This is a marvellous book!Not only is it excellently researched history but uses deep and sensitive imagination in the very best sense of the word,to convey the character of Mithridates and those around him. Of course the word 'imagination' scares people but if history is to be understood and not to be just a few scraps pieced together from records and artefacts,then 'Imagination' in the way used here is an essential tool.(I mean Niall Fergusson would understand that statement) So the book presents a full character of flesh ,blood and feeling ;certaily not the kind of person you would want to meet coming down the road ,but a hero and man of charisma ,daring ,hate and love. Not only that ,the book is superbly written and very exciting. What a shame Shakespeare didn't make a play about him!many others did. One would like to imagine what sort of person Mithridates would be if he were born into our times.A sort of Thodore Roosvelt maybe?Or maybe his revolutionary ideas would rebel against the worlds of academic orthodoxies and scientific materialism ( the inheritance of the Roman mind) and become the discoverer of something like a spiritual form of medecine? So you see ,the book also succeeds by being a great stimulus, which is the very best one can ask for.!