Thursday, October 13, 2005

He has a fwend you know....

Per Steve's recommendation, I checked out HBO's Rome. I liked it. It doesn't have the immediate power and pull of the early Sopranos, but it appears to put great effort on authenticity. Picking the end of the Republic as the period guarantees lots of drama as well. Unfortunately, like the Sopranos, it is really helpful to watch the shows in order as it is really one long story. The other interesting thing is the surprising amount of nudity. We aren't talking kitten Armageddon or anything, but wow, that's a lot of naked people.

Since having some background on the period is useful, I started Rubicon, which concerns the fall of the Republic as well. Unlike most classical history, this is a breezily written engaging work. The author balances a serious treatment of the subject with an engaging writing. As an example, he can title a chapter "Luck be a Lady," and you it is not ridiculous. He also places great emphasis on pointing out similarities and differences in our culture and that of the Romans. This makes the actions of the Romans much easier to understand.

Looking at the guys' author photo, I feel better about giving him money. He's the sort of British fellow with whom you'd like to visit a pub for a pint of best bitter and a packet of steak and onion crisps. So many people go for the I Am An Intensely Serious Person look that it is nice to see someone being natural.

While I am going all classical on your asses, I should mention The Twelve Caesars. People in a prurient frame of mind will want to check this one out. Written in the second century, it covers the personal and political lives of, you guessed it, the first twelve Caesars. Lots of the old in-out, in-out in here. Much of the material from Caligula came from this book. Think your SO is into some weird shit? Be glad you aren't dating Tiberius. Brotherman liked to swim in a pool while naked preteens ("his little fishes") bit him. This book is filled with stuff like that.

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