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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

Veni, Vini, Vici

Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Empire by Tom Holland

Or how we learn the die was cast

Stars: 5

I read this book years ago, but as today is the Ides of March, it seemed like a good review to post. Holland’s book is an excellent narrative history of the last hundred years of the Roman Republic leading up to Caesar's eventual dictatorship. This book is an excellent introduction to the Roman Republic and Holland has a deft hand with historical figures (which is why I love his podcast so much), especially ones like Cicero. Holland allusions to modern day politics are apt ones; though one defining event feels climatic, there are always years of build up to the final action.

Not to be depressing, but I think the following quote sums up why I personally believe studying history is so important:

“ Rome’s system of government had endured for almost five hundred years…a Roman could no more conceive of the Republic's collapse than he could imagine himself an Egyptian or a Gaul.” (p.286)

If you are looking for a good intro to the time period, I highly recommend this book. It certainly gave me a good foundation to start reading more about Ancient Rome.

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