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Render Unto Caesar

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  248 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Hermogenes is a young Greek from Alexandria, heir to a noble and vibrant society. But in his youth Hermogenes and his family were held captive to the whims of the queen Cleopatra, whose machinations spelled doom for an entire nation--whose schemes for empire caused the might of Rome to conquer his people. While the citizens of Rome may ape Hellenic ways, the Alexandrian Gr ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Forge Books (first published 2003)
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I struggled with this one for a long time. Much as I've enjoyed other books by Gillian Bradshaw (I think I gave Island of Ghosts 5/5 stars!), this one really didn't work for me. It's easy enough to read, and the research and detail seems as solid as I've come to expect from Bradshaw, but I just didn't enjoy myself. I didn't get involved with the characters or plot, which is too bad considering it involves figures like a female gladiator.

I kept putting it aside for when I felt more like it, but m
Cassandra Kay Silva
I hate to make this point since it will sound sexist no matter how I word it but this book was obviously authored by a woman. The man was completely unrelatable to his sex. Too mushy, too overly concerned about every damn characters feelings, too observant and so introspective that it was just utterly utterly obviously contrived by a woman. The plot was actually good but how many times do we have to watch our supposed hero get beat up? His fighting is all with his words? Oh wow great I hate it. ...more
Oh God I stayed up far, far too late reading this. But it was worth it.

This pushes a button for me. That button is the hero who gets in so over his head, knows it, and grits his teeth and does his damnedest. And is *awesome*. Bonus points for people around him thinking he's a total BAMF, and his response being, omgwtf I am so not the droid you are looking for. See also: Season 1 John Sheppard, and whatsherface in Naamah's Curse.

While this doesn't pass Bechdel (on-screen; there's a referenced con
Aug 18, 2008 Peter rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of thrillers or Rome or Roman Thrillers
Shelves: history, non-genre
OK, so it's kind of a thriller, not so much a "whodunnit" but a "whydhedoit." So, I guess it is a genre book after all. And there is a romance component, so, boom, another genre. But Bradshaw really excels at bringing the setting (the late part of Augustus's reign) to life -- she had a way of adding texture to every scene, so you get an image of what Rome must have smelled and sounded like as well as the rest of it. If you like Lindsey Davis's or Seven Saylor's Roman mysteries, this is a no-brai ...more
Young-ish Greek man visits Rome; gets tangled up in politics and plots; makes vehement speeches about citizenship, slavery, honor; meets brash female gladiator; falls in lust love; writes many sad-face letters to his daughter; returns home.
Gave it three stars, because it's terribly engaging, but it's not very *good* so feel as tho I am being dishonest. Hermogenes is just too freaking perfect. He's clever, he's brave, he's rich, he's forthright and honest. His slaves love him. Other peoples' slav
What a wonderful, satisfying book!

I decided to read this book on a whim while bouncing around the Kindle store because I had read Gillian Bradshaw's work before. I'm so glad I picked this one up! I flew through it.

Not only does Ms. Bradshaw succeed (again) in pumping life into the ordinary lives of ordinary people but she has a knack for bringing ancient Rome to life. However, what I really enjoyed was how she developed the differences between Romans and Alexandrian Greeks (cultural, philosophi
How irritating it must have been when this young Alexandrian Greek turns up in Rome and expects Romans to behave honourably.
Quite an early period so Rome is not the impressive city it became. Fairly squalid and without proper walls, although it had some impressive bits.
Good, quite fast moving story with some interesting romantic interests!
It's just hard to get people excited about the adventures of an Alexandrian money-lender in Ancient Rome. Which is a crime, because this is a wonderful book. And, like someone says in it, it's not really about money--money is just the excuse for the fight. It's an engrossing adventure tale, filled with lovely characters. It's nice, sometimes, to just read about decent people. I don't buy into the whole mindset that in order to be the protagonist of a book you have to have big, dark, inner demons ...more
Vicki Cline
Around the middle of Augustus' reign, a young Alexandrian businessman, Hermogenes, comes to Rome to collect on a debt an important Roman owes his uncle. The Roman is determined not to pay and is actually insulted that a foreigner would try to get money from him. When Hermogenes is set upon and nearly killed, he's saved by a former female gladiator (yes, there were such people). She becomes his bodyguard as he tries various ways to get the money. It's a very interesting story and an important bac ...more
-Los ciudadanos son todos iguales, pero unos más iguales que otros-.

Género. Novela Histórica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Hérmogenes, ciudadano romano residente en Alejandría, viaja a Roma para reclamar una deuda bastante considerable y que forma parte de la herencia que recibió de su padre. El problema es que el deudor es cónsul, general y amigo personal del emperador Augusto.

¿Quiere saber más del libro, sin spoilers? Visite:
Erica Gajewski Harris
not bad, a simple and quick read
I usually like Gillian Bradshaw's books, but I couldn't get into this one. Perhaps because I have so many other things going on. Perhaps because I couldn't identify with the main character, an Egyptian Greek named Hermogenes. He is in Rome to try to reclaim a debt never paid to his father or uncle.

I'll get another of her books soon. The author is very good.
This novel had interesting historical details - how Romans perceived Greeks, their insecurities, politics, and complex relationships with slaves. I didn't like the story itself as much as usual for a Bradshaw book. The romance between two of the characters seemed a bit over-the-top for me. But overall it was a very enjoyable read.
Appealing and interesting characters together with a rich representation of historical Rome complemented a relatively simple and straightforward plot.

Events unfold at a measured place. The actual storyline is quite simple, the richness of the book comes from the author’s characters and successful evoking of 16 B.C. Rome.
I really enjoyed reading this historical fiction (a lot because I knew the context really well--see my history degree is good for something). It did have some language periodically (and a lot on one page), it was fairly easy to skip/ignore though. Overall, I'd recommend it.
A strong start to the book but not a strong finish. Loved the historical look at Rome in 16 B.C. and the main character, Hermogenes. But the interactions and discussions with his slaves and slaves of his host in Rome was distracting and, unfortunately, not believable.
I know I will always enjoy any historical fiction set in antiquity, so that was a no-brainer. I thought the author did a nice job of accurately depicting the early Roman empire, but the plot wasn't quite as riveting as I was hoping. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't my favorite.
Kristyn Jensen
This book kept my attention. A female gladiator!! Loved it. The plot twists, the cleverness, and the political battles were exciting and well written.
This was another great read from Bradshaw. Her characters had depth and her plot had enough twists to make it a page turner! Excellent!!!
Apparently, there really were female gladiators.
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Born in Arlington, Virgina, Gillian Bradshaw grew up in Washington, Santiago, Chile and Michigan. She is a Classics graduate from Newnham College, Cambridge, and published her first novel, Hawk of May, just before her final term. A highly acclaimed historical novelist, Gillian Bradshaw has won the Hopwood Award for Fiction, among other prizes. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and their four ...more
More about Gillian Bradshaw...
Hawk of May The Beacon at Alexandria The Sand-Reckoner Island of Ghosts Kingdom of Summer

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