Each book in the First Man in Rome series comes with a glossary at the end. Read it first. So much of the terms and Latin words and town names are explained there. Even after reading the glossary while going through the story I would check on some words and town or province names.
A fellow Wayland graduate, a couple of years ahead of me. He was a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and fired as too liberal when the fundamentalists took over. This was his response. Typical professor using a ten dollar word when a fifty cent one says the same thing.
This book is another one where the author is impeccably impressed with the longitudinity, magnitudnity and importnatudnity of his own verbosity.
I also hate it when the author writes pages on the nuances of a foreign language word by bloody word of a sentence. He makes his case on Socrates's reasons for staying and dying instead of going into exile. I always assumed it was to get away from Xantippe's nagging tongue.