You’ve probably never heard of Drunk William Chainmail Head (my translation) but, according to the writer of our FREE 30-part series of texts with audio on the middle ages in the Italian peninsula, he was an imaginative Genovese merchant who sought his fortune in the Crusades, and ended up capturing the Sarcen-held city of Jerusalem with just a few men, and plenty of made-in-Italy engineering knowhow!
Read (and/or hear) all about it in Episode 18, the first of two articles on the Crusades. The second part will be out on Monday – watch this space!
Another Italian star from that period was Boemondo di Taranto, described by Anna, a Byzantine princess, who clearly lusted after him, as “biondo, bellissimo e proporzionato: sembra una statua greca! È magnifico, coraggioso e abile nelle conversazioni. Ma ha anche una reputazione e un odore spaventosi…”
History isn’t what it was, is it? I don’t suppose there are many Greek-statue types in the modern military. Though I’m sure they smell nicer.
Too much sun, sea and sand? Fallen behind?
No worries! Previous episodes in this series, along with a glimpse of what’s coming (three articles with audio each week over the next month), can be found on our History page – scroll down past last year’s summer series on the Romans to find this one, and its predecessors.
But perhaps you were just looking for some Italian grammar explanations or exercises?
Grammar is overrated, in my opinion.
Practice (reading, listening, speaking) is where it’s at.
But to each their own. You’ll find masses of tenses, moods, prepositions and so on on the club website, linked to below.
A lunedì, allora!
There’s also a link to our shop in the footer of this article, the shop where we sell EBOOKS and online lessons with native speaker teachers, and so generate revenues to pay for the mass of free stuff we publish each week.
N.b. we DO NOT sell books made of PAPER, not hardback, not softback, neither one.
Why? Because we only sell a few dozen, or a few hundred, copies of anything we publish. The most successful thing we ever published hasn’t sold more than a few thousand British pounds’ worth.
Printing, storing and mailing paper copies of this stuff to our customers, who are spread out all over the globe from, for instance, Auckland to Alaska, would be utter foolishness, from a business point of view.
With an ebook, you get a download link immediately after your payment clears, so can be reading/studying/learning in minutes. They’re also printable, if you have a printer. If not, a friend, or your local copy shop, could do it for you.
But why bother? Most (not all) of our ebooks also have Kindle-compatible versions, plus there’s often (not always) an .epub version (other ebook readers), free to anyone who buys the default .pdf file.
Ebooks are easy to buy, easy to deliver, easy to store, and economical!
And then I get emails like this (paraphrased cynically):
“I thought I’d bought a paperback copy, which is why I ignored the download link that your system sent me and waited three weeks before getting agitated enough to write and complain.”
Think what you wish.
Study from paper if you prefer.
But don’t say I don’t make every effort to communicate that we sell EBOOKS not expensive-to-ship bundles of dead tree stained with toxic inks.
Each product information page in our shop specifies the format of what you might or might not choose to buy, for example this one, which collects last year’s Summer Series of articles on the Romans into convenient ebook formats: La storia di Roma.
See anything that suggests this is a paperback? Nope, right?
And just to be on the safe side, our shop’s FAQ has this:
We don’t sell books made from dead trees.
All of our easy readers and parallel texts for foreign language learners are .PDF format ebooks, some of which also have the option to receive .MOBI (Kindle-compatible) and/or .EPUB (other ebook readers) at no extra charge.
You can see whether .MOBI (Kindle-compatible) and/or .EPUB (other ebook readers) versions are available for the title or titles you want to buy by checking the format information, which you’ll see right under the cover image, in our online shop. Or click on the cover image to visit the product page. Or email and ask.
.PDF e-books are readable on just about any computer, tablet, smartphone or ebook reader. However, it’s always a good idea to download the free sample chapter for any ebook that interests you. That way you can verify that the format is compatible with the device you want to use it on BEFORE you purchase the full version.
.MOBI format ebooks can be read on a Kindle or Kindle app. We do not offer free sample chapters for these, but the content should be the same as in the .PDF format.
.EPUB format ebooks are good for most other ebook readers and can also be viewed with common browsers such as Microsoft Edge and Firefox. We do not offer free sample chapters for .EPUB but the content should be the same as in the .PDF format.
If you’d also like to receive the .MOBI (Kindle-compatible) and/or .EPUB (other ebook readers) version(s), at no extra charge, then let us know by adding a note to your order form, or emailing at the time of your order.
And yes, of course I’m aware that no one except me ever reads the FAQ…
Anyway, here are those links I promised. The first to the club site, which is all free. The second to our ‘easy’ Italian news bulletins, also free, though donations are solicited. And the third to the shop, for all your ebook and one-to-one lesson needs: