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115 Reviews
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome certainly wasn't built in a day!
Holland's narrative style means that even those with little, or no, previous knowledge of Roman history can soon find themselves totally engrossed, and enriched, by the story of the Republic's rise and fall.
It is not just the people and personalities that come to life in this book, but the nature of Rome itself. The reader is not just taken on a journey through the...
Published on 2 July 2004 by Mr. Gavin P. Brooks

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Rubicon was a let-down for me after the reading the praise it has received from Amazon reviewers and other critics. Holland's coverage of the topic is superficial, focussed on the "great men" of the period and never successfully penetrating the surface of the society or developing the characters. The analysis is weak and the same points are repeated throughout the book...
Published on 2 Jan 2006 by CFB London


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best ever books on The Roman Republic, 25 Feb 2011
This is an engrossing analysis of the reasons for the Roman Republic's demise and the birth of the empire under Augustus. It also explains how Rome's most famous generals dominated political life over the space of 100 years; Marius, Sulla, Crassus, Pompey, Caesar and Antony. Holland deserves praise for unravellling fairly patchy historical data to weave a compelling chronological narrative of the political intrigues, alliances, battles and campaigns of the period.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History that reads like a thriller, 7 Oct 2004
By 
Ian Thumwood "ian17577" (Winchester) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Having heard a review of this book on the radio, I was anxious to get hold of a copy, even though I have reservations with other narrative histories that I have read as they have tended to disregard archeaology or, as is the case with Simon Schama, projected an eccentric view of things.
However, by the first page you are aware that this book is a winner, the gripping story of the rise and fall of the Roman Republic being told with the elan of a stylist spy thriller. Packed with a host a "A" list celebrities from ancient times such as Julius Ceasar, Cleopatra, Spartacus, Mark Antony, Octavian and Sulla, there is also ample mention of other names such as Cato, Cicero and Crassus of whom you may have seen in books but know little else about. The author is correct in his comment that, whilst we can relate to much within the Roman Republic, there is also a considerable amount that is totally alien.
As an avid reader of all aspects of history, this was an enjoyable read and , no doubt, I will look at things a bit differently when I walk around the Roman Museum in Lyon again next year. This book is thoroughly recommended and will leave the reader eager to learn more about this period in history.
Message to the author: Please hurry up and get writing about the Roman Empire !
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, 22 May 2007
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Great book... tracks a timeline through the Roman Empire... charting the rise and fall of it's Army, Generals, Senators and People as well as Rome itself. One of the better accounts of Roman Life that I have read and highly recommended.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less narrative more analysis, 8 Mar 2004
This review is from: Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic (Hardcover)
Holland's narrative on the rise and fall of the Roman Republic is a good introduction to what is one of the most important series of events in history. His writing is lucid and light, and admirably recreates the colour and atmosphere of the time.
The opening chapter sets up wonderfully the events that follow, but this introductory gusto also serves to highlight the book's main failing - much of it is in the form of a flat historical narrative which risks leaving the reader cold and detached. Holland's failure to provide sharp analysis of why and how the Republic met its demise is disappointing but he must be applauded, however, for the subtle manner in which he draws clear parallels between Rome 2000 years ago and the US today. A lesser author may have been more explicit and therefore more condescending to the reader.
A good warm-up session for those adventurous enough to go on and tackle Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional!, 25 July 2007
By 
Doctor Syn (Dymchurch-Under-The-Wall) - See all my reviews
Without doubt this is the most readable, coherent and absorbing study of the final years of the Roman Republic currently in print.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well satisfied, 16 Aug 2010
I am pleased with the condition of the book. The service I received was very good and I have no complaints.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for me, 22 Jun 2014
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If you like your history books to be like novels, this is for you. The book doesn't just tell you what the people did, it also tells you what they thought and felt and even sometimes what the weather was like. But if, like me, you like your history books to be like history books, then try something else.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning, 5 Nov 2003
By 
Brian Harris (Olney, Bucks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic (Hardcover)
I am lost in admiration at someone who can assimilate such a mass of knowledge and summarise it in so simple and compelling a manner. I cannot wait for 'Empire'.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars quality oration of history, 2 Feb 2007
By 
Paul Quish "FUZZYBEARD" (Limerick Ireland) - See all my reviews
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I have read alot of books based on the rise/downfall of the Roman empire but never have I come across such a brilliantly written account of roman empire, the peoples,the culture and the general goings on of daily life as a citizen and as a politican. This book has it all and sometimes left me in awe. A brilliant book.BUY IT!
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!!, 13 April 2007
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This authour was reccomended to me and I wasn't let down. I've since gone out and bought Persian Fire!!

Excellent read which is made by the authours flawless ability to capture the reader, maintain the interest and create an adictive read. This book was full of facts that I had previously missed or not gained from other books on this age. Excellent.
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Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic
Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland (Hardcover - 21 Aug 2003)
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