Just finished reading Augustus by John Williams. It was published originally in 1972, and uses an epistemological form (ie., fictional letters between the main characters) to tell the story of Octavian Caesar, eventually known as “the August”, or Augustus. If the style sounds tedious, don’t worry it’s not. I have to admit that HBO’s Rome imagery was in my head, indelibly (if you’re wondering why, check out this PG-13 clip). Great read: fantastic sweep of history, ruthless politics (and mothers), well drawn famous characters (Julius Caesar, Cicero, Agrippa, Ovid, Horace, Virgil, etc.). Hard to say whether the history is any more accurate than other accounts, but it doesn’t matter. If you’re looking for sex on the level of the HBO series, you won’t find it in the book.