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review 2018-09-24 22:55
Nomenclator: Initium by Bill O'Malley
Nomenclator: Initium - A Novel Of Ancient Rome - Bill O'Malley

This is the story of Lucius, a roman boy who wishes to know the true history of Julius Caesar, not the stuff that is written for the masses. So he seeks out a slave named Polybius (who is now very old and free), who lived during the time of Caesar and knew him personally as his nomenclator. As it says in the synopsis, a nomenclator was the close personal attendant who announced the names and information on people to his master.

 

                                             See the source image

 

This is the first of a series of 4 books that follows the life of Julius Caesar from his beginning, as told by his personal slave Polybius and I loved it. The author did a great job putting you in that time period and getting an intimate, close up look at the rise of the first emperor of Rome. I am really surprised at how well it is written considering the author seems to have put out only 1 book before this. I am really looking forward to the rest of the series.

 

5 stars and recommended for all historical fiction fans.

 

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review 2018-09-16 17:47
Caligula by Simon Turney
Caligula: The Damned Emperors #1 - Simon Turney

 

I thought this was a very believable and refreshing way to portray the life of one of the most reviled emperors that ruled Rome. It was a sad look into his life through the eyes of one of his sisters, Livilla, and the events that led to his decent into cruelty and madness. Very well done.

5 stars and a favorite and highly recommended for historical fiction fans.
I will definitely be reading more from this author

 

 

 

 

 

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review 2018-06-04 12:10
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome - Mary Beard

TITLE:  SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

 

AUTHOR:  Mary Beard

 

DATE PUBLISEHD:  2016

 

FORMAT:  Paperback

 

ISBN-13:  9781631492228

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Mary Beard has writen an accessible history of the rise of Rome, it's people and it's senate.  The book deals with events that are dated to 753BC, and ends in 212 BCE with Caracalla's decree extending citizenship to all free men living within the Empire.  The book deals with those in power as well as the little people, how Rome expanded its power and maintained it.  Beard deals with archaeological and well as written sources for her information.  While the book was informative, the subject matter tended to be a bit superficial and the writing style too chatty.  This might make a good introductory text if the reader is not interested in biographies of important Roman citizens.

 

 

OTHER BOOKS

 

The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy
by Adrienne Mayor

 

 Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization
by Richard Miles

 

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review 2018-05-09 16:06
The Throne of Caesar (Roma Sub Rosa #13) - Steven Saylor
The Throne of Caesar: A Mystery of Ancient Rome - Steven Saylor

I am electing not to mark spoilers in this review. I feel the events of the novel are prominent historical events that the majority of readers should be familiar with. 

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As excited for this book as I was, I was also hesitant to read it. As I understand things, this is the final book in the Gordianus the Finder series (Roma Sub Rosa). I'm just not quite ready to give Gordianus up despite the fact that he seems to have acquired a few more years than most Romans of the age. The author has been releasing prequel novels. However, none of those novels have really been any good. 

 

If you are coming into this book expecting the traditional Gordianus mystery, you are going to potentially be disappointed. There is a mystery in this novel but it doesn't make an appearance until about the last 100-75 pages. The novel revolves around Caesar and his death. There's no mystery there. Everyone knows how Caesar dies. Everyone knows who killed Caesar. Saylor still managed to make me care and maybe even convince me that just maybe this was an alternate history. Maybe Caesar didn't really die. 

 

It is difficult to make the events of the Ides of March take a backseat. Saylor manages to put Caesar's assassination in the way back. Cinna takes a front seat in this story. Cinna's work and his death are the star of this show. If you aren't sure who Cinna (the poet) is and where he stands in Roman history, I would strongly recommend doing a little bit of background research before starting this book. I must confess I had heard the name but wasn't sure exactly who Cinna was. I had to pause my reading to do some of my own research. 

 

While the author has said there are no plans for more Gordianus novels, there was a door left open at the end of the novel for a spin off. I'm not going lie, the idea of a spin-off doesn't thrill me. The prequels were enough of a flop that I'm not sure I'm interested in anything other than Gordianus as "the Finder". 

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text 2018-05-08 15:43
Reading progress update: I've read 250 out of 400 pages.
The Throne of Caesar: A Mystery of Ancient Rome - Steven Saylor

"Aren't you going to bed?"

"I need to find out how Caesar dies."

"What? You know how Caesar dies. You have a t-shirt all about how Caesar dies. You just wore it. You even stabbed Caesar yourself when you played Assassin's Creed."

"I need to see how Caesar dies from Gordianus' point of view. It's different."

"How many different ways can a man be stabbed?"

 

 

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