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The Roman Republic

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Margaret
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The Roman Republic

Post by Margaret » Sat January 10th, 2009, 6:09 am

Annis has contributed an excellent review of Robert Harris's Imperium for HistoricalNovels.info. This is the first novel in a series; a second, Conspirata, is due out next year. It's a thriller about Cicero, and it looks like a good one for the TBR of anyone interested in ancient Rome and the turbulent period that led up to the rise of Julius Caesar.

I've been reading Steven Saylor's "Gordianus the Finder" mysteries, set in the same period, with mingled horror and fascination during the last eight years because they are so reminiscent of political developments in the U.S. And also with a tiny measure of relief - at least we have not had Senators murdering each other in the streets, as they did in ancient Rome.
Browse over 5000 historical novel listings (probably well over 5000 by now, but I haven't re-counted lately) and over 700 reviews at www.HistoricalNovels.info

annis
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Post by annis » Sat January 10th, 2009, 8:25 pm

I have to point out that not everyone found "Imperium" as interesting as I did. Mind you , how boring it would be if we all agreed!
Here's an amusingly satirical review from John Crace in the "Guardian", renaming the book "Tedium" :)

Just have to add this 'Times" interview with Robert Harris, in which he discusses "Imperium" and how his fascination with politics lead him to write it.
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/ ... 624642.ece
Last edited by annis on Sat January 10th, 2009, 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Sat January 10th, 2009, 10:41 pm

I enjoyed Imperium but would agree that it was a bit tedious in places, perhaps in part because Tiro is a 3rd party narrator and that is not my preferred narrative device. I knew there was another book coming out, but didn't know it was going to be a trilogy.

I very much enjoyed how the author depicted Cicero's relationship with his wife, though their relationship is very much in the background.

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Post by annis » Sun January 11th, 2009, 1:00 am

Yes, the relationship between Cicero and his wife Terentia is well done, and we see it deveop and grow stronger over the years.
Because most of the action takes place in the public arena, an area from which Roman women were excluded, women in "imperium" are mostly only glimpsed briefly, generally at social occasions. Terentia is the only one I can think of whom the reader gets to know in any depth.

Terentia was in fact quite an unusual woman for the times- intelligent, astute and fortright. She also kept control of her own money and its disposition. They did have a really good partnership, but sadly it all went wrong later and they divorced She outlived him by nearly 40 years- she was apparently over 100 when she died.
Last edited by annis on Sun January 11th, 2009, 6:10 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Ludmilla
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Books about Hannibal

Post by Ludmilla » Thu March 12th, 2009, 8:00 pm

Does anyone have recs for books about Hannibal where he is not the antagonist and is more than just an ancillary character? I'm particularly interested in his later life... especially while in exile. I suppose the info on that part of his life is sparse, but I think it would make a good story.

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Post by parthianbow » Fri April 10th, 2009, 3:46 pm

Try the loosely linked trilogy by the Scottish writer Ross Leckie - Hannibal, Scipio and Carthage. For some reason they received poor reviews on Amazon.com, but they were highly acclaimed by reviewers and newspapers in the UK, and I for one loved them.
Ben Kane
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Ludmilla
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Post by Ludmilla » Fri April 10th, 2009, 4:54 pm

Thanks for the rec! I'll have to look for those!

I've been of a divided mind whether I want to try Durham's Pride of Carthage. Anyone have any opinions on that one?

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Post by annis » Fri April 10th, 2009, 9:55 pm

I have to admit that I found "Pride of Carthage" a bit of a worthy trundler, though it's interesting because the subject is fascinating. I did try Ross Leckie's trilogy, but unfortunately just couldn't get into it and gave it away. Last year I read Harold Lamb's non-fiction "Hannibal" , which I found good, though some people think it's a bit dry. For an account of Hannibal's last years, it's hard to go past this piece from the Baldwin Project, by Jacob Abbott, making allowance for a bit of ninteenth century hyberbole:
http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?a ... y=fugitive

*Edit- There are a couple of fairly recent novels out about Hannibal, but I haven't read them, so can't comment on them

Rafael Scott "Lion's Brood"
George Strickland "The Lion of Africa: Hannibal of Carthage"
Last edited by annis on Sat April 11th, 2009, 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sweetpotatoboy
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Post by sweetpotatoboy » Mon April 20th, 2009, 9:52 am

[quote=""annis""]I have to admit that I found "Pride of Carthage" a bit of a worthy trundler, though it's interesting because the subject is fascinating. [/quote]

I think I would agree with that assessment. It never quite took to flight for me but it was still worth reading. His latest book seems more fantasy and I may try it out.

annis
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Post by annis » Mon April 20th, 2009, 6:40 pm

Thanks for the heads up, Sweetpotatoboy, I hadn't realised that David Durham had another book out. It does look like he's gone for a change of pace, and "Acacia" seems to be the first in a proposed fantasy series. I'll have to keep an eye out for it.

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