BMCR 1998.11.32

Fighting for Rome: poets and Caesars, history and civil war

, Fighting for Rome: poets and Caesars, history and civil war. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 349 pages. ISBN 9780521028660.


This is not a review. I have read (with difficulty) and a*dmired (with reservations) some of Henderson’s articles, particularly on satire and on Lucan — and have recommended them to students; I expect to continue to recommend at least parts of this book. But a little of Henderson goes a long way; and reading and reviewing are two very different things. Nor, as anyone who has read his work knows, is it amenable to summary or to review: his writing is filled with ambiguities, jokes, puns, hints, and infinite means of avoiding direct statement. That is a part of his method, and a part of what he sees in the texts themselves. Deconstructionist reading (and a good part of Henderson’s approach is that, along with a broad range of other post-modernist methods) concentrates on slippages of meaning, on indeterminacy and polyvalence; deconstructionist readings of texts concerning civil war, despotism, proscription, and oppression revel in covering and discovering silences and suggestions. What is not said speaks louder than what is. Hence, no criticism of a traditional sort is possible: declarative statements are rare in this book — although less rare than in the earlier versions; meaning is often not expressed. To say what Henderson says is to say what Henderson does not say. The reviewer is caught in the same double-bind as the Henderson-reader of the Henderson-version of the texts he discusses (or doesn’t discuss). Hence, this review is not a review — unless the reader chooses to see it as one — but an attempt to treat Henderson’s text with the same attitudes he displays to the ancient texts.


Henderson’s book contains revised versions of eight papers previously published (in print or electronically) ranging in date from 1986 to 1997. I have not collated; but it is clear that Henderson has brought bibliography up to date and in some cases replies in footnotes to articles that criticized the first versions of these papers. He also adds sections and cross-references linking each chapter of the book to the others. The general theme of the book is civil war: the meaning/representation of the wars between 49 and 31 in writers contemporary and later, ranging from Caesar (ch. 2) to Appian (ch. 1), and treating with particular relish the (self)(re)presentation of writers who were involved in these conflicts: Caesar himself, Horace (ch. 3 on Satires 1.7), Horace on Pollio on civil war (ch. 4 on Odes 2.1). Also the manifestation of civil war in later writers, above all Lucan (ch. 5) and Statius (ch.6). The papers are divided into four pairs, the first and last on historians’ representations of civil war (Appian and Caesar; Tacitus and Livy), the middle two on Horace (ch. 3-4) and epic (ch. 5-6). The fighting for Rome of the title is at least double: the fighting itself, and the fight over its meaning and the meaning of Rome itself.

The topic is a fine one and important, if not quite so all-consuming as Henderson’s rhetoric makes it appear. Henderson emphasizes the struggle for control of meaning of events and of texts; the ways in which texts approach and appropriate ‘history’; the process and problems of speaking about the unspeakable. For those texts that really do deal with the unspeakable, particularly Lucan and Statius, Henderson is often brilliant, and in these cases his own overblown, hyperbolic, and incoherent style is a good match for theirs. On Horace, Satires 1.7, as in some of his other essays on the Satires, his explication of implication (or vice versa?) fully (more than fully) brings out the ironies and ambiguities of Horace’s style. In general, he is more effective in dealing with poetry than with historiography, although his discussion of the language and imagery of Tacitus’ account of Nero is often excellent. The other three essays on historians, however, are much less successful. Caesar’s Bellum Civile may well be, as Henderson argues, a prolonged representation of the letter to the senate the text of which is suppressed at the opening of the book, but the rest of the chapter seems to me to belabor and complicate the obvious—that Caesar is trying to control through his writing the meaning of the events he both controlled and composed—and his attempt to make it appear that Caesar wants the civil war to appear as just another set of campaigns like the Gallic Wars founders in futility on the very title of the work (see p.62). His discussion of Appian’s discussion of the proscription edict says almost nothing about Appian (certainly nothing new) and is designed to elicit emotion rather than understanding—not least through his numbering sections in reverse order as a count-down (“You too may be a big hero, / Once you’ve learned to count backward to zero.”).[1] The discussion of Livy plays games with the chronology and completeness of the Ab urbe condita, but is far less interesting or substantial than the recent work of (to name only those I have read) Kraus, Miles, and Moles. The chapter on Horace’s Pollio Ode has moments of excellent exposition enveloped in a great deal of tendentious and misleading argument.

