I loved it, really accessible and made the stuff possible - not easy - to follow. I did Classics at university but avoided the history as seemed too martial (ho ho), mainly did philosophy for Greek and poetry for Latin, of course they were both massively shaped by what was going on in real life at the time and I regret I didn't have something like this to contextualise it properly. My non-classicist husband knows more than I do about the Roman Republic/Empire and that's not right. Nearly 20 years later picked up this book - superb. I wouid so recommend it to anyone remotely interested.
I'm jealous cross - would have loved to have done Classics but I just didn't have the background. I became interested in anything to do with ancient Rome after reading Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in year 8 and it has stayed with me. Holland's book is excellent as he tells a story rather than just narrating historical events.
I know this is non fiction but I can really recommend Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series - they are fiction but so well written and accurate and not 'romantic' at all, they really stay true to the characters and ideals of that period.