The Roman
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The Roman (The Manilianus Duology #2)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  406 ratings  ·  23 reviews
s/t: The Memoirs of Minutus Launsus Manilianus, Who Has Won the Insignia of a Triumph, Who Has the Rank of Consul, Who Is Chairman
The Roman is a superb reconstruction of a time long ago, the Roman world in the time of the Emperors Claudius and Nero. It is the story of Minutus, of noble birth, he serves the government and travels widely through the Empire, from his home in...more
Hardcover, 572 pages
Published June 1st 1994 by Buccaneer Books (first published 1964)
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Forget Dan Brown, Mika Waltari is the best historical novel writer ever. One feels as if reading memoirs of a contemporary writer, regardless if the novel is situated in ancient Israel, Egypt, Roma or elswhere. Logical sequence, appropriate portion of facts, well built plot and wonderfully depicted characters. Another common trait of all these books is a message of humanity, love, down to earth way of thinking and maybe a bit of a resignation about a vanity of a human life blended with desire to...more
Takuuvarmaa historiallista Waltaria. Luin tämän Valtakunnan salaisuuden perään, joka oli mitaltaan ja tyyliltään vähän erilainen. Tässä oli kuitenkin taas tuttuja elementtejä: valtataisteluja ja oikukkaita naisia. Ei ihan täysin imaissut mukaansa ja varsinkin loppupuolella tuntui vähän lopahtavan. Lopun rakenteellinen hajoaminen ja tyylillinen muutos on varmasti perusteltu, mutta silti jäin kaipaamaan jonkinlaista huipennusta.

Mutta onhan nämä huimia teoksia. Yhteen kirjaan mahtuu niin paljon kai...more
Excellent historical novel -- the fictional memoir of a Roman patrician, written for his son. It spans many decades: from Emperor Claudius's reign until Domitian.
The hero fights with the II Legion in Brittania. His loves, his stint as beastmaster for the arena, government positions and postings to far-flung corners of the Roman Empire are all detailed, against the backdrop of Roman political upheaval. Always, the theme of Christianity, that small, proscribed sect, runs through the story, and inf...more
The story of Minutus Launsus Manilianus, a Roman living during the time of Emperors Claudius and Nero. He can't seem to decide what career he should pursue (he's bad at all of them). He does everything and anything he can to look out for his own interests. Seeking to be ever at the center of power and fame, he sucks up to Emperor Nero (who considers him a fool). Invited to view the killing of criminals in the arena, he is shocked to see his own son in the throng but does nothing to save him even...more
Sur les pas du jeune (puis moins jeune) Minutus, le lecteur découvre Claude, Vespasien, Agrippine, les apôtres Paul, Pierre et Luc, Pétrone, Messaline, Simon le Magicien, Titus, Claudia, Octavia, Popée, Britannicus, Domitien, Flavius Josèphe et bien évidemment Néron, dont Mika Waltari nous raconte l'incroyable règne. Minutus, jeune homme dont le père est secrètement devenu chrétien, part en Bretagne. Puis, il revient à Rome où il devient l'ami du futur Néron, sous le règne de Claude.

Déçu par son...more
Timo Räisänen
A great historical summary from which I learned a lot about the horrible ages of the Roman Empire and maybe even about the world. Everyone is an asshole! Sadly, the storytelling wasn't what I had hoped for. The storyline was in my opinion kind of flat, without any real peaks or lows. As historical novels go, I much prefer Swedish author Guillou even though he has a tendency to exaggerate the perfection of his heroes. Better that though than the weak-willed Minutus of Waltari. Even though such a...more
Oh, another Waltari, another loved book! I sometimes wonder how I can really love his historical novels when they have such large tragical components, but they suck you in and you live along with the protagonist in his ups and downs through a complex life.