Others will obviously disagree with this assessment. No one can doubt that Henderson is an extraordinary reader, and some of the papers revised for this volume, particularly “Lucan: The Word at War,” have been taken into more recent scholarship so much that it is hard now, only a dozen years on, to separate Henderson’s ideas from those of other critics, who have both influenced and been influenced by Henderson. My own style of criticism is much more conservative than Henderson’s, but I have no problem with good post-modernist criticism (such as the Lucan chapter); although it strikes me (perhaps because of my own biases) that his best analyses bear a strong resemblance to new criticism: close attention to language, metaphor, and imagery that pervades a text and supplies both texture and meaning. That is true of his chapter on Tacitus, of his discussion of Statius, of his remarks about the language of ‘writing’ in connection with the proscriptions in chapter 1. The trouble is that Henderson is not only inconsistent in his methods (compare his treatment of the completeness of the text of Caesar with his treatment of the completeness of the Periochae of Livy and the incompleteness of Tacitus’ Annals), but writes in such a manner as to avoid/avert clarity or comprehension. More important, perhaps, is that his rhetoric attempts to avoid debate or questions by cloaking his literary/historical interpretations in moral terms. All those in favor of mayhem, murder, and civil war, please raise your hands.


“Bash in my brain
And make me scream with pain
Then kick me once again
And swear we’ll never part.”[2]

Henderson wants to eat his cake and have it too, throughout. He disdains the traditional methods of scholarship by filling his writing with puns, jokes, incomplete sentences, ambiguities—anything to avoid straightforward statement of what he means, so that a reader can agree or disagree on a rational basis. He sprinkles the book with catchy epigraphs, often trite or irrelevant, from authors ranging from Emily Dickinson to Pink Floyd, and his favorite author is Bob Dylan (#1 in the hit parade of citations, #2 [after Ahl] in the number of titles in the biblio/discography). At the same time, he fills the book with footnotes and the apparatus of scholarship, supplying references even for obvious historical facts and sometimes (e.g. 117 n.19) borrowing inapposite references (in this case, with a mistake of his own) from a secondary source (which he does cite). It is typical of his style that the same note, on the crossing of the Rubicon, contains a clever reference to the “Rubic kubos“, and the text refers equally cleverly to the “red-faced Rubicon” (get it?)—but of course he does not bother to identify Caesar’s famous line as a quotation from Menander. He parodies the philological affectation of using long German words—but in at least one case (“Waffungstillstandsunderredung” (sic), p.47) he gets the word wrong (as he also wrongly translates “Die Tage” as singular, p.22). Even his own self-created conventions of non-speech are not maintained: although he claims (214) that “we shall use the symbol ‘/’ … for Antithesis” in the chapter on Statius, he immediately reverts to using it in the time-honored way for alternatives and ambiguities as well, or simply in place of a comma, making his sentences even less intelligible / when combined with his other quirks of style / than usual: “In all this scopic horror, we shall recognize the curse of Oedipus’ Thebes. Pre-made / its law of the eternal return / the ‘Re-make’—.” (238) And although he is philologically scrupulous in footnoting the works of The Doors and Dylan, he does not manage to be accurate even in citations from popular culture: he quotes “We’ve seen the enemy, and they’re us” from an “early 1970s button, after W. Burroughs” (136, with note 56), both misquoted and misattributed. The line is (I quote from memory) “We have met the enemy, and they is us” and it was uttered in the 1950s (I think) by Churchy LaFemme in Walt Kelley’s Pogo.

But irritating though Henderson’s games with Wissenschaft may be, they are nothing compared to his inapposite jokes, his tendentious mistranslations, his sentences and words that suffer from extreme apocope (or, in Henderson-speak, apoco—), his selective reliance on anagrams, palindromes, and puns to pretend to make an argument. What point is there to explaining the name of the battle-site Philippi as ‘the riding classes’ (137), or asserting that the name of Persius in Horace, Sat. 1.7 is “as if after the Kings of Persia” (78)? It might have been more relevant to mention the Persius named by Lucilius in his earliest book as the audience too learned to read the poems—but neither connection is particularly demonstrable or relevant. Henderson ignores almost entirely the possible significance of Horace’s epithet atrox for Cato, translating it as “obsidian” (135): a possibly derogatory comment on the heroic republican would not fit Henderson’s reading. Hibernas passurus aquas (Lucan 4.16) is translated as “he’ll endure the rains in Spain” (190). A damp joke; certainly minor in comparison with such gems as “Pierius menti calor incidit” (Statius, Thebaid 1.3) rendered into “On heat with Poesy—Greece!—My Mind. Falling” (225) or “ei mihi” as (and I abbreviate somewhat) “A A A A A G H” (249). My mind. Boggling. And these are among the least of his travesties. Readers of Henderson’s articles will know the manner. I cite only one more instance of Henderspeak, his version of the last words of Tacitus’ Annales (299):

