I have a book review pending for Rubicon, a book about the last days of the Roman Republic (hint: I loved it!). Unfortunately, it is written on a computer that is now without a screen, and that is now being mailed back to me by Dell (unrepaired, I might add). Once returned, I'll do my best to pull my writings off of its hard drive, and will hopefully be able to post my review.
Rubicon was written by Tom Holland, who also wrote Persian Fire, about Leonidas, Xerxes, and the war being the Greeks and the Persian Empire. Note - I loved that book, too. As a result, I read Rubicon, and will read Tom Holland's other stuff when able.
Based on my enjoyment of Rubicon, I recently began receiving HBO's series Rome in the mail. Disc 1 sat on my computer stand for two weeks, but I finally popped it into the player this weekend. All I can say is, "Wow!"
I'm not going to go into any kind of review; this has been around awhile (2005?), and I'm sure there are tons of quality reviews all over the Internet. Suffice to say that if you enjoy history presented well, with a focus on both the major players, as well as the day-to-day lives of the typical citizens, this series is for you. Well written, well acted, beautifully filmed, and with a story of remarkable importance and timelessness, I am four episodes in, and can't wait to watch more. I recommend the double dip - read Rubicon, which is very well written and will provide you with a sense of the time, players, and issues. Then, start watching Rome, and be sure to use the special feature "All Roads Lead to Rome," which provides bits of information and trivia on-screen as the episode plays. Two seasons were filmed, with 22 episodes total. I find this appealing, in that an end is in sight right off the bat, and the last episode appears to be at an appropriate juncture in Roman history. Enjoy! I know I will...