I don't want to say too much, but the book starts in the 30s AD and goes on a half century more. The scope moves from Antioch to Rome, to Asia Minor, to Britain -- from luxury to captivity, from love and happiness to cruelty and death. The evol...more
Mister Jones
Fascinating with its characters, layers of plots and setting in ancient Rome, The Roman was an engaging read. Historical figures such as Nero and Seneca, the brutality of the circus of animals and man, and the political machinations and intrigue among Minitus' family, friends, and lovers in ancient Rome made The Roman an engaging read and a page turner. Unfortunately, when I reached 3/4 into the novel, it became so bogged down in the ramblings of Minitus that I quickly lost interest. This is a c...more
Dec 05, 2008 Lelu rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: quit-reading
I've been working at this for a while. I liked it a lot at first but it's a long book (570 pages) that just meanders through this guys life. I'm 4/5th of the way through it but I don't think I'll finish it. I read the last couple of pages and he has a last minute conversion while in line to be eaten by lions. Then he gets eaten by the lions. Through a lot of the book he runs the zoo and plans the lion eating events and was Nero's buddy. I guess he fell out of favor or something.

If you want real...more
A great fictional look at Rome during Nero's youth, rise to power, and death. I was glad to see that Waltari's protagonist isn't as much of a hopeless Quixote here as in the Wanderer books. What was most interesting was that this time period is a couple decades after the death of Christ and you see the frusteration the Romans have with these "confused Jews" and the squabbling that went on between the early Christians. I was surprised at how flipant Romans were on assasination and adultery.
Victor Carson
Another great book by Mika Waltari, set in the era of Christ, St. Paul, St. Peter, Nero and many famous Roman emperors. A very lively narrative, with many interesting observations about the personality of Nero, the rise of Christianity, the conquered territory of England, and the flow of history leading up to the Roman circus. Nearly as great as another of Waltari's books, The Egyptian.
finally finished. It took me ages to read it. I only have a few words to say, Cut it, people! There was lots of unimportant stuff there. Same parts were interesting and some parts I couldn´t get through.
Maybe I wasn´t in awe about the book because I already read two books set in the same era, Quo Vadis and There´s no Roman people, and I liked them much more.
Sarah Rains
Dec 26, 2007 Sarah Rains rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy Roman History novels
This book was extremely hard to get into but once I did, I was glad I chose to read this book. Reading this book made me want to start writing memoirs of my own; Although mine aren't nearly as interesting as the narrator of this wonderful Roman tale.
i really enjoyed this book, much more than i thought i would and much more than my last waltari book. maybe it's because i felt a little more familiar with roman history than turkish history. at any rate, the story was compelling and i couldn't put it down.
this is the gold standard for bumbling anti-hero tale narrated in his own words; alternates between funny and wrenching and has been a perennial favorite of many including the famous plagiarism case and a few homages
Miika Helander
Elävöittävä kokemus, joka antaa persoonallista muhkeutta tuttuihin hahmoihin - tosin tekee Pietarista melko rasittavan jätkän.
Another masterpiece by Mika Waltari. Not as great as Mikael Hakim, but in its view into the Roman Empire almost unrivalled.
Erik Graff
Sep 08, 2008 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in fictional reconstructions of the early Roman empire
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
A fair historical novel, part of Finnish author Waltari's trilogy which also includes The Egyptian and The Etruscan.
5x5 Walls
Waltari takes history and stretches it a little in every direction to make quite an interesting tale.
Enjoyable book travelling throughout the Empire over quite a long period
This is probably one of the best books I have ever read.
James Hammitt
James Hammitt marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2014
Laïs marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2014
Nikolay Eliseev
Nikolay Eliseev marked it as to-read
Jul 10, 2014
Gabriel marked it as to-read
Jul 07, 2014
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Is this an accurate translation? 3 12 Nov 08, 2013 08:45PM  
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Mika Toimi Waltari was a Finnish historical novelist, best known for his magnum opus The Egyptian.
Waltari was born in Helsinki and lost his father, a Lutheran pastor, at the age of five. As a boy, he witnessed the Finnish Civil War in Helsinki. Later he enrolled in the University of Helsinki as a theology student, according to his mother's wishes, but soon abandoned theology in favour of philosoph...more
More about Mika Waltari...
The Egyptian Egipcjanin Sinuhe, tom 1 The Etruscan Egipcjanin Sinuhe, tom 2 The Dark Angel

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