Yes, here Roman veins spray their page of imperial history with an ‘Absolutely Free’ Cynic matinée, a sardonic splash for Iuppiter Liberator, showpiece for posterity. Specta, iuuenis (16.35.3, ‘Catch this, young man’). Make it work! It will! Here is the ultimate simplifiction, the finale, ‘exit’, finis of Annalysis, wor(l)d without ***: [he then quotes the final words with a typographically unreproducible travestilation (my word, but not much worse than ‘simplifiction’ or ‘deathstiny’)]

Coinages, sentences ending without ends, repetitious exclamations, and a sarcastic scorn for texts, their subjects, and the reader—not to mention the fact that Tacitus did not choose the ending of his eleventh-century manuscript. But Henderson is never troubled by elevating our ignorance into a principle of interpretation, as in the astonishing series of guesses and surmises about Pollio on pp. 132-3; nor indeed is he troubled by drawing new-critical conclusions from verbal echoes that never appear, as when he links the name of Pollio with expolitio —needless to say, a word not used in Odes 2.1—and proudly points out that the word pollio means ‘polisher’, without mentioning that OLD cites it only from the Digest and two inscriptions (lucky to have OLD : it isn’t even in Lewis and Short). Needless to say, quotation out of context is not a problem for Henderson. “Read Lucan. And ‘be damned’. With poet and Caesar: damnabimur (9.986).” What happened to the phrase a nullo … aeuo which surrounds and negates the telltale condemnation? In the terms used by Fronto to describe the style of Seneca and Lucan, Henderson is simply playing games with his mouth.


“No need for you to miss a minute of the agonizing holocaust.”[3]

The preceding paragraph needs amplification. Not Henderson’s relish for blood and torture, which appears in glorious technicolor in his chapters on Lucan and Statius, but his evident contempt for others, both ancient and modern. Caesar’s third-person style is “insufferable” (38); Maecenas is “Octavian’s political spin-doctor” (79) and in Odes 1.1 is “breathing Etruscan excess in fancifully gross self-promotion, with personal vibes of pleasure” (123); the triumvirate is a “junta” (75); Pollio is “shadowing his Leader’s every movement” (117) and has a “stupid nomen” (123; asinine joke); Augustus of course controls Rome with his “jackboot” (73). He sneers at other scholars for uses of language (e.g. “doubtless”, 89) with which he disagrees; he mentions the work of F.R.D. Goodyear, “that annalistic name” (277); he refers to the “sadodispassionate” attitudes of both Caesar (64) and Syme (20); P.G. Walsh and John Moles are both “naughty” (312, 315) for inferences Henderson disagrees with that are gnats compared to the camels Henderson perpetrates. He does not even like the authors he seems to admire: Statius’ poem is “atrocious” (5)—and not merely because it contains atrocities. And for someone who seems so appalled by the brutality of war in our own day as well as in antiquity, it is at least peculiar to speak of the cause of Pollio’s triumph as “five thousand and one dead Dalmatians” (135): where is the Bosnia he cites in the preface?

