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La corona de hierba (Masters of Rome #2)

4.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,320 Ratings  ·  200 Reviews
Though these two powerful Eastern rulers would eventually declare war on Rome, and slaughter thousands of Roman citizens, the plot of the novel centres on the Social War of 91 to 88 BC, a civil war which Rome fought against its mutinous Italian Allies after they were refused full Roman citizenship. (The lengthy section dealing with Marcus Livius Drusus' attempt to secure t ...more
Hardcover, Bestseller mundial, 319, 856 pages
Published March 1998 by Editorial Planeta (first published January 1st 1990)
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I used to think this book was greater than The First Man in Rome, but now that I've re-read it again, I have to say that it's not exactly as good as I thought it was. First Man rose in my estimation on a re-read, this was slightly lowered, so now I think they're pretty much even.

The elements that make it great are all here, except for one. I'd forgotten that Publius Rutilius Rufus' letters barely make an appearance and I sorely missed them. Not that he dies, but he's in no position to be informi
Sep 12, 2014 Nate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: antiquity, owned
Edit 9/12/14: I'm kind of doing a quick run through of this again before tackling Fortune's Favorites to refresh myself on the billion people, places and events and I have to admit I was probably being a bad-moody, picky little bitch when I gave this four stars originally. Shameful! It certainly deserves five stars. When you have a book that veers from vicious, sprawling oratorial battles in the Senate to profound psychological portraits of truly legendary people to scenes like the one in which ...more
Sep 07, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, especially fans of historical fiction
This is the second book in McCullough's series of books on the fall of the Roman Republic and rise of the empire under the Caesars. In terms of style and substance, it's similar to The First Man in Rome, dealing with the same characters and themes, albeit later in their lives.

Where as Marius was the primary character and Sulla was secondary in the first book of the series, the two trade places here. Marius is older and will soon be sidelined by a younger generation - and a stroke. Moreover, his
Aug 27, 2009 Douglas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I can admit it - I'm an ancient Rome junkie, and Colleen McCullough is my dealer. Nobody - not even the venerable Robert Graves, or Marguerite Yourcenar, can write a crackling, entertaining AND factually nails-on story of Ancient Roman politics, history and characters like McCullough. Thanks to her books I can describe the difference between a praetor and a consul, and understand that great Roman leaders didn't just start with Julius Caesar. This book mostly covers the period of the dictator ...more
I am, quite frankly, in awe of the amount of research and detail that went into this book. This is how historical fiction should be: respecting the uniqueness of cultures far removed from ours, but unflinching in the face of the alienness and brutality that were inherent to these periods - unlike the pretty costume fests that historical fiction is usually. Quite frankly, after studying Greek and Roman history for a semester I vowed I'd never spent a single minute on it again (less due to the sub ...more
Jan 07, 2009 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, 800 pages and where did it go? Ms. McCullough does an outstanding job of bringing Republic Rome to life. Excellent character development, fast-moving, hooking plot... and all based on true events and historic reasearch.

This second book in the series covers Lucius Cornelius Sulla's rise to being First Man, and then things go nuts!!! Blood, blood and more blood.

McCullough creates vivid, believable and lovable characters, and avoids getting bogged down in historical detail "showing off", but w
Feb 10, 2011 Brandt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The easiest way to become an expert in the end of the roman republic, and later, the end of Ceasar, is to read this series.
Historical novels always walks a line of historical correctness and entertainment, i thought this series managed to provide both, which is an impressive feat considering the extensive amount of information available for this time-period.

This series follows the most important romans and their families for two generations.
The rise to power of the succesful battlecommander Gaiu
Mar 05, 2011 Christin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a horrible classics student. I barely read the books and I couldn't remember the dates or names of anything other than the obvious characters and events. But I could remember fun details and things that were amusing to me. Killing someone by pouring molten gold down their throat is one of those things.

