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About the Author

Tom Holland is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster. His bestselling books include Rubicon: The Triumph and the Tragedy of the Roman Republic, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize; Persian Fire, which won the Anglo-Hellenic League's Runciman Award; Millennium: The End of the World and the Forging of Christendom; In the Shadow of the Sword: The Battle for Global Empire and the End of the Ancient World; Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar; and Dominion: The Making of the Western Mind. Holland has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for the BBC. His translation of Herodotus was published in 2013 by Penguin Classics and followed in 2016 by a history of thelstan published under the Penguin Monarchs series, and in 2019 thelfl d England's Forgotten Founder as a Ladybird Expert Book. In 2007, he was the winner of the Classical Association prize, awarded to 'the individual who has done most to promote the study of the language, literature and civilisation of Ancient Greece and Rome'. Holland hosts (with Dominic Sandbrook) the no.1 podcast The Rest is History. He has written and presented a number of TV documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4, on subjects ranging from religion to dinosaurs. He served two years as the Chair of the Society of Authors; as Chair of the PLR Advisory Committee and was on the committee of the Classical Association. @holland_tom


Holland, who co-hosts the podcast The Rest Is History, is at his best when having fun with Rome's bloody history. He has a novelist's vibrant writing style and turns a good phrase. Familiar elements of this period, such as the destruction of Pompeii, still feel fresh in his retelling and he avoids the temptation of so many joyless modern classicists to moralise about what rotters these Romans were with their slavery and their bloodshed and their lack of a proper safeguarding mission statement. He judges them purely by their own values
*The Times*

This is not an underexamined period of history, but Holland handles his material (his sources are primarily Roman: Pliny, Tacitus, Suetonius, Cassius Dio) with rigour and elan. He has a compelling narrative style and an eye for diverting detail. This is a book for lovers of traditional, grand sweep narrative history
*Sunday Times*

For all the years that have separated the publication of each book in his trilogy, Holland is a surprisingly consistent writer, one whose style you could recognise at a glance. There may be less back-stabbing and court intrigue in this book than in Rubicon and Dynasty; but in allowing us to tread the further reaches of empire through the eyes of the men holding the reins, Pax provides a deeper and more complex vista on Rome... a masterful blend of subtle politics and carnal colour
*Sunday Telegraph*

A sweeping, colourful history of Rome at its swaggering, superpower zenith by The Rest is History podcaster and bestselling author. Hail Caesar! Hail Tom Holland!
*The Times*

A triumph... Holland has a talent for drawing out the character and concerns of the age, whilst neither omitting nor being overwhelmed by the facts and dates. His account of the eruption of Vesuvius is dramatic, moving and rivals the set-pieces of the classical historians

Holland is a master of immediacy... [a] fascinating time, skilfully sparked into life

Holland's superb storytelling takes us right into this era as viewed from every standpoint, offering fresh insights into well-worn history

Masterful and engaging... The idea of death as the foundation of life, chaos as the foundation of order, war as the foundation of peace, is central to this outstanding book
*Aspects of History*

Pax is a superb conclusion to Holland's trilogy. There's no other historian who can bring the ancient world before the reader in all its sights, sounds and smells, its pomp, magnificence and martial glory, its strivings and sufferings and horror. Riveting from first page to last
*Daily Mail*

A rich and fascinating period of history requires a companionable guide. Holland's erudite and irresistibly readable account amounts to a marvellous vademecum
*History Today*

The span of conflicts Mr Holland deals with in Pax, from Britain to modern Iran, showcases the breadth of his learning... One looks forward to many future deep dives with this remarkably gifted historian
*Wall Street Journal*

As ever, it is a pleasure to trail after Tom Holland, a loquacious, ebullient guide... full of Hollandesque phrasemaking that can both delight his readers and imprint history on our dull brains
*Irish Examiner*

A lucid account... Holland's feel for the lived experience of antiquity is one of the best features of the book
*New York Times Book Review*

Holland has an eye for an evocative anecdote. The chapter opening with the pen*s of a 90-year-old man being inspected in a court of law is a masterpiece. And his prose is superb. In one poetic passage he describes 'smoke drifting from the roofs of tenant farms; vineyards and orchards laden down with succulent fruit; herds of cattle lowing softly in the deepening twilight'. Rarely has the distant past seemed so vividly alive
*Financial Times*

A magnificent, richly detailed and always fluently readable book. He modulates the pace of his narrative excellently and I have read nothing which gives such a detailed and compelling account of the political and administrative life of the provinces and their relations with the imperial government. A better history for the general reader could not have been written
*Literary Review*

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