Gladius takes the reader right into the heart of what it meant to be a part of the Roman army through the words of Roman historians, and those of the men themselves through their religious dedications, tombstones, and even private letters and graffiti. Guy de la Bedoyere throws open a window on how the men, their wives and their children lived, from bleak frontier garrisons to guarding the emperor in Rome, enjoying a ringside seat to history fighting the emperors' wars, mutinying over pay, marching in triumphs, throwing their weight around in city streets, and enjoying esteem in honorable retirement.
When the once-in-a-century pandemic struck, it didn't matter that it was predicted and expected - nor even that we had watched it before, playing out in multiplexes over popcorn. We ambled, half-asleep, into disaster. In the first three months of 2020, perplexity drifted into mild concern that suddenly sheered into panic. Economies nose-dived. Schools workplaces closed. Populations hid inside their homes. Whole societies shut down. In most people's living memory, no crisis had caused such global upheaval so swiftly and so comprehensively. The scale and pace of the pandemic were stunning.