So when Mithridiates tells a consul (who knows what his name was, SEE? SEE?!) "you'll get your precious gold," I squealed "OH SHIT!" clapped my hands with glee, and giggled for the rest of t
Deborah Pickstone
It took me the first 100+ pages to get into this one, which surprised me after the first but equated to my first try at these novels at the time of publication. After that shaky beginning I was hooked, thoroughly enjoying watching the development of known future characters of this historical epic. You really couldn't make it up (though, of course, McCullough did exactly that; it is fiction!) I haven't yet received the next installment to my chagrin.
Dec 14, 2009 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This is the second book in Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series, following The First Man in Rome. It covers the period from 99 -86 B.C. Since I know very little about the history of ancient Rome I learned a great deal from this detailed account which is largely a story of political intrigue, civil war and upheaval. I also found it to be very suspenseful and proved that truth can be stranger than fiction. The central characters are Lucius Cornelius Sulla and Gaius Marius, both of whom were
James Oliver Burns
Great book, as historically accurate as for events and characters as a historical novel can be. I was so into this book I could physically experience the events to smelling tasting and the heartbreak that the characters experienced, it was so realistic to me that I was dreading the end of the book. I came to Identify with one of the main characters Gaius Marius, I was wishing that I could skip over the ending because I didn't want here about his last days and his death, which is was familiar wit ...more
Apr 12, 2009 Murray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this, the second of the Masters of Rome series, we learn more about the remarkable Sulla. His ability to casually murder those who will thereby aid his rise to power, has already been established in the first book. His pursuit of the Grass Crown - recognition by a Legion of the brilliance of its commander - provides the theme for this tale of a ruthless but strangely attractive man. Again it is McCullough's understanding of Rome of this time and the details she provides that add to rather tha ...more
Ivana Azap
May 22, 2014 Ivana Azap rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Whoa!!! OK, I have always wanted to read this book until the end - I have tried earlier but I guess I was not brave enough. But now... Fantastic point of view for the time in history where Great Man delivered chess games of high class, where "dignitas" and "auctoritas" were the thing that truly great personalities were thriving for... I am amazed and can not wait to read the Fortune's Favorites.
Great recommendations ;)
Aug 31, 2015 Dani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this series! McCullough is such a good writer...her pacing, characterization, and style are all fantastic. I also enjoy reading about a period of ancient Rome that I am not as familiar with. I did enjoy "The First Man in Rome" slightly more than this one; I think because there was more of a "rise to glory" theme in the first book as opposed to this one's "fall from grace." Still so fantastic though.
Rebecca Huston
The follow up to The First Man in Rome, and the rivalry begins between Gaius Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla. And in the city of Rome, a little boy is starting to grow up. Wonderful read, but you should read TFMiR first, to get the basics down. One of my favourite novels, and a desert island keeper.

For the complete review, please go here:
Ahmad Sharabiani
Apr 16, 2015 Ahmad Sharabiani marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia
The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome #2), Colleen McCullough
4.5 stars.

The Grass Crown is the second book in the Masters of Rome series and is honesty even better than the first one. Its main characters are again Gaius Maius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla.

This is rapidly becoming one of my favourite series. McCullough's knowledge of the historical period is just mesmerizing. The setting, the traditions, the characters - everything truly comes to life in her novels. It is obvious she did extensive research and perfectly knows what she's writing about, but th
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Dec 07, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Historical Fiction
This is the second book in the Masters of Rome series begun in The First Man in Rome. That first man was unmistakenly Gaius Marius, a flawed but still admirable figure who married Julia, an aunt of Julius Caesar, making him a brother-in-law to Lucius Cornelius Sulla. A secondary character in the first book, he's on the rise in this one, as Marius is in decline.

It makes for a sad book, seeing that decline of a character I grew fond of in the first book. Sulla, as in the first book, is shown as bo
Jan 15, 2010 Phil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this second book in the Masters Of Rome series the characters that were introduced in 'First Man In Rome' continue to move the narrative forward. The aging Gaius Marius declines and his legate Sulla, an impoverished patrician who gained money and power through marriage and murder rises to prominence as the Italian states revolt in what is called the Social War. Mithradates of Pontus schemes against Rome in the eastern Mediterranean. The conflict between the aristocrats and the equestrians int ...more
Colleen Martin
Nov 07, 2012 Colleen Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Final update 11/6/12: It only took a year and two months but I FINALLY finished this behemoth. The delay wasn't because it wasn't good - quite the contrary, it's an incredibly entertaining history lesson disguised as a novel - but because I had so much going on personally that I just didn't have time to sit and immerse myself in this world. Even if I'd had the time, it wouldn't have been a quick or easy read. It's an old-school historical fiction epic, written in archaic, old-fashioned language, ...more
Andrew Flynn
Aug 10, 2008 Andrew Flynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in historical Rome
Recommended to Andrew by: My father
The Grass Crown,book 2 in the Masters of Rome Series by Colleen McCullough tells the story of the Rome through the eyes of the major historical figures of the period.

Running from the end of the German invasion through the Italian War, Colleen McCollough masterfully blends the historical facts with a blending of fiction to give her readers a amazing journey that not only tells about the major events of the period but also blends in a picture of everyday life in late republic Rome.

Additionally, th
Jan 26, 2014 Brandon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Grass Crown by Colleen McCullough is a monster of a book. Coming it at just under 1000 pages of reading, it is quite an undertaking. The undertaking is well worth the effort.

