The Fall of the Roman Republic

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The Parallels Between the United States and the Roman Empire

The book seems to have been motivated by the fascinating question of the parallels that can be taken in comparison of the present United States and the ancient Roman Empire as the author mentions while introducing the story. Perhaps, it was not the inspiration behind the writing of the book. The audience remains to make their conclusions on the matter. However, the last cover page refers back to the issue hence making the reader think that is the fundamental theme of the book. However, Holland tells a story of the fallen Republic beginning the late second century BC up to 44BC when Julius Caesar died (Holland). The author talks about the reduced powers of the Senate, wars, and civil unrests as events that happened just before the dictatorship period. The story is pimped with some interesting characters, for example, Cleopatra, Spartacus, and Caesar that makes a readable history that is accurately sought.

The Interpretation of Historical Information

The author starts by talking about the volumes of information available for the period. However, even with the amount of information at the liberty of the reader to access, it is unbearable to assume everything to be factual because there are different interpretations that historians need to be careful about. Therefore, the reader should note that some statements seen as genuine in the book could credibly contradict. The book teaches the reader that history is subject to various interpretation, but the earlier you dig into it, the more it can get worse.

Use of Primary Sources and Bias

The author used many primary sources, some of which was published 200 years after the fall of the Roman Empire, to outline and support his perspectives. The use of such sources puts the topic into sharp focus as the reader gets to know what the people of that generation dealt with. However, some of his sources, for example, Cicero seems bias and raises the interpretation issue again because they are deeply involved with the events Holland is describing (Miles). The good thing is that he warns the readers of such right from the beginning, but it is common for one to lose track.

The Impact and Value of the Roman Republic

The narrative is detailed and presents at least a history of every character whenever Holland introduces them. Even though it is not the story of the Romans rather government, there is enough information presented to enable the reader to understand the great impacts of the events. The author makes the readers understand the value of the Republic according to the Romans and issues of voting rights. Hindsight plays a beneficial role as it is where the reader can connect reference to the contemporary events as pointed out by the author.

Clearness of Narration and Event Breakdown

The author succeeds in making it straight when it comes to characters. Otherwise, it would be confusing to understand who was who in the Empire. However, with his clearness of narration, the reader can easily avoid confusion. Similarly, the events are well broken down. For example, the major events of Barbarians to the North, superior monarchs to the East, and revolution by slaves are combined well to fall the empire (Holland).

Conclusion: Expertise and Fascination

The author has proved to deserve writing the book because of his well-displayed expertise. By using interesting characters, proper organization or events, primary sources, and giving a detailed narrative, his book stands out as one of the best originally researched works. It makes the reading easy and the tale fascinating.

Works Cited

Holland, Tom. Rubicon: the Last Years of the Roman Republic. Anchor Books, 2003.

Miles, Richard. “Review: Rubicon by Tom Holland.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media,      8 Nov. 2003,   

November 24, 2023

History Literature


Roman Empire Books

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