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Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic (original 2003; edition 2005)
by Tom Holland
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 034911563X, Paperback)The Roman Republic was the most remarkable state in history. What began as a small community of peasants camped among marshes and hills ended up ruling the known world. Rubicon paints a vivid portrait of the Republic at the climax of its greatness - the same greatness which would herald the catastrophe of its fall. It is a story of incomparable drama. This was the century of Julius Caesar, the gambler whose addiction to glory led him to the banks of the Rubicon, and beyond; of Cicero, whose defence of freedom would make him a byword for eloquence; of Spartacus, the slave who dared to challenge a superpower; of Cleopatra, the queen who did the same. Tom Holland brings to life this strange and unsettling civilization, with its extremes of ambition and self-sacrifice, bloodshed and desire. Yet alien as it was, the Republic still holds up a mirror to us. Its citizens were obsessed by celebrity chefs, all-night dancing and exotic pets; they fought elections in law courts and were addicted to spin; they toppled foreign tyrants in the name of self-defence. Two thousand years may have passed, but we remain the Romans' heirs.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:16 -0400)
This narrative history paints a vivid portrait of the Republic at the climax of its greatness - the same greatness which would herald the catastrophe of its fall. Tom Holland brings to life the strange and unsettling civilization, which still holds up a mirror to our own.
(summary from another edition)
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