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Julies Caesar. Iggulden could be forgiven for taking his liberties in with this William Bernhardt, author of Nemesis, is quoted on The Gates of Rome as saying "what Robert Graves did for Claudius, Conn Iggulden now does for However, there is little excuse for how he bastardized the competition between Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla.
Iggulden portarys Marius as being a populist infinitely younger than he was by the time Julius Caesar was born. Sulla is reduced to being an implied deviant obsessed with worshiping Aphrodite, but may still be a brilliant general in his spare time.
Other than Sulla marching on Rome, both events are purely fiction. Marius died weeks after assuming his unprecedented seventh consulship. Sulla went on to fill the vacuum left by Marius death, but would peacefully resign the powers of a dictator after reforming the Roman constitution.
Both men were far better than the shallow, vain political power-mongers Iggulden paints them as. Leaving aside his glaring fictionalization, Iggulden seems to delight in creating wholly unappealing main characters.
I found it difficult to care about Caesar, who fluctuates between petulant aristocratic child and rich California play boy during the course of the book. His childhood friend, the fictitious Marcus, is little more than a two-dimensional exploration of a wanna-be Legionnaire. His appearances in the novel after leaving Caesar in Rome have a tacked on feel and do little more than jarringly move the reader from one part of the ancient Mediterranean world to the other. They keep the book entertaining, but largely fall into the crushing stereotypes of the surrogate father Tuburk , the mentor Renius , the fortune-teller Cabera , and the first love Alexandria.
If they were played by actors, a critic would praise them for managing to make the most out of a horribly written screenplay with ineptly designed characters.
Reading the remainder of the series would be enjoyable only to pick Iggulden apart. It misses out on many of the true attractions to the history it draws from by simplifying the political movements to crudeness and the characters to caricatures.
Most of Julius Caesars growing up years are a mystery, so this is basically a work of fiction. But as such it is thoroughly a compelling read.
What emerges is a coming of age tale set in the Roman Empire, where the author imagines a vibrant characterization of the early years of the man who would become the most powerful ruler of his era. In a note, Iggulden does mention that most of Julius Conn Iggulden vivid imagination and superior prose make of The Gates of Rome a great historical fiction. If you are not looking for historical accuracy, this is an adventure story that will capture your attention and grant a few hours of an entertaining read.
The Gates of Rome is the first of four books of the Emperor series that portrays the life of Julius Caesar, from boyhood through to his violent death. Now on to the second volume, The Death of Kings. Recommended for fans of historical fiction.
Full Summary[ edit ] Julius and Marcus grow up as close as brothers, forming a deep and long-lasting friendship. Renius prepares them for a life in the legions serving the Republic. As the boys grow up, both start coveting the attention of Alexandria, a slave on their home estate. In order to survive in the complex and ever-shifting world of Roman politics, Gaius casts his lot in with his uncle Marius , who agrees to take both Gaius and Marcus under his wing. Marius is a Consul and one of the two most powerful men in Rome, the other being his great rival Sulla. After Marius secures a Triumph for his legion Primigenia "the First-Born" through the streets of Rome , Marcus uses a recommendation from Marius to gain a position in a legion guarding the Roman province of Macedon. Meanwhile, in Rome, Gaius accompanies Marius on his Triumph before being confirmed as a Senator in his own right.
Emperor Series (1) The Gates of Rome
He was born in to an English father and an Irish mother. He attended St. His English was refined at the University of London. For seven years, he was an English teacher at Haydon School where he later became the head of English department. He let go of the teaching career and wrote his first novel, The Gates of Rome. Currently, he lives in Hertfordshire, England. He is married and is a father of four.
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