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Articles in A Year With The Romans

Book Review: Lady of the Eternal City

March 2nd, 2015
lady of the eternal city cover

Sabina, the wife of the enigmatic Roman emperor Hadrian, is beset by enemies in Rome – and safeguards a secret they’d all kill to know …

From the Archives: Supping with Glaucus: A Tour of Roman Historical Fiction

June 1st, 2012

Steve Donoghue takes the emperor’s box to thumbs-up or thumbs-down an array of Roman historical novels, as “A Year with the Romans” continues.

Keeping Up with the Romans: The Phenomenon of Her

November 1st, 2010
Keeping Up with the Romans: The Phenomenon of Her

She’s one of the most famous names in history, and the only figure in antiquity to rival Julius Caesar’s renown–but what do we really know about Cleopatra? Stacy Schiff’s biography takes us behind the legend.

Keeping Up with the Romans: The Senator Investigates

October 1st, 2010

He toadied to a succession of emperors and trembled at the mere thought of being mugged — on the surface, it looks odd to cast Pliny the Younger as a detective. A new mystery novel takes that chance.

The Better Part of Me

December 1st, 2009

When he was banished for life from Rome, Ovid was trying to alter his artistic forms with his Metamorphoses. Trace the transformations in Steve Donoghue’s final “Year with the Romans”

Horace in the Afternoon

November 1st, 2009

He was everybody’s friend, and his poetry breathes with life even today. He was Horace, and “A Year with the Romans” makes his acquaintance.


September 1st, 2009

Statesmen, philosophers, and serial killers turn to the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, but what was the emperor himself like? Frank McLynn’s Marcus Aurelius tells, and in this month’s “A Year with the Romans,” Steve Donoghue assesses.

Alexander the Grating

August 1st, 2009

The only surviving full-length biography of Alexander the Great was written by a Roman. Steve Donoghue looks at Quintus Curtius Rufus as “A Year with the Romans” continues.

Miss Hamilton Disposes

July 1st, 2009
Miss Hamilton Disposes

No one had ever written about love – in its infinite and profane variety – the way the Roman poet Catullus did; its explication by a scholarly schoolmistress might seem paradoxical – but Edith Hamilton knew something about love herself.

Uncle Livy

May 1st, 2009

Steve Donoghue’s “Year with the Romans” turns its eye upon Titus Livius, who either wrote poetical history or historical poetry, depending on who you ask.


April 1st, 2009

Virgil’s Aeneid has been attracting translators for centuries, and Sarah Ruden’s rendering is notable in more ways than one. (She calls him Vergil, for one thing, but that’s just the start.) Steve Donoghue regards her efforts in the latest “A Year with the Romans.”

A Year with the Romans: Ten Tips on Terence

March 1st, 2009

He was a slave who wrote his way to freedom – unless he wasn’t, and unless he didn’t. Steve Donoghue’s “A Year with the Romans” looks at the great comic playwright Terence.

A Year with the Romans: Sweet Bright Lady

February 1st, 2009

In the 6th Century, Boethius wrote a little tract that has been a guide and touchstone to writers, poets, politicians, and pundits ever since. David Slavitt has produced a new translation of The Consolation of Philosophy; Steve Donoghue explores the world of Boethius in this latest installment of “A Year with the Romans.”

On Finding a Copy of Ovid’s Fasti at the Local Goodwill

January 1st, 2009

Among the Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb, Steve Donoghue unearths a rare secondhand treasure in Ovid’s difficult, underrated Fasti. And he celebrates.