Hollywood and the Great Captains of Greece and Rome

In Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

(In honor of Oscar week, my ancient ghosts have turned the blog over to an unnamed Hollywood critic.) It is possible to make a great movie about the three greatest generals of the ancient world – Alexander, Hannibal, and Caesar – but you would hardly know it from Hollywood’s record. With one exception, Hollywood has failed to rise to the …

Barry StraussHollywood and the Great Captains of Greece and Rome

Hannibal’s Path: Iran, Israel, and America

In Hannibal's Path, Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

Hannibal’s Ghost came back from his sacrifice. He had such a fierce look about him that I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had just passed a child through fire to Moloch. But I didn’t ask. “Welcome back, oh Subjugator of Spain. Before you left, you were clearing up my misconceptions about the Middle East. Let’s return to that subject, …

Barry StraussHannibal’s Path: Iran, Israel, and America

Hannibal’s Path: is War Coming in the Middle East?

In Hannibal's Path, Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

His bearded face had a weather-beaten look. His one good eye stared in scrutiny beside an aquiline nose. A man in his 60s, he still looked strong and unbowed–for a ghost. He was the shield of Carthage, the avatar of Hercules, the symbol of the one-eyed Celtic war god, the counselor of kings, the idol of the Army, and the …

Barry StraussHannibal’s Path: is War Coming in the Middle East?

Bread and circuses

In Masters of Command by Barry StraussLeave a Comment

With Super Bowl XLVI upon us, I summoned the ghost of the most victorious Roman of them all, Julius Caesar. “Hail, professor,” he said. “I see that you’ve got a cast on your left arm. Is that a football injury?” “No. I got it working out at the gym. I learned the hard way that I’m not 30 anymore.”

Barry StraussBread and circuses