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 [...]

“Don’t Know Much About History”-Art Garfunkle

This was a line in a popular song in the late 1960s. Art Garfunkle was not alone. The fact is, huge numbers of Americans really don’t know much about history. When I was writing The Death of Carthage, people would ask me what the book was about and I would say “The Second and Third [...]

Book Review: Marching With Caesar by R.W. Peake

If you ever wondered exactly what it was like to be a Roman legionary in the first century B.C., this is your book! The author, R.W. Peake, has a strong military background and a firm grasp of the psychology of both the common soldier and his higher ranking leaders. He also has extensive knowledge of [...]

Notable Woman of the Roman Republic: Livia, the Wife of Caesar Augustus

Livia, the wife of Augustus Caesar

Caesar Augustus’ wife Livia Drusilla was born in 58 BC during the closing years of the Roman Republic. Her father was Marcus Livius Drusus Claudianus, who was born Appius Claudius Pulcher but was adopted as an infant by Marcus Livius Drusus.   Rome, during Livia’s early years was marked by constant tumult and civil war. [...]

Notable Women of the Roman Republic: Hortensia

Hortensia was the daughter of Quintus Hortensius Hortalus, 114 BC to 56 BC. Hortensius was regarded by many as the best legal advocate and orator of his day, rivaled only by the great Marcus Tullius Cicero. Hortensia, growing up in her father’s household was well educated and had studied Greek and Roman  history, philosophy and [...]

Notable Woman of the Roman Republic: Fulvia Flacca Bambula

  In the days of the late Roman republic, it wasn’t wise for a woman to involve herself in politics. (It probably wasn’t wise for a man to involve himself in politics either, but that’s another matter.) Fulvia Flacca Bambula was married to three politically prominent Romans at successive times and she was wielded more [...]