"A modern, well-paced and finely observed history which entertains as it informs." —Observer
"Holland has the rare gift of making deep scholarship accessible and exciting. A brilliant and completely absorbing study." ―A.N Wilson, author of The Victorians
"This is the best one-volume narrative history of the Rome between King Tarquin and Emperor Augustus I have ever read. The story... is told with perfect freshness, fine wit and true scholarship." ―Andrew Roberts
"Explosive stuff... a seriously intelligent history... [written] with elan and gusto... It is a history for our times... Wickedly enjoyable." ―BBC History Magazine
The Roman Republic was the most remarkable state in history. What began as a small community of peasants camped among marshes and hills ended up ruling the known world. Rubicon paints a vivid portrait of the Republic at the climax of its greatness - the same greatness which would herald the catastrophe of its fall.
It is a story of incomparable drama. This was the century of Julius Caesar, the gambler whose addiction to glory led him to the banks of the Rubicon, and beyond; of Cicero, whose defence of freedom would make him a byword for eloquence; of Spartacus, the slave who dared to challenge a superpower; of Cleopatra, the queen who did the same.
Tom Holland brings to life this strange and unsettling civilization, with its extremes of ambition and self-sacrifice, bloodshed and desire. Yet alien as it was, the Republic still holds up a mirror to us. Its citizens were obsessed by celebrity chefs, all-night dancing and exotic pets; they fought elections in law courts and were addicted to spin; they toppled foreign tyrants in the name of self-defence. Two thousand years may have passed, but we remain the Romans' heirs.