What is most absurd about Henderson’s variety of criticism is not the surface tics, however, but the substance. Despite all his post-modernist rhetoric, fractured texts and unrecoverable meanings, Henderson is a biographical critic at heart, making up biography to suit his story when the real thing does not survive. I take examples from the opening sections of the chapter on Horace’s Pollio Ode, perhaps the most egregiously awful portion of the book. He begins (109) by describing the poem’s importance: “This poem flags Horace’s innermost concerns: the central book in the central work of his career …”. Horace knew in advance how many books he would write? “Horace’s own memories begin with the beginning(s) chosen for this poem” (119); “The names Utica and Juba would always traumatize Pollio, however…” (141); and more. It’s a nice idea to want to know what an author meant—or what his text meant, or what he thought he meant, or what contemporary readers thought he meant—at the time of writing, and Henderson constantly seeks to determine the indeterminacies of meaning, just as he inters/deters whatever meanings might, to the rest of us, be apparent on the surface. But in so doing, despite his theoretical concerns, he time and again indulges in biographical and intentional fallacies. An old-fashioned critic, innocent of theoretical niceties, can get away with that, but for the semi-semiotic Henderson, that should be out of bounds. The trouble is, that for Henderson to score his points, there are no bounds. Beyond psychobiographical fiction, moreover, lies blatant misconstruction of the poem. The opening reference to the consulate of Metellus is indeed potentially ambiguous: Numidicus, Marius, and Sallust lurk behind Celer, the triumvirs, and Pollio.[4] But that limited possibility leads Henderson to drag out every known Metellus as a symbol of the slaughter of the Republican aristocracy in the civil wars, to link Pollio’s Dalmatian triumph with Metellus Delmaticus, to draw in every irrelevant hint at the history of the first century that could possibly be useful to him. Literary history follows political history as a victim of Henderson’s own peculiar brand of proscription: Nisbet and Hubbard cautiously suggest (9) that Horace may have been “suggesting an affinity between Pollio’s tragedies and his histories,” and their caution in the face of the mirage of “tragic history” is admirable. No such caution for Henderson, and no concern about what “tragic” means in such a context. For him, the leap from a rhetorical manner to the grand themes of Attic tragedy is but a small step: “lyric here is getting into the mindset of tragedy”; “Tragedy has successfully lent cosmic grandeur to the wars” (both 122). From there it takes little effort to link Pollio’s Histories to Varius’ Thyestes. Murder. Fratricide. Death. No matter that all Horace says is that Pollio has given up tragedy for a time in order to write history; for Henderson they are inseparable, to the point of grotesquely misreading Ecl. 8.10-13 to mean that Pollio’s tragedies were somehow connected to his triumph: “Tragedy therefore did indeed coalesce with the ordering of publicas res in the oeuvre of Pollio. The politics of Pollio’s tragedies and the poetics of Pollio’s Historiae interfuse as the common matrix for a grim message of blood-curse doom, nemesis without end” (128). It comes as no surprise that Henderson treats lyric in modern and romantic terms just as he treats ‘tragic’ history in terms of classical tragedy: “Lyric can inhabit the mindset of the grand prose narrator of history, so long as that is conceived lyrically—as a live personal affair” (120). Remember Stesichorus, not to mention the Roman Odes? For Henderson lyric seems to be defined by Wordsworth.


“If you feel dissatisfaction,
Strum your frustrations away,
Some people may prefer action,
But give me a folk song any old day.”[6]

Perhaps it is no surprise that modern generic definitions creep into Henderson’s treatment of Horace; he is, after all, relentlessly concerned to be relevant. In some ways, that is all to the good: it does not hurt to be reminded that literature is not simply a formal construct, but reflects to some degree the passions and pains of a real world; and the Roman civil wars were very real. But Henderson’s desire to bring the war home to the reader—like the authors he discusses, Henderson too is fighting for Rome, and trying even harder than some of them do to make us feel the guilt and terror of civil war—is not without its problems. The guilt of the survivor plays a large part in the rhetoric of his arguments (see esp. 133 n.54, as well as the list of recent civil wars at 8 n.1), and that guilt, quite clearly, is meant to affect the reader or reviewer as well: if you don’t buy what Henderson says, you’re just as guilty as the wicked Augustus. Thus Henderson’s hyperbole is directed at us: on the anecdote of Satires 1.7 (on which Henderson has much that is intelligent to say and unsay), he states (75-6):

The joke … entraps the reader into participation in the Roman, and therefore ‘Western’, discourse on assassination/political martyrdom, demagoguery/Republicanism, tyranny/ coup d’état…. No one need spell out the transaction. It can’t be pinned to anyone, only to everyone. Everyone else. Everyone who wants to be a Roman, part of a continuing Rome. Anyone who stays out of the joke must be a lackey, living in an emirate.

This explicitly applies not just to the contemporary reader, but to the readers of Henderson’s book, it involves “the ethics of criticism” (78). And not just in the chapters on Horace but, most explicitly, on Lucan: “And you are Lucan—Caesar. Auto-crat, the self as master” (211). Somehow I find it hard to equate my distrust of Henderson’s tendentious and overblown arguments with war-guilt. The argument (such as it is) can easily be turned on its head: to condemn anyone who does not accept the burden of complicity itself smacks of totalitarianism: vote ‘yes’—or else.

