The Last Years of the Roman Republic
by Tom Holland
Lots of interesting parallels with our own republic. Especially interesting, when the Roman Republic was beginning to unravel, is the part where Marco gets the Roman Senate to releave Cato of his command of seven legions in Greece and Turkey. When Marco's liutenent arrived to take command, Cato's troops killed him. Of course those responsible were reprimanded and Cato himself was conveniently not present. Romans couldn't imagine this would happen. After all they had experienced 700 years of rule of law.
So, it occured to me that when whichever Democrat wins the 2008 election shows up at the White House to get the keys, Cheny might just shoot him or her. Is that so uunimaginable? We only have a bit over 200 years of rule of law.
Besides the scary parallels, however, I needed to brush up on my Roman history in order to follow the plot in Rubicon. It's just too much history in too few pages - unless you already know the history. Rubicon is a good read though. The insights into Roman life are rich in detail.
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