Surely no one who agonized through Cicero in High School will be thrilled at the thought of a novel of Rome in the days of the famous Catiline conspiracy. Not even the suggestion that history repeats itself, and that we find today parallels for almost every phase of Catiline's struggle to over-throw the oligarchy, stirs enthusiasm in most of our minds. So possibly I was prejudiced in advance. Whatever the cause. I was thoroughly bored -- and decided that the mist which obscured the events of those days was not wholly due to a weakness in my translation of intricate passages -- but rather to the confusion of the facts themselves. Perhaps the scholarly minded will seize upon it with avidity -- as the London critics seem to have done -- but I doubt whether the American public will swell the ranks materially. Not a chance of catching more than the fringe of the popularity of I. Claudius -- Pass it up.