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Caesar (Masters of Rome) [Paperback]

Colleen McCullough Doctor of Neurophysiology
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Aug 2003 Masters of Rome

The fifth book in the epic Masters of Rome series.

Gaul. 54 BC. Julius Caesar sweeps across Gaul, brutally subduing the united tribes who defy the Republic. But, at home, his enemies are orchestrating his downfall and disgrace. Vindictive schemers like Cato and Bibulus, the spineless Cicero, the avaricious Brutus. Even Pompey the Great, Caesar's former ally.

But all have underestimated Caesar. And when the Senate refuse to give him his due he marches upon his own country, an army prepared to die for him at his back. For rome is his destiny - a destiny that will impel him triumphantly on to the banks of the Rubicon, and beyond, into legend, as the noblest Roman of them all.

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Caesar (Masters of Rome) + Caesar's Women (Masters of Rome) + The October Horse (Masters of Rome)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 864 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (7 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099460432
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099460435
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,295 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Incomparable . . . Engrossing . . . Breathtakingly detailed . . . McCullough has triumphed again" (Chicago Tribune)

"Hail, Colleen McCullough! She once again gives Caesar his due . . . Caesar reveals Julius Caesar and the author at the height of their powers . . . With all its Machiavellian machinations and its eye for entertaining history, McCullough latest novel merits the allegiance of her legions of fans" (Columbus Dispatch)

"A thoroughly Romanized epic novel . . . Her version of history marches through the tumultuous years from 54 to 48 B.C. withoutmissing any of the significant military and political landscape . . . McCullough also fleshes out the marbled-over characters of Pompey, Cato, Cicero, Brutus, Mark Anthony and others as they try to deal with the near-infallible Caesar. And Caesar himself . . . [is] brilliant, ambitious, ruthless and fascinating" (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another masterpiece 14 Aug 2003
By Jo
I agree utterly, a_mccormack, about the spell-checking issue ... a shame, as it occasionally distracted me from what is once again a first-rate book. Caesar's brilliant Gallic campaigns are described with exactly the right amount of detail; enough to immerse, but not enough to overwhelm. The ongoing development of GJC is fascinating, as is the depiction of the boni (am I the only person who wishes she could travel back in time and strangle Cato and Bibulus? And even dear Magnus too?) and their machinations. The reader is once again placed firmly on Caesar's side, and that is no bad thing. Roll on the paperback version of The October Horse!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent on both Caesar and Rome 21 Feb 2007
By Roman Clodia TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There's a 5 year gap between the end of the last novel in this 6 book series (Caesar's Women) and this one: Caesar is in Gaul, and finds his ties in Rome being cut. Instead he throws himself into the Gallic campaigns which are described in minute and enthralling detail (based on Caesar's own commentaries).

I don't know how McCullough does it, but she manages to render military campaigns, legion's rebellions etc absolutely fascinating! This isn't by any means an objective look at either Caesar or Roman imperialism, and she is unashamedly on Caesar's side, but somehow it works fabulously.

Back in Rome the Senate led by the vacillating Cicero and neurotic Cato and undermining Caesar, and the book leads inevitably and inexorably to Caear's crossing of the Rubicon.

I can't praise this book enought - not as history (which it doesn't purport to be, though it does stick to the sources - albeit in an interpretative way) but as sheer story-telling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book, spoiled by the spell checker! 14 Dec 1999
By A Customer
A gripping read. McCullough never seems to put a foot wrong in her 'Masters of Rome' books. The obvious result of much research melded with fiction that wouldn't let you put the book down........ except for the numerous 'wrong words' in the text (paperback) that appear to have been 'corrected' by an errant spell checker. So distracting and annoying that the book hit the wall twice and lost 2 stars! I can't wait for 'The October Horse' but I hope the publishers employ a proof reader!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Fifth in a Captivating Series 10 Oct 2007
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
Colleen McCullough was born in Australia. A neurophysicist, she established the department of neurophysiology at the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney She then worked as a researcher and teacher at Yale Medical School for ten years. She is the author of the record-breaking international bestseller The Thorn Birds and her series of books on Rome have also been bestsellers. Colleen lives on Norfolk Island in the Pacific with her husband.

