Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Under The Eagle (Eagle, #1)” as Want to Read:
Under The Eagle (Eagle, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Under The Eagle (Eagle #1)

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  7,696 Ratings  ·  318 Reviews
In this first book of a new historical fiction series, a crack Roman legion invades Britain in this brazen tale of military adventure, political intrigue and heroism

It is the year 42 AD, and Centurion Macro, battle-scarred and fearless, is in the heart of Germany with the Second Legion, the toughest in the Roman army. Cato, a new recruit and the newly appointed second-in-c
ebook, 256 pages
Published December 6th 2002 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published 2000)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Under The Eagle, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Mike In the last book I read, Brothers In Blood, he is in his final year of his 25 year enlistment. Elsewhere he mentions having lied in order to join the…moreIn the last book I read, Brothers In Blood, he is in his final year of his 25 year enlistment. Elsewhere he mentions having lied in order to join the Legion at an early age. I believe he says was 14 when he joined. So, in the first book, he must be around 30 and in the last about 40.

I'm not going to tell you if he re-enlists or not. You'll have to find that out for yourself. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 07, 2014 Stuart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Simon Scarrow's Pulp Fiction-esque Roman adventure is a win for me and nil for the bores"

Simon Scarrow use to be on the Goodreads author, but apparently after some embarrassing comments by a well known member he removed his account. After confirming this with the author, it rather made me think, really some people need to step back from the keyboard! An opinion is one thing, stupid is something else.

The year is 42AD - what a boring opening! Never start off with dates, it'll kill interest fast
Zenny the Bear-face
Aug 03, 2012 Zenny the Bear-face rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody.
I bought the first three parts of Scarrow's series on my trip to Scotland, excited to finally stock up my book shelves, and I cannot tell you how disappointed and infuriated I am with the books. Not worth any amount of money, even the six pounds I spent on them in a second-hand bookshop.

After a hundred and fifty pages of the first book, I gave up. I usually try to give a book a chance, but if Under The Eagle gets better at a latter point, I'll never find out. My brain hurt every time a Roman off
Jul 21, 2013 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A very good start to the series. I enjoyed the style of writing which made it a quick and enjoyable overall. The two main characters were both interesting and I can see them growing more and more as the series continues and the friendship growing with each battle they enter into.

The plot isn't groundbreaking but allows for some great action such as the siege in the German village which was excellently done and allowed Cato to really shine and show his potential, especially with his bravery.
Nutty NUUT read

I've skipped the prologue, which may be read after; who knows!

Opening: THE RHINE FRONTIER in the second year of the reign of Emperor Claudius: Late 42 AD.

An icy blast of wind swept into the latrine with the sentry.
"Wagons approaching, Sir!"
"Shut the bloody door! Anything else?"
"Small column of men."
"Hardly." The sentry grimaced. "Unless there's been some change in marching drill."

Marco - Centurion
Cato - Optio
Vitellius - Tribune
All under Vespasian the Legate

I sleep unde
Reading Simon Scarrow's initial volume of his Eagles series, Under the Eagle brought back happy memories of sitting in Ancient Civilizations university seminars and Latin tutorials. I loved studying all aspects of Roman life, society, politics, and history. If you are looking for an bird's eye view into the daily life of an ordinary Roman legionary during battle, on the march, or settling into camp, this book is for you. Additionally, this book will introduce you to the common theme of life and ...more
Nov 03, 2013 Nate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: antiquity
Goodreads just fucking ate my first copy of this review, which means this is gonna be a short one (I can just hear the masses crying "NO!") It was a short one anyways, as I usually don't have enough steam to bitch about books I didn't like for more than a couple paragraphs. I really had good expectations for this one, I wanted something shorter and more fast-paced than the usual tomes I've been reading lately and this seemed like a good one, even bearing a Cornwell endorsement on the cover...tho ...more
Jun 10, 2010 Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, war, ancient, roman
This is a compelling first novel in what has turned into a long-running series. Scarrow's aim is to deliver Sharpe-style military thrills and spills in the Roman era, and his books focused around a central pairing of interesting characters: the weedy and scholarly Cato, young and inexperienced, and the battle-scarred and squat Macro, an experienced soldier. I immediately liked Macro and he soon became my favourite character, a simple soldier just trying to do his job.

The novel is set in AD43 and
Sep 01, 2010 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book about 5 nights ago, and finished it last night. Wow, what a relief to get back to a really gripping book once again. Especially so after the disappointment that was 'The Taggerung' *smiling*. Jeez.

