Press Release: Rubicon

The Triumph and Tragedy
of the Roman Republic

Tom Holland

Introduced by the author

‘Explosive stuff … Concentrating on the characters, plotting their interactions, rise and fall with considerable narrative skill, writing with élan and gusto … it is a history for our times’

bbc history magazine


In 49 BC, 704 years since the founding of Rome, Julius Caesar (then a Roman general and governor of Gaul) crossed a small river in the north of Italy called the Rubicon and knowingly plunged Rome into civil war. Placing the reader in the midst of the action, Holland tells the story of Caesar and his generation, which was to witness the twilight of the Republic and its bloody transformation into an empire. Here, legendary historical figures are brought thrillingly to life, from eloquent Cicero and wily Cleopatra to brave Spartacus, the slave who dared to stand against the mighty superpower.

Holland pictures Rome as a disciplined and ambitious predator, a state willing to commit acts of shocking barbarism to preserve its freedom. It is also a state ‘as unsettlingly familiar as it is strange’ – its citizens enjoyed all-night dances, were intrigued by the cult of celebrity and had a fascination for unusual pets. It is also a story of intrigue, triumph, cruelty and violence, an exciting retelling of a moment in history that still echoes with significance. As Holland describes it, ‘so fateful was Caesar’s crossing the Rubicon that it has come to stand for every fateful step taken since’.

RBN3Described by renowned author Ian McEwan as ‘narrative history at its best’, Rubicon brings to life the last century of the Roman Republic, when Rome was transformed from a democratically run empire into one ruled by an emperor. This lavishly illustrated edition from The Folio Society features 33 pages of colour plates, revealing the artefacts that help furthe our understanding of Rome. The binding is blocked with a striking image of Caesar.

Product information
Bound in buckram printed and blocked with a design by Kent Barton based on a portrait bust of Julius Caesar. Set in Spectrum with Castellar display. 400 pages. Frontispiece and 32 pages of colour plates. 7 maps. 10˝ x 6¾˝.

UK £38.95 US $64.95 Can $79.95 Aus $79.95


For media enquiries please contact

UK & ROW Nicola Handley, Cherish PR
020 8735 4245,

US & Canada
Cathleen P. Williamson (617) 435-5505,