Colleen McCullough has been one of my favourite authors, every since I read the book The First Man in Rome and then eagerly awaited the next in the series and then the next and so on. Caesar is the fifth book in the Masters of Rome Series.

The book charts the life of arguably the most famous man from ancient history. It begins n 54 BC and the star of certainly the greatest man of his time is rising. He is claiming victory after victory in his race through Gaul. However, although the victories are gained in the name of the Republic, many of the most important men in Rome are terrified. No Roman general has ever before brought his legions to the gates of Rome and they feel he must be destroyed before he can take the city and name himself as Dictator . . .
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating and rivetting 14 Sep 2011
By rob crawford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
This book covers Caesar in his prime, first in the conquest of Gaul and then in the Civil War with Pompey. To my amazement, I have not tired one bit of this series and simply couldn't stop reading this one.
In this volume, the author concentrates on Caesar's action and military techniques and they are indeed fascinating. For example, in the siege of Alesia, Caesar faced threats from within the citadel and from far vaster forces without, at his flank. SO he built a kind of defensive/offensive plankway - a ring around the citadel that could be attacked and defended from both sides and starved the occupants out while holding off hostile reinforcements. This was totally new in military history, as McCUllough explians in vivid detail and action. Though I have never been one to enjoy military history, I found myself cheering for Caesar and in awe of his creativity.

Much less is devoted in this volume to who Caesar was and why he did what he did, which were explored in the earlier volumes. Nonetheless, the personalities of his assistants - the cruel Labienus, the indolent yet growing Anthony (and his huge crotch) and at least a score of others - come through in great detail and with remarkable historical accuracy. The reader is treated to how Caesar managed them all. THe counterpoint of this volume is Pompey the Great, whose flaws and pretentions are magnified with age. While I was less convinced by this portrait, it is still very interesting. FInally, the portrait of the Gauls (and their brash leader Vercingetorix) is very well drawn and informative, as is the portrayal of the young Cleopatra struggling to maintain herself on the throne.

As I have said before, the measure of success for me is that I want to go back to the classical sources to learn more. Warmly recommended, both for the action and for the learning about vanished worlds.
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5.0 out of 5 stars just brilliant! 25 Oct 2007
I've had the pleasure of reading all the Masters of Rome series in order one after the other and I've found it a wonderful experience! I love McCullough's style of writing - she makes the whole period come to life and manages to get some great history into her work. Its obvious she's done tremendous research for all these books.

It's also obvious that she's very much in love with Caesar! I'd agree that he was an amazing human being - no doubt - but I have to say I could fall for McCullough's version of him myself - although I doubt he was as squeaky clean as she portrays him!!!

Highly recommended for anyone interested in the Roman republic and in politics in general.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The story continues
When I finished reading book 4 I couldn't wait to start reading book 5 and to see how the story pan's out. and then
Published 4 months ago by dee43
4.0 out of 5 stars Roman novel
Great novel continuing her Roman story. I look forward to further novels with her characters continuing to be involved with Roman expansion.
Published 5 months ago by Stephen M. Lock
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT !!!
Having read all the books in the "Masters of Rome" series...many of which I obtained when in USA due to lack of availability here in UK I was really pleased to see them on... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Brian S. Bramwell
4.0 out of 5 stars More fat reading
McCullough is one of those writers that require you to switch off some of your critical faculties if you are to make it through 700 pages (and every book in her Caesar series is... Read more
Published on 15 Oct 2010 by PatB
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it but disappointed!
My only problem with this addition to the series is that it takes place five years after the ending of the last book during Caesar's second five year stint in Gaul. Read more
Published on 27 Sep 2010 by AdNoctum
5.0 out of 5 stars ceaser
I am on the final book October horse.I am not a political person and i really wouldn`t view the books as being dedicated to politics. Read more
Published on 21 April 2009 by Flossy
5.0 out of 5 stars well researched and original
Being a neurologist and therefore unbiased by petrified academic teachings McCullough approaches De Bello Gallico and the first three chapters of Bellum Civile with a fresh... Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2007 by arbiter
5.0 out of 5 stars brilhant as always!
As the other 4 books before it, this ones is still a masterpiece....the best damn coolection about rome i ever read.. Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2006 by Eng Carvalho Aguiar
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