It's the 1st of the Eagle series, and although I've read others in this series, it's actually just as interesting (if not more-so) to go back and read how Macro first met Cato. There's still that gripping writing, storyline, and character depth to create intrigue, and slight humour.
Jul 21, 2011 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hist-fic
I thought this historical fiction novel was a great. Set during the first century A.D. In the Roman empire, the writing was strong and the characters were terrific. Certainly going to look for the sequel.
Mar 15, 2016 Kati rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tbr-2016
4,5/5 Stars!
Milo (BOK)
Oct 27, 2011 Milo (BOK) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original Post:

“A gritty, realistic, page-turning experience that will lead the reader wanting more.” ~The Founding Fields

This is the first historical fiction book that I’ve read in a long time (excluding Bernard Cromwell’s Sharpe series), and I really enjoyed it, and if I’m being honest it’s not really the first time that I attempted to read it, as I picked it up and begun reading it a few months ago, only to put aside for some new releases that had come
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
It is the year 42 AD, and Centurion Macro, battle-scarred and fearless, is in the heart of Germany with the Second Legion, the toughest in the Roman army. Cato, a new recruit and the newly appointed second-in-command to Macro, will have more to prove than most. In a bloody skirmish with local tribes, Cato gets his first chance to prove that he’s more than a callow, privileged youth. As their next campaign takes them to a land of unparalleled barbarity – Britain – a special mission unfolds, thrus ...more
Jay Moon
Feb 20, 2012 Jay Moon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

In 42 AD Rome, Cato a former imperial slave joins the Second Legion. The toughest out of all of Rome. Not yet proven to be a real man, Cato struggles to adapt to the army life. Not so long later Cato proves himself to be a hero after saving his centurion, Marco in the savage battle against the Germans. Cato and Marco take on a secret mission to stop the rebellion of the Army. They prove themselves to be worthy soldiers of the Second Legion. The second legion joins the
Anna Kļaviņa
At first I couldn’t decide to give two or three stars.
Maybe because of the praises others reviewers had given to this book I was disappointed to discover that it was average story. The characters are not remarkable, the plot is simple, little or almost no suspense, (I guessed who is spy and who traitor easy and early), Cato and Lavinia scenes reminded me of a big lipped alligator moment, it was quite pointless as if author thought he must involve some sort of romance.

It was historical bits and
May 18, 2012 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First in what promises to be a very good series -- Roman legion under Emperor Claudius, first in Germany then Britain. I liked the interplay between the two protagonists; they complemented each other and the color the author added. Very gripping battle scenes. My only quibble was the anachronistic language as a whole -- along with the usual Anglo-Saxon expletives and a love story which seemed to be just put in as an afterthought. I wonder if the author's descriptions of Cato's days as a raw recr ...more
Jan 15, 2014 Isis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am boggled at the hugely positive reviews of this "historical" fiction, and I don't put "historical" in quotes lightly. This is basically a Bat Durston story, to borrow a term from 50s and 60s SF - a genre story (typically a Western) which has been "re-genre-fied" with the trappings of SF. In this case, a "mean streets of [city]" novel has been tarted up with vaguely Roman names and plunked down into Roman-era Britain. Simon, honey, you ain't no Rosemary Sutcliff.
Rui Gel
Mar 28, 2016 Rui Gel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bom equilíbrio entre a ação e a construção. Mantém a adrenalina a circular. Num contexto histórico emocionante. Vê-se que o autor sabe do que fala. Uma história cativante que, além de nos entreter, nos ensina a conhecer como seria a vida na época. Brilhante.
Jun 03, 2013 Steph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first in Scarrow’s Eagle series and I am a little anal about always insisting on starting at the beginning of a series rather than jumping in half way through even if, as in the case of Scarrow, he has already written some 11 novels as part of said series. However, I was really excited about discovering this. I studied A Level Latin and some ancient history at University. I am intrigued by all things Roman and Spartan in particular and having absolutely adored Madeline Miller’s ‘The ...more
Jason Golomb
Jan 27, 2010 Jason Golomb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancient-rome
Simon Scarrow's "Under the Eagle" is the first in a terrific series of novels on the Roman Military. The series follows two soldiers - Macro and Cato - fighting under Vespasian in the mid-first Century AD.

"Under the Eagle's" action is terrific and Scarrow has done a very good job of making each battle sequence unique. It's perhaps the best in Scarrow's series, but I've found the second, "The Eagle's Conquest", equally as enjoyable.

The core components of the story consist of the introduction of t
Nicky Gardiner
Aug 08, 2016 Nicky Gardiner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this as a fan of all things Roman. After purchase, which was at a bargain price from the Works for £1.99, I looked up the reviews on Goodreads. I noticed on here many people moaning about the language used. By this I do not mean the F's and C's, of which there are a few, but the terms, such as lad etc and modern day vocabulary. Reading others negative reviews my heart sank and the book dropped down my list of priorities to read. It languished on the back of my bookshelf for sometime. It ...more
I really enjoyed parts of this novel. Other parts kinda bored me. Here we have a young 17 year old man that joins the Roman army right before an invasion of England. Because of his past (that we do not know about) he is placed second in command under his commander Marco.

My main complaint about the book is that is seems to just go from no relationship between Marco and Cato and then to much more. For me that would have been the best part of the book. Seeing that relationship grow. Watching Cato h
Alex Stockdale
Jan 12, 2016 Alex Stockdale rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read the Macro and Cato books after reading the Falco novels, by Lindsey Davis. I guess I have an affinity for Roman historical fiction. Although Macro and Cato don't solve mysteries (at least not in the same sense as Falco), both series provide an interesting view of life in Imperial Rome. The Cato and Macro books are set during the reign of Claudius, which gives Mr. Scarrow an opportunity to place his fiction in the context of a lot of interesting history.

