Barry Strauss

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Barry Strauss, professor of history and classics at Cornell University, is a leading expert on ancient military history. He has written or edited several books, including The Battle of Salamis, The Trojan War, and The Spartacus War. Visit BarryStrauss.com.

Photograph (c) Oliviero Olivieri

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My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Barry Strauss
Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. If you want things to stay the same, everything has to change.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. The Argonauts

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Mel Brooks

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. Italy

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. A quiet cottage in the sun, a good book or two, a glass of wine and, of course, my honey.

Author Voices

February 03, 2015

Julius Caesar has fascinated me ever since I read Shakespeare's play in school. Political assassination has troubled me ever since JFK's assassination when I was a kid. And Rome has interested me the longest of all because I was the son of a US Army veteran who fought in the battle for Rome and marched into the city with the troops who liberated it in June 1944.

The death of Caesar was a natural topic for me. But what hooked me was the reference to gladiators on the Ides of March. It tugged at me like a loose thread. I pulled on it and the whole story unraveled. And so, I was on my way to researching and writing my book.

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