The Grass Crown takes to us those days of internal strife during the Late Roman Republic. Here we get to read about the great historical figures of Gaius Marius, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Young Julius Caesar, Young Pompey, Young Cicero, and many others. Collen McCullough does a superb job of writing historical Rome that it
Vicki Cline
Apr 09, 2011 Vicki Cline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman-fiction
This is the second in the Masters of Rome series, covering the period from 99 BC to 86 BC. In the main, it's the story of the rise of Sulla and the eventual fall of Marius. Some truly awful things happened in this period - the Social War between Rome and the Italians, Mithridates' having all Romans and Italians living in Asia Minor killed on the same day, Sulla's legions marching on Rome, and Marius running amok once he regains power. McCullough lays it all out in exquisite detail, letting us ge ...more
May 09, 2015 Arun rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The Grass crown is the second installment of Master of Rome and starts of from where first man in rome ended.In Grass crown the plotlines are mainly focused on three people Gaius Marius,Lucius Cornelius Sulla and Marcus Livius Drusus

We see that rome is facing war with their mutinous itallin allies and the might of the east in the form of Mithridates and Tigranes.We see two sides of the social war with the italians.In one side we see how Marcus Livius Drusus tried very hard to get the italians th
May 17, 2014 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
This book was long and covered a lot of territory, literally. It was like enrolling in a geography class, a history course (on ancient Rome), and mostly a rhapsody about politics and economics that caused friction in the Republic (not yet an Empire). Sulla is an outstanding character, albeit of an individually flawed character, because he always puts Rome's best interests in heart, which makes him heroic and obsessional. Gaius, his senior and mentor, has passed his prime and displays moral weakn ...more
Carrie Slager
Feb 10, 2014 Carrie Slager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-bought
It goes without saying that we get to see things from the POVs of our old favourite characters Marius and Sulla but I for one welcomed the introduction of other characters. Livia Drusa was a fantastic female character and her situation really gave me more insight into the plight of aristocratic women in Rome. And of course who can forget the precocious young Gaius Julius Caesar, who is feared by Marius because of old Martha’s prophecy that he would surpass his uncle? As with how it actually happ ...more
C. Rufinus
Apr 11, 2016 C. Rufinus rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It pains me to say that this is better than the original, but such is the case. I would not have expected it to be true until I reached maybe around page 100 and saw the potential which this book bore. I was mildly disappointed with the ending, but I have no doubts that the next book shall resurrect the feelings of the first 800 pages.
Unlike most historical fiction - where the fiction comes first, and the history simply sets the scene - Colleen McCullough's historical fiction is primary history
Ryan Groesbeck
Aug 27, 2015 Ryan Groesbeck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this might be a better book than First Man in Rome, but it's hard to say. As other reviewers have mentioned, the absence of Rutilius Rufus' letters is a sad omission; on the other hand, there's a lot more dynamic conflict in this one -- Marius v Sulla, rather than Marius v. a bunch of (mostly nameless) antagonists we don't really care about.

Each of these men have strengths and weaknesses, and McCullough depicts them fantastically -- well-drawn, with complex depths that can sometimes tur
Peter Orvetti
Sep 28, 2015 Peter Orvetti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book in my favorite series of all time, McCullough's "Masters of Rome" series. I read the series as I was first becoming a Romanophile some 15 years ago, and I've reread several of the volumes several times each. As with "The First Man in Rome," McCullough's achievement is remarkable -- a work of scholarship worthy of a doctoral candidate, well-researched and well-documented, all carved into a compelling page-turner.

Here we see Gaius Marius, the hero of the first book, descend
The Grass Crown was not nearly as good as The First Man in Rome. I had a really hard time liking the two major characters that I enjoyed in the last book. Both Sulla and Marius are so concerned for their own advancement but thinking that they are doing everything for Rome. It was hard to get into the rest of the book without liking them.
The first half of the book (meaning 500+ pages) was extremely boring for me, too much talking and politics to set up the rest of the book. I would have rather
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Goodreads Librari...: Additional info 2 12 Apr 11, 2014 09:30AM  
  • A Murder on the Appian Way (Roma Sub Rosa, #5)
  • Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina (Claudius, #2)
  • See Delphi and Die (Marcus Didius Falco, #17)
  • Funeral Games (Alexander the Great, #3)
  • Fire in the East (Warrior of Rome, #1)
  • Julian
  • Defender of Rome (Gaius Valerius Verrens, #2)
Colleen Margaretta McCullough AO (married name Robinson, previously Ion-Robinson; 1 June 1937 – 29 January 2015) was an Australian author known for her novels, her most well-known being The Thorn Birds.

Source: Wikipedia.
More about Colleen McCullough...

Other Books in the Series

Masters of Rome (7 books)
  • The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1)
  • Fortune's Favorites (Masters of Rome, #3)
  • Caesar's Women (Masters of Rome, #4)
  • Caesar (Masters of Rome, #5)
  • The October Horse: A Novel of Caesar and Cleopatra (Masters of Rome, #6)
  • Antony and Cleopatra (Masters of Rome, #7)

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“His sudden and utterly overwhelming panic was over almost before it began; but not quickly enough. In the midst of his brief yet total terror, the King of Pontus shat himself. It went everywhere, solid faeces mixed with what seemed an incredible amount of more liquid bowel contents, a stinking brown mess all over the gold-encrusted purple cloth of his cushion, trickling down the legs of his throne, running down his own legs into the manes of the golden lions upon the flaps of his boots, pooling and plopping on the deck around his feet when he jumped up. And there was nowhere to go! He could not conceal it from the amazed eyes of his attendants and officers, he could not conceal it from the sailors below amidships who had looked up instinctively to make sure their King was safe.” 2 likes
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