Book four in the epic Masters of Rome series. Rome. 68 BC. Julius Caesar has proved himself a brilliant general. But when he returns to Rome he lays down arms only to take up another battle: this time for political power. This is a war waged with words, plots, schemes, metaphotical assassinations - but also with seduction and guile. Love is just ...
Book four in the epic Masters of Rome series. Rome. 68 BC. Julius Caesar has proved himself a brilliant general. But when he returns to Rome he lays down arms only to take up another battle: this time for political power. This is a war waged with words, plots, schemes, metaphotical assassinations - but also with seduction and guile. Love is just another weapon in Caesar's political arsenal, for the key to political glory lies with Rome's noblewomen: powerful, vindictive Servilia, whose son Brutus deeply resents his mother's passionate, destructive relationhshiop with Caesar; Rome's revered Vestal Virgins; and even Caesar's own daughter, sacrificed on the altar of his ambition.
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This book certainly explains why Caesar's soldiers used to chant, "We bring you the bald adulterer. Lock up your wives and daughters." It is an engrossing story and helps to explain why Caesar was well hated as well as loved.
Dec 11, 2008
This is part of a series called the Masters of Rome which documents and fleshes out the life of Julius Cesar. The value of these books in understanding how the life of this man influenced life today is remarkable. It is challenging to keep the many characters in place, but once through the series prompts many readers to go back and read it again and perhaps again. I am on the third time through the series. If you like historical novels that are true to history that influenced our times, this series is a must read.
Publishers Weekly, 1995-10-16 Senator and debtor, general and seducer, orator and would-be world conqueror, Julius Caesar, as depicted in this fourth installment (after Fortune's Favorites) in McCullough's epic re-creation of ancient Rome, is both a force of nature and something of a momma's boy. He worships his sophisticated mother Aurelia, ``a fount of experience and a mine of common sense,'' while dismissing as ``not important'' his ``expensive, idle, and monumentally silly'' second wife, Pompeia. Its title notwithstanding, this marvelously researched and detailed novel focuses on traditional male pursuits-political intrigue, war, conquest-in the corruption-riddled late Roman republic even as it elucidates the behind-the-scenes influence of women in a repressively patriarchal society. Caesar, though tenderly loving and protective toward his daughter, Julia, pledges her as a child to the adolescent Brutus, with whose mother-the cruel, scheming Servilia-the future dictator of Rome has a purely sexual affair. Years later, Caesar cancels the betrothal in order to use his blossoming daughter as bait to forge a political alliance with the commander of the Roman legions. Meanwhile, Cicero, Caesar's main rival, is portrayed as an incurable vacillator and social climber who displays scant gratitude toward his ``sour'' and ``ugly'' wife, Terentia, despite her foiling a conspiracy against his life. With great brio, and ample attention to Roman customs and rites, as well as to the religious, sexual and social institutions of the day, including slavery, McCullough captures the driven, passionate soul of ancient Rome. Illustrations; maps. Author tour. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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