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 [...]

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, [...]

Why Did the Romans Destroy Carthage?

The Punic wars were a pivotal point in Roman history. Rome emerged from them literally ready and able to conquer the world.      After the Second Punic War, Carthage was subdued. They were devoid of warships, war elephants and sources of mercenary soldiers. They could not even effectively defend themselves against their Numidian neighbors who [...]

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: The Year of Ravens by Stephanie Dray et al.

The Year of Ravens was a group effort by seven talented historical fiction writers, Ruth Downie, Stephanie Dray, E. Knight, Kate Quinn, Vicky Alvear Shecter, S.J.A. Turney and Russell Whitfield. There is an introduction by Ben Kane. I found that the combined narrative holds together surprisingly well and the book as a whole was entertaining [...]