The first book in the epic Masters of Rome series. Rome. 110BC. A city which is home to Gaius Marius, prosperous but lowborn, a proud and disciplined soldier emboldened by his shrewdness and self-made wealth. It is also home to Lucius Cornelius Sulla, a handsome young aristocrat corrupted by powerty, a shameless pleasure seeker. Two men of ...Read MoreThe first book in the epic Masters of Rome series. Rome. 110BC. A city which is home to Gaius Marius, prosperous but lowborn, a proud and disciplined soldier emboldened by his shrewdness and self-made wealth. It is also home to Lucius Cornelius Sulla, a handsome young aristocrat corrupted by powerty, a shameless pleasure seeker. Two men of extraordinary vision, men of ruthless ambition, both blessed and cursed by the special favour of Fortune. men fated to lay the foundations of the most awesome empire ever known, and to play out a mighty struggle for power and glory - for Marius and Sulla share a formidable ambition: to become First Man in Rome.Read Less
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This first book in Ms. McCullough's series covers a part of Roman history that I was completely unfamiliar with. It is extremely interesting. I like that she has a glossary of terms and pronunciation.
Jun 18, 2010
Illuminating account of Rome in the first century B.C. Not simply a historical novel, but an epic, replete with excellent maps and glossary. Entertaining and informative and based upon solid research.
Jul 17, 2008
The author has an incredible grasp of this period in history. The research is superb; ;the reader is living with the characters. The entire series is wonderful. I bought the first few books in the series when it first came out, at new book prices, but there was a year or more between publication of each book and it was hard to put the books in context. I loaned the First Man in Rome out so many times, it became quite worn and I had never completed the series. With Alibris I was able to afford to replace that book and all the books in the series I didn't own. So now I am going to enjoy reading the entire series from beginning to end. Joy.
Apr 20, 2008
A Blockbuster for the Roman World
This book will be a joy for any fan of historical-based fiction. It's full development of characters and events easily rivals that of George McDonald Fraser (the "Flashman" series) and Patrick O'Brian (the Aubrey/Maturin novels). Nearly impossible to set aside, I bought the entire 7-book series before finishing "The First Man in Rome". Five Stars. Former Naval Person Kansas City April 2008
Publishers Weekly, 1991-07-19 Gaius Marius, brilliant military leader and six-term Roman consul, heads the cast of a hefty historical novel replete with politics, social infighting, bloody battles and domestic drama. ``Evoking with impeccably researched, meticulous detail the political and social fabric of Rome in the last days of the Republic, McCullough demonstrates a thoroughgoing understanding of an age in which birth and blood lines determine one's fate,'' said PW . $200,000 ad/promo. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1990-08-03 If nothing else, this hefty tome, the first of a projected series, proves that McCullough ( The Thornbirds ) can write a serious historical novel that edifies while it entertains. Evoking with impeccably researched, meticulous detail the political and social fabric of Rome in the last days of the Republic, McCullough demonstrates a thoroughgoing understanding of an age in which birth and blood lines determine one's fate, and the auctoritas and dignitas of the Roman family mean more than any personal relationship. When the narrative opens in 110 B.C., this rigidly stratified social order has begun to erode. The protagonist, Gaius Marius, is the symbol of that gradual change. He is the embodiment of the novel's title, a genuine New Man who transcends his Italian origins and earns the ultimate political accolade--the consulship--for an unprecedented six terms. A brilliant military leader, Marius defeats the invading barbarian German tribes. Wily, shrewd and pragmatic, Marius is not above using bribery and chicanery to achieve political ends. Nor, indeed, are his fellow officials, whose sophisticated machinations are in odd juxtaposition with their penchant for jeering at one another, which leads to fisticuffs, brawls and even assassinations. As usual, McCullough tells a good story, describing political intrigue, social infighting and bloody battles with authoritative skill, interpolating domestic drama and even a soupcon of romance. The glossary alone makes fascinating reading; in it, for example, McCullough reasons that Roman men did not wear ``under-drawers.'' The narrative's measured pace, however, is further slowed by the characters' cumbersome names, which require concentrated attention. Those willing to hunker down for a stretch of close reading will be rewarded with a memorable picture of an age with many aspects that share characteristics ontemporaneous with our own. Maps and illustrations by the author. 300,000 first printing; BOMC main selection; author tour. (Oct.). (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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