Rubicon : The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic

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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.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 36mm | 399.99g
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Abacus
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Section: 24, b/w and col
  • 034911563X
  • 9780349115634
  • 13,631

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Review quote

Holland has the rare gift of making deep scholarship accessible and exciting. A brilliant and completely absorbing study A. N. Wilson, author of The Victorians This is the best one-volume narrative history of the Rome between King Tarquin and Emperor Augustus I have ever read. The story of Rome's experiment with republicanism - peopled by such giants as Caesar, Pompey, Cato and Cicero - is told with perfect fre Andrew Roberts A modern, well-paced and finely observed history which entertains as it informs OBSERVER Explosive stuff ... a seriously intelligent history ... [written] with elan and gusto ... It is a history for our times ... Wickedly enjoyable Peter Jones, BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE

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About Tom Holland

Tom Holland received a double first from Cambridge. He has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for BBC Radio. His scholarly style is perfect to reposition him as a writer of non-fiction as well as fiction.

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Customer reviews

I had been receiving positive feedback for this book for at least 2 or 3 years before giving it a try. The initial pages appeared to me a slow start but once in motion it was a page turner. How different a society from our own... but at the same time how close and resembling... There is the hard work, determination, stamina, courage and glory but also the greed, buffoonery, treason, perfidy, dishonesty, .. you name it. Human nature at its best and worse... It is the full package. Highly entertaining and sometimes strangely more
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