Also! We found out about this too late to use it in the episode, but we are beyond excited about this new translation of the Odyssey–the first ever done by a woman, Emily Wilson.