Having now read several
Inês Beato
Cato, um jovem estudioso habituado à vida no palácio em Roma vê-se, de repente, alistado na Segunda Legião, a melhor do exército Romano.
Com os conhecimentos que possui em Roma, Cato é imediatamente elevado a optio do Centurião Macro, um cargo normalmente entregue a soldados mais velhos, com larga experiência no exército. Isso vai causar-lhe problemas no relacionamento com os restantes legionários, fazendo com que Cato tenha de fazer tudo por provar o seu verdadeiro valor.
As personagens não são m
Aug 22, 2011 Gem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Gem by: Customers
Shelves: favourite
After reading historic Roman fiction by Harry Sidebottom and being completely entranced by it, I figured that the next step would be one of our bestselling authors - Scarrow's books have always had brilliant reviews by our customers and I wanted to try for myself.

I loved it!

Macro and Cato are awesome characters - I especially love the brutality of Macro's wit and the way that we can watch Cato grow within the army before our very eyes. I found myself submerged right into the midsts of the Roman
Feb 02, 2014 Anjanet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-fun
This was a great book. If I was a dude, I would probably have given it a 4. I also listened to this on audible, and I was tempted to give it a 4 because the narrator was so great. But in the end I gave it a three for a few reasons. There was some language and terminology that didn't seem to fit in with the story. Also, with a lot of novels about roman armies, authors get wrapped up about the facts they have learned and put them in when they don't further the story. This did the same thing.

This w
Jun 23, 2012 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

The one complaint that I saw when looking at other reviews that I can see bothering some people is that the language is sprinkled with English idioms; for some reason, this flaw didn't bother me though (maybe I've watched so many historical/period movies/TV Shows that I am used to any production of this genre having a cast with English accents if they can't reproduce authentic ones), especially as the obvious ones
Feb 24, 2015 Chuck rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In places, particularly the battle scenes, the book was interesting. To me the biggest flaw in the book was the dialogue. Much of it sounded like modern-day teenagers. Some of it was so bad it was like fingernails on a chalkboard. The dialogue was just too inauthentic. Mr. Scarrow did do well at weaving an interesting plot line so the reader isn't sure until the end which character is the antagonist.
Jul 28, 2013 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scarrow's reverence for the Roman army prevails above all else in this somewhat formulaic fictionalizion of the second Roman invasion of mother England.

Whilst the plot moves at a steady pace and the contrasts between soldiers and the more politically inclined romans are well drawn, the characters lack curves and remain for the entirety of the story missing meat from their bones.
Sara Willard
May 01, 2008 Sara Willard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first in the Eagles series, in "Under the Eagle" you meet Cato the 18 year old boy who has just joined the Roman Legions as a brand new Optio and Macro, his Centurion. Scarrow's characterisations are brilliant and you are dragged into the story from page one. Plenty of thrusting of swords, wielding of axes and stabbing of guts! Very hard to put down.
Feb 15, 2013 Tymyvymy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
úžasný historický román :-) dlouho jsem takový nečetl, zvlášť co se římské minulosti týká, ale tahle série vypadá opravdu úžasně
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Fire in the East (Warrior of Rome, #1)
  • Wounds of Honour (Empire, #1)
  • Ship of Rome (Masters of the Sea, #1)
  • The Forgotten Legion (Forgotten Legion Chronicles, #1)
  • Tribune of Rome (Vespasian, #1)
  • Hero of Rome (Gaius Valerius Verrens, #1)
  • Eagle in the Snow
  • Rome: The Emperor's Spy (Rome, #1)
  • Tyrant (Tyrant, #1)
  • Dawn Of Empire (Eskkar Saga, #1)
  • Odinn's Child (Viking, #1)
  • The Invasion of Gaul (Marius' Mules, #1)
Simon Scarrow is a UK-based author, born in Nigeria, and now living in Norfolk. He completed a master's degree at the University of East Anglia, and, after working at the Inland Revenue, went into teaching as a lecturer at City College, Norwich.

He is best known for his "Eagle" series. This is Roman empire military fiction, starting with the second invasion of Britain, and continuing with subsequen
More about Simon Scarrow...

Other Books in the Series

Eagle (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • The Eagle's Conquest (Eagle, #2)
  • When the Eagle Hunts (Eagle, #3)
  • The Eagle and the Wolves (Eagle, #4)
  • The Eagle's Prey (Eagle, #5)
  • The Eagle's Prophecy (Eagle, #6)
  • The Eagle in the Sand (Eagle, #7)
  • Centurion (Eagle, #8)
  • The Gladiator (Eagle, #9)
  • The Legion (Eagle, #10)
  • Praetorian (Eagle, #11)

Share This Book

“Agora, Cato preferira regressar às casernas depois da instrução. Era imprescindível fazer amigos quanto antes, pensou. Mas como? E quem? Os outros tinham constituído pequenos grupos durante a viagem desde Avêntico, enquanto ele passara o tempo a ler o maldito Virgílio, recordou com súbita fúria. Dava tudo para voltar a iniciar aquela viagem, sabendo o que sabia agora.” 0 likes
More quotes…