Col. Rose Mary Sheldon
(Department of History, Virginia Military Institute, USA)


When I wrote my dissertation on Roman intelligence gathering, there was little literature on the subject of intelligence in the ancient world, and it was hopelessly scattered throughout professional journals generally unknown to the general public. 

The only survey on the subject was Francis Dvornik’s, The Origins of Intelligence Services, which was already out of print.  Although intelligence activities were prolific in the ancient world, and a few scholars had written books and articles on aspects of these activities, there didn’t seem to be a field called “ancient intelligence studies.”   I decided to see if one could be started. I began by pulling together the secondary sources in an attempt to answer the question most frequently asked of me by audiences when I lectured:  “Where do you get your information?’  Of course, the answer must be “the ancient texts themselves,” but most people cannot read these in the original languages and are looking instead for something that summarizes what we know, preferably in English. As a result of my collecting, I published Espionage in the Ancient World: An Annotated Bibliography, in 2003.  Now I could at least send people to a single volume where they could find books and articles on all aspects of intelligence activities in Greece, Rome, the Ancient Near East and the Medieval World.........  Read more

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