The Moral of Caesar: Roger Kimball Reviews JMC Fellow Barry Strauss’ New Book on the Assassination of Julius Caesar
For the New Criterion, Roger Kimball reviews “The Death of Caesar,” written by JMC Fellow and Academic Council Member Barry Strauss. Kimball raves:
“Thrilling” might seem hyperbolic for a serious work of history, which The Death of Caesar certainly is. But Barry Strauss is one of those rare academic historians—Victor Davis Hanson is another—who can make stories about the classical world seem as vivid as a fast-paced mystery novel. He did it a decade ago in his book about the naval battle of Salamis (480 BC), which, as his subtitle put it, saved not only Greece but also Western civilization. How different the world would have been if the Persians had won that engagement! He did it in his account of the Trojan War. And he did it most recently in Masters of Command, which compares the leadership qualities of Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and Julius Caesar.
Strauss continues the winning streak in his new book. Was the murder of Julius Caesar really “history’s most famous assassination”? Probably. You, Dear Reader, know all about the Ides of March. You know about “et tu, Brute,” the bad dreams of Caesar’s wife Calpurnia the night of March 14, and the soothsayer warning Caesar to beware. Amazing, isn’t it? You know quite a lot about what happened that fateful day around noon in 44 BC, more than two millennia past.
For the full review, please click here.