This is not directly related to a specific episode, but I thought this was an appropriate forum to elicit some discussion about a history that I am reading.
Has anyone here read SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard? It's been a long time since I've taken a history course or studied anything "classical." I've just started the book and I am finding it to be incredibly well-written in terms of being readable for a lay-person. Easy to digest etc. I can comment more as I read more, but I thought the history buffs in this forum might be tickled to debate the quality and writing style of the book.
If I get through this one, I may continue to make a hobby of easing back into the autodidact lazy "pop" version of a classical education.
Myke Cole's Legion Vs. Phalanx does a little of this. It focuses on the military function and evolution of the formations and the armies that employed them, but in the context of the two societies.
Oh, Mary Beard is wonderful -- she's an extraordinarily gifted writer and an excellent ambassador for Classicists. I'll be excited to hear your thoughts when you've gotten all the way through it.