Tag Archives: ancient rome

A Literary History of Rome!

Our books today are two oldies but goodies, A Literary History of Rome from the Origins to the Close of the Golden Age (1909) and A Literary History of Rome in the Silver Age from Tiberius to Hadrian (1927) by J. Wright Duff, who labored over them for a huge chunk of his life and […]

Nine Lives (of the Poets): Horace!

Our book today is Archibald Campbell’s big fat dense opinionated 1924 volume Horace, which is, pound for pound, my favorite book on Quintus Horatius Flaccus, that most beloved and approachable of Roman poets. So approachable, in fact, that Campbell’s book had to win its spot in my heart against some incredibly fierce competition: there have […]

Penguins on Parade: Livy’s First Book!

Some Penguin Classics get overshadowed by others, and that’s certainly the case with the Aubrey De Selincourt translation of the first five books of the Roman historian Livy. This volume was done in 1960, but when readers think “DeSelincourt” and “Livy,” they think of that translator’s fantastic, reads-like-a-novel Penguin Classics volume titled The War with […]

All Roads Lead to Murder!

Our book today is Albert Bell’s 2002 mystery novel All Roads Lead to Murder, and it’s a perfect illustration of a fact that might sometimes get obscured in the omnivorous whirligig of Stevereads: there are countless books out there I’ve never read! Countless books, in fact, that I’ve never even seen. Every single trip I […]

Big Fat Historical Novels – Ten Tomes to Tempt!

It’s autumn in New England, and you know what that means: fall foliage, Tom Brady swiveling his butt to bring the Patriots victories, and a slight, almost imperceptible lessening of the choke-hold in which murderously hot, drowningly humid weather has held the entire region since the second week of June. Nothing extravagant, mind you – […]

The Ides!

Our book today is Stephen Dando-Collins’ new work of history, The Ides: Caesar’s Murder and the War for Rome (John Wiley & Sons, 2010). When last we saw Dando-Collins anywhere in the vicinity of Open Letters, he was being good and properly mauled by angry young freelancer Ascanio Tedeschi, who read his previous book, Blood […]


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