A new history of the fall of the Roman republic, told through the gripping story of Caesar's longest-surviving assassin
'Written with passion, authority and insight... a political thriller, and a human story that astonishes' - Hilary Mantel
Many men killed Julius Caesar. Only one man was determined to kill the killers. From the spring of 44 BC through one of the most dramatic and influential periods in history, Caesar's adopted son, Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus, exacted vengeance on the assassins of the Ides of March, not only on Brutus and Cassius, immortalised by Shakespeare, but all the others too, each with his own individual story.
The last assassin left alive was one of the lesser-known, Cassius Parmensis, a poet and sailor who chose every side in the dying republic's civil wars except the winning one, a playwright whose work was said to have been stolen and published by the man sent to kill him. Parmensis was in the back row of the plotters, many of them Caesar's friends, who killed for reasons of the highest political philosophy and lowest personal pique. For fourteen years he was the most successful at evading his hunters but has been barely a historical foot note - until now.
THE LAST ASSASSIN dazzlingly charts an epic turn of history through the eyes of an unheralded man. It is a history of a hunt that an emperor wanted to hide, of torture and terror, politics and poetry, of ideas and their consequences, a gripping story of fear, revenge and survival.
Clear and urgent as the day's news, The Last Assassin is a grim study of unintended consequences. It brings into sharp focus events that many of us only half-know, and tells a story sadder and more complex than we can imagine, giving a new life not only to Caesar and his killers but to the common people who filled the mass graves of the Roman wars. It is written with authority, passion and insight - a political thriller, and a human story that astonishes. - Hilary Mantel
Peter Stothard is a master of modern writing about ancient Rome. An implacable dictator cannot rest happy until each of his father's many killers is dead. A gripping history for today of how the assassins of Julius Caesar fell one-by-one, with ever fewer places to hide, before the vengeance of a would-be emperor
Half thriller, half elegy for a lost Republic, The Last Assassin traces the after-shocks of Caesar's murder as one by one the conspirators were eliminated to make way for a new Roman order. Stothard's writing is atmospheric and gripping, and his scholarship impeccable
The Last Assassin is the most immediate account of Caesar's murder I have ever read. Even though the outcome of the Ides of March is one everybody knows, Stothard manages to endow it with something of the urgency and tension of a thriller - NEW STATESMAN