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Tom Holland (1) (1968–)

Author of Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic

For other authors named Tom Holland, see the disambiguation page.

20+ Works 10,886 Members 205 Reviews 18 Favorited


Works by Tom Holland

Associated Works

The Iliad (0750) — Afterword, some editions — 38,721 copies
The Histories (0420) — Translator, some editions — 9,707 copies
The Persian Boy (1972) — Introduction, some editions — 2,286 copies
Fire from Heaven (1969) — Introduction, some editions — 2,168 copies
Funeral Games (1981) — Introduction, some editions — 1,103 copies
The Library Book (2012) — Contributor — 384 copies
I Wish I'd Been There, Book Two: European History (2008) — Contributor — 152 copies


Alexander the Great (432) ancient (592) Ancient Greece (1,323) Ancient Greek (253) ancient history (1,108) ancient literature (238) antiquity (401) classic (1,134) classical (319) classical literature (409) classics (2,866) ebook (251) epic (1,015) epic poetry (627) fiction (2,787) Greece (1,485) Greek (1,496) Greek History (279) Greek literature (805) Greek mythology (385) historical (346) historical fiction (970) history (4,227) Homer (957) Iliad (274) Kindle (224) literature (1,441) mythology (1,581) non-fiction (1,120) own (229) Persia (314) poetry (2,712) read (444) Rome (325) to-read (2,092) translation (386) Trojan War (447) Troy (285) unread (338) war (494)

Common Knowledge



The Birth of Islam, has Holland got it right? in History: On learning from and writing history (September 2015)
New Herodotus in Ancient History (November 2013)
Tom Holland's In the Shadow of the Sword in Ancient History (July 2012)
Rubicon by Tom Holland in Ancient History (December 2009)


I haven't read a vampire novel in a long time. Was very glad this one was mostly a flashback to ancient times rather than something modern. Pretty cool story with some new "vampire rules". The ending wasn't great, but overall I liked it.
ragwaine | 13 other reviews | Nov 8, 2023 |
Halfway up the inside of a church tower in central Italy, upside-down, is an epitaph of a ‘T. Flavius Clymenus’. A freedman of the imperial household, a former slave, his middle name indicates who had owned and freed him: one of the ‘Flavian Emperors’, Vespasian, Titus or Domitian, who ruled Rome at the end of the first century. Not far from Antrodoco, where the church of Santa Maria Extra Moenia stands, stood a villa at Cutiliae where Vespasian was in the habit of spending the summer months, and indeed both Vespasian and his elder son Titus died there. This is no doubt where T. Flavius Clymenus had been employed.

Cutiliae was situated in the rural territory east of Rome known as the Sabina. Vespasian himself, with his rustic accent and manners, was considered a bit of a country bumpkin, and might seem an improbable emperor from an improbable source. But in the Roman imaginary the Sabina evoked tough and thrifty peasants and solid, old-fashioned values. Tom Holland’s Pax, the third instalment of his Roman trilogy, describes the collapse of the Julio-Claudian dynasty with the assassination of Nero, the civil conflict that followed, the Flavians who emerged from it, and the ‘Spanish Emperors’, Trajan and Hadrian, to whom has been attributed the settled heyday of the Roman Empire, the Pax, ‘peace’, of Holland’s title. A persistent theme is how the various contenders for power presented their credentials to the Romans. In Vespasian’s case, his origins in a part of Italy that might appear a few hundred years behind Rome, appealing in itself, also complemented the blunt, no-nonsense military manner he cultivated. ‘Woe is me, I think I’m becoming a god!’, he joked on his deathbed, while a response to his son Titus when he questioned the propriety of a new tax on toilets has resulted in the French word for a public urinal, vespasienne.

But authenticity could take many forms in Rome. When Vespasian’s second son Domitian succeeded to the throne after Titus’ premature death, having hitherto acted, arguably, like the archetypal spare, his approach was to style himself as censor. This was a time-honoured role in Rome that encompassed not only morals (though he did bury alive a Vestal Virgin convicted of adultery) but also enhancement of the physical city (‘a lunatic desire to build’, as one author described it), and increasing the silver content of the coinage. As well as being an impeccably traditional office, the censorship was an ideal vehicle for an emperor whose talent was micromanagement. Domitian was also an emperor, it is fair to say, who had little time for the polite fiction, maintained since the first emperor Augustus, that any institution other than the army (the Praetorian Guard in Rome and the legions scattered around the Empire) was necessary for establishing and maintaining imperial authority.

Read the rest at HistoryToday.com

Llewelyn Morgan is Professor of Classics at Brasenose College, Oxford.
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HistoryToday | Aug 7, 2023 |
I just finished this historian's thesis and I must say, its intriguing! Its premise is that Western culture has been in a "fishbowl" of Christian thought for nearly two thousand years, regardless of our traditional or belief. From civil rights, equality, to ideas of justice, according to Holland, it can theoretically be traced back to the writings of the Gospels and Paul's letters. Holland goes from the pre-Christian lives of the Romans/Greeks, to the present day. It is enlightening. If you are a student of history, its a page-turner in my opinion.… (more)
phlevi | 14 other reviews | Jul 24, 2023 |
Didn't really seem to have a unifying point or a strong conclusion.
Vitaly1 | 16 other reviews | May 28, 2023 |



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