Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic

Scintillating, salacious and scholarly in equal measure, this fascinating account of Rome’s bloody metamorphosis from republic to empire is a beautifully written, penetrating analysis of the intricate, unstable relationship between Roman citizens’ need for personal glory and their subordinance to the Republic. Holland replaces the tired truisms comparing the United States to Rome with sober facts, making this work chillingly relevant. The book’s human subjects, drawn in loving detail, include virtuous Cato, who tore out his intestines rather than surrender his city; Caesar, whose acts of genocide and treason served his overweening ambition; Cleopatra, who taught Caesar how to appear as a citizen to Romans and as a god to Easterners. Fans of I, Claudius and The Apprentice alike will rejoice .