Introduction to The Last Carthaginian

Cato the Elder

I am putting the finishing touches on my new Novel the Last Carthaginian and intend to publish it next month.      The Death of Carthage, my first book in this series, told the story of the Second and third Punic wars through the eyes of three fictional Romans who lived through them. My second book, [...]

Book Review Livia, by Anthony A. Barrett

If there is a message in Anthony Barrett’s scholarly and impeccably researched tome on Caesar Augustus’s wife, Livia, it may be that even the best of historical fiction literature should be taken with a grain of salt. Robert Graves’ novels, I Claudius and Claudius the God are classics, but should not be taken at face [...]

Book Review: Dictator by Robert Harris

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Anyone wanting an intensely vivid portrait of the history, politics and culture of the last years of the Roman Republic will want to read this book. Dictator is the third book of a series by Richard Harris based on the life of Marcus Tullius Cicero. The first book, Imperium, covers Cicero’s youth and his rise [...]

My New Novel, In the Wake of Hannibal, is Now Available on Amazon and Kindle

WzW-Cover

My new novel, in the Wake of Hannibal is now available on Amazon and Kindle. The Death of Carthage told the story of the Second Punic War, between Rome and Carthage, from the point of view of the Romans. In the Wake of Hannibal tells the same story from the point of view of the [...]

Book Review: Galba’s Men by L.J. Trafford

L.J. Trafford’s account of life in Caesar’s palace on the Palatine Hill is a sort of Upstairs Downstairs writ large. Upstairs are Caesar and his family, cronies and sycophants; downstairs are a multitude of slaves and freedmen, some of who are influential enough to influence the course of affairs of state. Keeping track of, and [...]

Book Review: Call to Juno by Elizabeth Storr

Call to Juno is a magnificent novel of the war between Rome and it close neighbor, the Etruscan city of Veii which took place between 406 and 396 BC. It is dramatic, impeccably researched and a compelling read. Storr renders the cultural and religious practices of both Romans and Etruscans in stunning detail. The ancients [...]

Book Review: Salammbo by Gustave Flaubert

The twenty-three year long war with Rome is finally over. Carthage has been defeated and the once wealthy city is depleted of funds. What to do about the mercenaries? They must somehow be paid. The Suffetes decide to appease them by giving them a grand banquet at the property of the immensely wealthy general Hamilcar, [...]

Book Review: The Death of Caesar, by Barry Strauss

The assassination of Julius Caesar was a critical event in western history. It led to the end of the oligarchic Roman Republic and to the establishment of a monarchy as Rome continued to expand and dominate much of Europe and the Middle East. Barry Strauss has examined all of the near-contemporary literature about the assassination [...]

Book Review: The Daughters of the Palatine by Phyllis T Smith

I loved I Claudius, but I would have to say that I found Phyllis T. Smith’s The Daughters of the Palatine a more plausible version of that happened to the Julio-Claudian dynasty during the reign of Augustus than Robert Graves’ version. The Daughters of Palatine Hill is narrated by three women, Livia, the Wife of [...]

Book Review: SPQR, A History of Ancient Rome, by Mary Beard.

Mary Beard writes in a breezy, often anecdotal, style which makes her book both informative and entertaining. SPQR covers the history of ancient Rome from its founding by Romulus to the reign of Emperor Caracalla, who, in the year 202 A.D. granted Roman citizenship to the entire free male population of the empire. This is [...]