- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: Anchor; 31971st edition (March 8, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1400078970
- ISBN-13: 978-1400078974
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (282 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,420 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Rubicon 31971st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Find Rare and Collectible Books
Discover rare, signed and first edition books on AbeBooks, an Amazon Company. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
After a palace coup demolished the reign of King Tarquin of Rome in 509 B.C., a republican government flourished, providing every person an opportunity to participate in political life in the name of liberty. As Holland, a novelist and adapter of Herodotus' Histories for British radio, points out in this lively re-creation of the republic's rise and fall, the seeds of destruction were planted in the very soil in which the early republic flourished. It was more often members of the patrician classes who had the resources to achieve political success. Such implicit class distinctions in an ostensibly classless society also gave rise to a new group of rulers who acted like monarchs. Holland chronicles the rise to power of such leaders as Sulla Felix, Pompey, Cicero and Julius Caesar. Some of these leaders, such as Pompey, appealed to the masses by expanding the republic through military conquest; others, like Cicero, worked to reinforce class distinctions. Holland points to the suppression of the Gracchian revolution-a series of reforms in favor of the poor pushed by the Gracchus brothers in the second century B.C.-as the beginning of the end of the republic, providing the context into which Julius Caesar would step with his own attempts to save the republic. As Holland points out, Caesar actually precipitated civil wars and helped to reestablish an imperial form of government in Rome. With the skill of a good novelist, Holland weaves a rip-roaring tale of political and historical intrigue as he chronicles the lively personalities and problems that led to the end of the Roman republic. Maps.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Ancient history lives in this vivid chronicle of the tumultuous events that impelled Julius Caesar across the one small river that separated the Roman Republic from cataclysmic civil war. With the narrative talents that have established him as a prominent radio personality and novelist, Holland pulls readers deep into the treacherous riptide of Roman politics. To show how Caesar eventually masters that tide--if only temporarily--Holland first traces the bloody career of the ruthless dictator Sulla, who rescues an imperiled Republic even as he breaches its founding traditions. Those breaches deeply disturb the moralist Cato, but the indulgent luxury of a post-Sullan world suits Caesar well enough: a popular favorite, he sets the fashion in loose-fitting togas--and waits for his fated opening. Recounting Caesar's eventual seizure of power in pages as irresistibly cadenced as the legionnaires' march, Holland probes the tragic ironies that quickly expose the bold conqueror to idealistic assassins, who themselves soon perish in the rise of the Augustan Empire. Not a work for scrupulous scholars, but a richly resonant history for the general reader. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
When another lover of the Roman republic likes a book so much he tries to STEAL it from you, it must be good. I recovered my property and proceeded to read it--I'm guilty of buying books only to have them sit on the shelf for months or years before getting to them.
Holland mixes historical fact and conjecture with a fast-moving storytelling narrative that is like a funhouse ride. He works for multiple sources for details. Where he's not sure, he tells you. The biggest thing for Rome-o-philes will be his sense of interpretation and point of view. I got a better sense of What It Was Like To Be A Roman Citizen out of this book than any other, probably drier, prior text. It is a book that demands re-reading, because there are so many details to pick up again, hold aloft to view in the sun, then place back into the safe confinement of the past. Well done, Mr. Holland.
As page 16 narrates: "In truth nothing better illustrated the ambiguities of Rome than the fact that she was both the cleanest and the filthiest of cities."
The B.C. era was punctuated with endless wars, atrocities, betrayals, tortures, and brutalities against any and all opposing forces. Even hardened cynics would be challenged to define humanity as directly descended from any virtuous god. Military, political and social bellicosities were simmering behind the scenes of many conflicts in Greece and in Rome. Some war some where always seemed imminent. Disease must have been rampant, especially STD's; Germs had not yet been identified and sexual dalliances were prolific.
One example of the brutalities, butchery and carnage of the time is told in some detail on page 94 as a military conqueror reminded his audience in a Senate address that he was the favorite of the gods. As such he proceeded to massacre each of his war prisoners: "The massacre was total...corpses were dragged...flung into the Tiber, clogging the banks and bridges with pollution..."
The murder and desecration of the remains of renowned orator Marcus Antonius is detailed "as his body was fed to birds and dogs. His head was displayed in the Forum". Another example of how prisoners were disposed by their victors. Beheading was in vogue long before Islam become a contemporary focus.
Perhaps this book's most important message will be found on Preface page XVII: "...everything that happens in the world at any time has a genuine
resemblance to what happened in ancient times".
The author devotes most of his manuscript to historical plunders and events, reserving pages of Rubicon largely for metaphoric legend and interpretation. The other chapters, however, are filled with noteworthy names, and events, many familiar to readers, some not, such as Alexander the Great, Alexandria, Marcus Antonius, Mark Antony, Caesar Augustus, Marcus Brutus, Julius Caesar, Marcus Cicero, Cleopatra, Hannibal, Machiavelli, Octavian, Pompey. Ptolemy, Rufus Rutilius, Clodius, Sibyl Spartacus, Trojans, Venus, Vesuvius and many more.
Sometime in the 2nd century B.C. Gauls, and Romans, found something quite satisfying to both merchants and consumers: wine. A slave for one jar of wine. It became a big and lucrative market. Wine was more precious than gold to Gallic chieftains.
It as at this historic period that elites wanted more entertainment forums so they invented, developed, and parlayed gladiators into public spectacles. In the first century A.D. the colosseum was an amphitheater built in Rome to hold gladiator and other public events.
Rubicon is a book title in search of an identity. The word is found only a few times throughout some 400 pages. This sparsity, however, does not diminish the metaphorical power of river Rubicon. On page XIV of the preface Caesar decides to either surrender his command under existing law, or he could cross the Rubicon and risk the unknown consequences of engulfing the world into war and collapsing the Roman empire. Would he cross the Rubicon? The answer is to found on page XV of the Preface.
To this writer the word Rubicon has a certain mystery, a swagger attached to it, a blending of royalty, a foreboding, suspense, legends, and treasures.
Unlike some historians, Holland's prose is anything but dry. He captures the essence of what it meant to the Romans to be Roman, and what the motivations likely were for all of the involved parties as they played out this real human drama. Very well done!
It helped me understand why Christianity came along just when it did, and why the timing was so right for the world at that time. It makes Biblical stories more understandable when the motives and morals of the Romans are understood more fully. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in Roman history, world history, politics, philosophy, and in Christianity. It's truly pregnant with insights, and easy to read and understand. I loved it!