Book Review: Feast of Sorrow by Crystal King

Feast of Sorrow is a brilliant work of Historical fiction which seamlessly interweaves fictional and historical characters and, in addition, provides an insight into how the Romans conducted their famous feasts, what foods they ate and how they were prepared. Apicius was a famous gourmand of first century A.D. Rome, the beginning of the Julio-Claudian [...]

What Ancient Rome owed to Greece.

This was a Quora question that I responded to. How does the phrase “the conqueror became the conquered one” relate to Rome’s imperial expansion into the Hellenistic world? Robin Levin, works at Writers and Authors (2012-present)   This was the sentiment of Quintus Horatius Flaccus, commonly known as Horace, who lived from 65 B.C. to [...]

Identifying the Disease

Mass shootings. Ever growing numbers of Americans living in tents. A crumbling infrastructure. A failing educational system. A generation mired in educational debt. A minimum wage that doesn’t remotely cover the costs of living. Ever increasing extremes of wealth and poverty. A corrupt, incompetent and venal presidency. A corrupt, incompetent and venal legislature that does [...]

Book Review. Hannibal by Patrick N. Hunt

Patrick N. Hunt’s Hannibal is a clear, concise and highly readable account of the life of Hannibal the events of the Second Punic War (218-202 BC) Hannibal’s attack on Rome was clearly rooted in the outcome of the first Punic War and the anger that Hannibal’s father, Hamilcar Barca, felt toward Rome. He raised his [...]

Book Review: Surviving The Fatherland by Annette Oppenlander

If nearly all of your relatives in Europe died in massacres and concentration camps your natural reaction when reading of the suffering of Germans during and after World War Two, might reasonably be “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.” Looking at these events from a broader perspective, however, one sees that Germans were also [...]

Book Review: Emperor: The Gates of Rome by Conn Iggulden

Conn Iggulden is a top notch novelist and The Gates of Rome is fast paced and absorbing. It is the story of young Julius Caesar, his arduous training for the rigors of the Roman soldiery and his early involvement in Roman politics at the side of his Uncle Marius. Maybe it’s just me, but I [...]

Book Review: Pillar of Iron by Taylor Caldwell

Taylor Caldwell was born in 1900 and was one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed novelists. She published forty books during her 50 year career. She was a favorite of my mother, but, although her books were certainly available in my high school library, I somehow never chanced to read any of them. When I [...]

Did the Romans Salt the Earth Around Carthage After They Destroyed It?

Did the Romans Salt the Earth Around Carthage after the Third Punic War? The notion that the Romans salted the earth around Carthage is a bit like the story of Washington cutting down the cherry tree. It is something every school child knows, and is also something that, in all likelihood has no basis in [...]

Book Review: Iron and Rust by Harry Sidebottom

“Enrich the soldiers and ignore everyone else.” This was the maxim of Emperor Maximinus’ mentor, the Emperor Caracalla. It seemed like good advice as an emperor generally attained and maintained power at the behest of his troops. Unfortunately, Emperor Maximinus, who came to power in the coup that assassinated the Emperor Alexander Severus and his [...]

A Tale of Two Republics

A Tale of Two Republics. Rome, during the early and middle Republican periods actually had a better system for choosing their leaders than we do in the modern United States. Anyone who aspired to the highest political position had to go through the Cursus Honorum. An ambitious young Roman, usually of patrician or equestrian background, [...]