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Book Review: SPQR

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
This tome explores the founding of Rome, its expansion and transformation into an Empire. It also explores Roman debate about citizenship, culture, liberty, migration and how they thought about themselves and the social comparison disorder they had. This is a good look at the socially engineered phenomena that was Rome. This shows while it was not something to emulate it still influences us today. It may not have been a pleasant society but it is was enormously influential.

Best Lines:
“Notoriously, tediously but ultimately persuasively ending ever speech he made with the words ‘Carthage must be destroyed”.”

“Other reformers were battered to death in the Senate house itself, the assailants using tiles from the building’s roof as their weapons.”

“He was given an impromptu cremation in the Senate house, which burned down with him.”

“Put to death by being tied up in a sack with poisonous snakes.”

“Stabbed him to death with their writing styluses,”

“Specialised in insulting the local residents.”

“Had been shocked to find enemy heads casually pinned up at the entrance to Gallic houses, though he conceded that, after a while, one got used to the sight;”

“Veni, vidi, vici.”

“Dangerously dissatisfied.”

“Entirely pointless consumption.”

“Octavian responded by getting his hands on Antony’s will and reading out particularly incriminating selections from it to the Senate.”

“Their barbarian wealth and weird weapons.”

“His early, and predictably, suspicious death.”

“Disapprovers always need something to disapprove of.”

“Terrible moral turpitude.”

“The emperor Commodus, dressed as a gladiator and threatening the Senators in the front-row seats of the Colosseum by waving the head of a decapitated ostrich at them, is often taken to sum up the ludicrous sadism of corrupt authority.”

“It is a fallacy to imagine that only the poor write on walls.
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