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Hessell-Tiltman History Prize, 2004

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781405561440

Price: £29.99

ON SALE: 6th June 2024

Genre: Humanities / History

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‘The book that really held me, in fact, obsessed me, was Rubicon . . . This is narrative history at its best. Bloody and labyrinthine political intrigue and struggle, brilliant oratory, amazing feats of conquest and cruelty’ Ian McEwan, Books of the Year, Guardian

Re-evaluating Rome for a new generationRobert Harris, Sunday Times

‘Marvellously readable’ Niall Ferguson

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.



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 freshness, fine wit and true scholarship.
Andrew Roberts
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
The only way to kindle the interest of a new generation in the Greek and Roman world... Holland paints a vivid social portrait of the Roman World
Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph
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
Tom Holland's excellent new study of the fall of the Republic... re-evaluating Rome for a new generation
Robert Harris, Sunday Times
A modern, well-paced and finely observed history which entertains as it informs.