There are anomalies about the ancient world that defy explanation. Such as why Mussolini's efforts in the 20th century to revive the glory that was Rome two millennia before failed. Excuses about poor modern-day equipment don't cut it. Clearly they lacked the requisite vital ingredient of their ancestors. They needed poison gas to subdue the backward Ethiopians.
THE FORTRESS OF SPEARS by Anthony Riches, 340 pp, 2012 Hodder paperback. Available at Asia Books and leading bookshops, 350 baht
Which explains why historical novelists keep penning stories about the military exploits of the Roman Empire, but not of Il Duce's Italy. Julius Caesar has yet to be reincarnated. To be sure Shakespeare and Cecil B. De Mille played up the Mark Anthony-Cleopatra angles.
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