umberto's Reviews > The Fall of the Roman Republic: Six Lives

The Fall of the Roman Republic by Plutarch
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's review
Feb 21, 12

bookshelves: ancient-history
Read from May 28, 2009 to February 19, 2012

I think these six Roman Lives can be regarded as the best ancient biographies I've ever read since Plutarch, as a second to none biographer, wrote the Lives vividly, lively and professionally. In other words, few could surpass him. In fact I started with his Caesar first because I would like to know more about his life and deeds militarily and politically, and his version doesn't disappoint me. For instance,

"The reported size of the island (i.e. Britain) had appeared incredible and it had become a great matter of controversy among writers and scholars, many of whom asserted that the place did not exist at all and that both its name and the reports about it were pure inventions. So, in his attempts to occupy it, Caersar was carrying the Roman empire beyond the limits of the known world. He twice crossed to the island from the coast of Gaul opposite and fought a number of battles in which he did more harm to the enemy than good to his own men; ... With the final result of the war he was not wholly satisfied; nevertheless, before he sailed away from the isalnd, he had taken hostages from the king and had imposed a tribute." (p. 278)

And I kept wondering why not Caesar the Great, since what Caesar did and achieved was great. One of the obstacles concerned, I think, was politics.

Moreover, I enjoyed reading Pompey in more detail, that is, from my previous obscure knowledge from reading on his life and his name added by 'the Great' surprised me till I wondered if he was a king. His readers would know more information related to such a query. I read about him and knew he was murdered somewhere in Africa while on the run, it was definitely sad to read how he confronted his fate.

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07/31/2009 page 306
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