Professor Sheldon uses the modern concept of the intelligence cycle to trace intelligence activities in Rome whether they were done by private citizens, the government, or the military.
Examining a broad range of activities the book looks at the many types of espionage tradecraft that have left their traces in the ancient sources:
* intelligence and counterintelligence gathering
* covert action
* clandestine operations
* the use of codes and ciphers
Dispelling the myth that such activities are a modern invention, Professor Sheldon explores how these ancient spy stories have modern echoes as well. What is the role of an intelligence service in a free republic? When do the security needs of the state outweigh the rights of the citizen? If we cannot trust our own security services, how safe can we be? Although protected by the Praetorian Guard, seventy-five percent of Roman emperors died by assassination or under attack by pretenders to his throne. Who was guarding the guardians?
For students of Rome, and modern social studies too - this will provide a fascinating read.
Rose Mary Sheldon has been a Professor at the Virginia Military Institute since 2000. She received a PhD from the University of Michigan in ancient history in 1987 and has published widely on ancient history.