Behind and beyond Henderson’s McCarthyite rhetoric, moreover, lie some very curious attitudes and understandings of Roman history that suggest a rather different reading both of the texts and of Henderson’s own text. In the first place, Henderson’s equation of the Roman civil war with the horrendous civil wars of modern times, from Ireland to Bosnia to Rwanda. Virtually all of them are based in racial or religious nationalisms; most of them are the legacies of imperialist conquest and the map-making of colonial powers; they involve mass butchery of average people, extending far beyond the struggles for power among the ruling elite that characterized the Roman wars of the first century BCE. There are only two incidents in the civil wars of 49-31 that even approach the sophisticated slaughters of modern times, the proscriptions themselves and the Perusine War, and even these two are circumscribed in time and havoc. In his first chapter, Henderson does his level best to ratchet up the horror level of the proscriptions to make them equivalent to mass-murder (or, not to be mentioned by someone of Henderson’s political beliefs, the Terror in France) and turn Octavian/Augustus into a Hitler or Idi Amin. But even the most assiduous victim-seeker (Hinard, on whom Henderson relies) can come up with only 160 names, of whom many escaped, and of whom a significant proportion went on to hold office under Augustus. Henderson worries about survivor-guilt, and how such people managed to come to terms with the past, including the execution of relatives by the tyrant whom they later served: “the purge was necessarily inscribed on their lives” (27). For some, indeed, a genuine problem; but it does not seem to have held them back. Perhaps they saw something different in what the triumvirs had done, and “purge” with its Stalinist connotations is surely a loaded term. Machiavelli surely had a clearer understanding of the aftermath of events like the proscriptions than does Henderson: “Those who use cruelty well may indeed find both God and their subjects are prepared to let bygones be bygones.”[7] Furthermore, as Syme (a great historian whom Henderson more than once denigrates with no cause) rightly saw, the proscriptions were “in purpose and essence a peculiar levy upon capital”,[8] directed not against the nobiles but against the rich. Many escaped, leaving their property behind: that was what the Triumvirs wanted, not (at least for the most part) their heads. Cicero was the exception, not the rule; and even he could have escaped had he tried harder. Octavian was indeed (again Syme) “a chill and mature terrorist”;[9] but he was not only that. Henderson grudgingly admits that the melodramatic accounts of victims in Appian and Dio are largely fictional (20), but that does not matter to him. It ought to.

The proscriptions, in fact, were a very minor part of the upheaval that has come to be known as the Roman Revolution; and the wars themselves, even the horrendous siege of Perugia, were as nothing in comparison with the slaughters wrought by Hannibal—or in comparison with what Romans did at times to their subjects. And in his persistent declamations against tyranny and despotism, Henderson consistently ignores the broader context of what happened in order to elevate the damage done to the Republican aristocracy into some sort of apocalypse. For them, of course, it was; as it was for those imperial writers like the perfervid adolescent Lucan and the would-be republican Tacitus (assiduously compensating for his own guilt in surviving the terror of Domitian) who elevated the image of the lost Republic into some sort of golden age. Henderson is completely in the sway of the romantic republicanism of imperial wishful thinkers: a narrow, elitist version of “liberty” that has nothing at all to do with what the Republic really was or how it affected the vast majority of subjects of Rome.

Who cared about the civil wars, and who regretted the loss of the Republic? The concept of republican liberty trumpeted by the Liberators (and echoed, with greater cause, in the Renaissance and the French Revolution) meant their freedom to dominate everyone else. In comparison with some of the less appealing emperors, to be sure, the Republic looked good; but as Tacitus himself noted in the Histories, emperors had the worst effect on those close to the seat of power: saeui proximis ingruunt. Following Tacitus, Henderson caricatures all the Caesars; and yet Claudius at least (since Momigliano’s book of more than sixty years ago) was, in the administration of the empire, not the fool that Tacitus makes him out; and it should not be forgotten that to the nations of the East, Nero was, and remained for long after his death, a hero, not a villain. It was not the loss of liberty in our sense (positive or negative) that the writers of Rome bewailed, but their inability to rule for themselves. Even in 49, Cicero knew that Pompey would have been at least as bad as Caesar, had he won.

