Rubicon : The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic
by Tom Holland
Editor: Little, Brown Book Group
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The Roman Republic was the most remarkable state in history.What started as a small community of peasants camped out between the swamps and hills ended up governing the known world.Rubicon paints a living portrait of the Republic at the height of its greatness: the sheer grandeur that would herald the catastrophe of its downfall.It’s an incomparable drama story.It was the century of Julius Caesar, the player whose dependence on glory led him to the bank of the Rubicon, and beyond; of Cicero, whose defence of liberty would make him synonymous with eloquence; of Spartacus, the slave who dared to defy a superpower; of Cleopatra, the queen who did likewise.Tom Holland brings to life this strange and worrying life of civilization, with its extremes have ambition and self-sacrifice, bloodshed and desire.Still exotic as it was, the Republic still holds a mirror for usIts citizens were obsessed with celebrity chiefs all night long, dancing and exotic pets; they fought elections in the courts and were addicted to filming; they overthrew foreign tyrants in the name of self-defence.Two thousand years have passed, but we remain the Roman heirs.
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