In the first portion of the book McCullough helps us know Caesar at the height of his career as the man he might have been. McCullough's take on the romance between Cleopatra and Caesar differs from Shakespeare's as she devles into Plutarch and other sources. Her explanation for Octavian's actions is that he may have had asthma which is more consistent with his personality. Caesar is later murdered by 23 conspirators and the story switches to following the assassians, Mark Antony, and Octavian's actions among others. When Caesar's will is read his nephew Octavian is the key heir, to the chagrin of Mark Antony. The resulting chaos and political upheaval nearly bankrupts Rome. As the assassians flee, Octavian vows to bring the murderers to justice. I found it difficult to get into this read and when I checked Amazon reviews found that others did, too, but some fans believe that this is the least well written in the series. I have more of them to read which I look forward to tackling. I continue to marvel at McCullough's attention to detail, historical accuracy and ability to make the Romans come alive again and again.
McCullough shines in her masterful portrayal of ancient Rome. The book follows Julius Caesar in his prime, his alliance/relationship with Cleopatra and ultimate betrayal and murder.
A must read for fans of Republican Rome and great writing.
I just couldn't get through it. About 250 pages in, and I gave up. I've heard others say it was really good, but I was never "grabbed" by it.
I never really got into it. Could be good; I just gave up on it.
Julius Caesar - in the prime of his life, at the height of his powers. But behind the myth lies a man beset with contradictions. Happily married, heis also the lover of Cleopatra. A great general, he seeks to end Rome's endless wars. Conscious of his own power, and contemptuous of lesser men, he is determined not be crowned emperor.But Caesar is a man whose greatness attracts envy and jealousy to a dangerous degree; as political intrigues which surround him intensify, his destruction becomes inevitable.