What Henderson blindly accepts, in fact, is an anachronistic definition of “Rome” as the ruling elite of the city itself, a group of people, at least in the first century BCE, at least as despotic to their subjects as any emperor could ever dream of being. It was not Augustus in jackboots who sent a troop of cavalry into the Senate house of Salamis in Cyprus, trampling senators to death, to extort usurious interest on a loan; it was the noble Brutus. It was not Augustus, or even Antonius, who reduced the prosperous province of Asia to desolation: it was Cassius and the renegade republican Labienus Parthicus. It was not Augustus who extorted vast sums of money for generations from the provinces: it was countless leaders of the ‘free’ Republic. We may deplore, as good modern liberals, the substitution of despotism for ‘liberty’; but the subjects of the Roman imperium, by and large, breathed a collective sigh of relief. Henderson is explicitly unconcerned with the “social revolution” involved in the civil wars (15): it is simply less captivating to him than the horrors of fighting in the streets of Rome. And, of course, we all know that a lost cause is inevitably more noble; as Jonathan Rée has recently put it, “For us members of the good-conscience Left, perpetual defeat has become a sign of grace in the new immoral world, and if anyone disagrees with us it can only be because they lack our courage and high principles, and have sold out to the empire of evil.”[10] Syme, who in 1939 dedicated Roman Revolution to his country, and who drew implicit comparisons between the rise of Octavian and the rise of Hitler, was no admirer of despotism, but he knew that Roman history is not the same thing as the history of the city of Rome, and he was too good a historian to be hoodwinked by the would-be republicans of the imperial age. He rightly described the result of the revolution as “the victory of the non-political classes”;[11] and in his review of Roman Revolution Momigliano extended that to identify the disenfranchised as the moving spirit of the revolution: it is “a manifestation … of an immense movement of people, who preferred to the freedom of the others a government which promised and gave them peace, tolerable justice, an increasing amount of political equality, and fair prospects of a career. The monarch was, inevitably, monarch of everybody.”[12] He rightly points out that in assessing the causes and nature of the Augustan State, one must explain why “for twelve or thirteen centuries, if not more, that State was the only conceivable State.”

Henderson is, all too clearly, not a historian, and such questions do not interest him. Nor, one may grant, did they interest some of the writers around whom he writes. But for someone as interested in slippages of meaning and the prison of perspective as is Henderson to be so credulous and so romantic about the nature of the Roman Republic is a disastrous weakness: he is unable to get outside the mentality of the authors whom he claims to interpret—if that, in fact, is what he is claiming to do. Roman writers are, and write for, an elite. Their perspective, above all that of a writer like Lucan, is extraordinarily narrow and self-serving. To invent a universal Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on the basis of what a Lucan felt or believed is neither good history nor good criticism—and it is also, quite evidently, deeply imbued with late twentieth-century preconceptions that would have left most Romans puzzled or revolted. The willful distortion of history and of texts—not to mention of the English language—that Henderson’s book displays is often entertaining, sometimes offers interpretations of genuine merit, is filled with unwarranted speculation and surmise, and is largely unreadable. Despite the obvious intelligence that Henderson brings to bear on his subjects, his book says far less about the ancient texts than it reveals about Henderson’s own attitudes: he does not write to be understood by, or to enlighten readers; he does not care whether he misrepresents the texts; he deliberately focusses the reader’s attention on himself rather than on the works he claims to explain—and which, because of his approach, he can not possibly explain. Even ambiguities and distortions can be discussed in language that is itself unambiguous and undistorting. If he were not a senior member of a rich and powerful university, he would probably think twice about writing this way; if I were not, I would think twice about publishing this review. I can only conclude by offering a revised text from his “index of temporality” (302n), “Think twice. It’s not all right,” and a final citation from my own index of distemp—: “I feel that if a person can’t communicate, the very least he can do is to shut up!”[13]


[1] Tom Lehrer, “Wernher von Braun,” That Was The Year That Was (Reprise, 1965). All quotations from Tom Lehrer are taken from the collection of his lyrics at

[2] Tom Lehrer, “The Masochism Tango,” An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer (Lehrer Records, 1959).

[3] Tom Lehrer, “So Long Mom (A Song For World War ιιἰ,” That Was The Year That Was.

[4] I am grateful to Tony Woodman for allowing me to see a draft of an article on this aspect of the Pollio ode.

[5] Not all Henderson’s anagrams work perfectly either.

[6] Tom Lehrer, “The Folk Song Army,” An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer.

[7] Prince, Chapter 8; cited from D. Wootton, transl., Machiavelli: Selected Political Writings (Indianapolis, 1994) 30.

[8] The Roman Revolution (Oxford, 1939) 195.

[9] Roman Revolution 191.

[10] London Review of Books 20.20 (15 October 1998) 9.

[11] Roman Revolution 513.

[12] Secondo Contributo alla storia degli studi classici (Rome, 1960) 415 (originally published in 1940). The following quotation is from the same page.

[13] Tom Lehrer, remarks following “Alma,” That Was The Year That Was.