Phil's Reviews > The Grass Crown

The Grass Crown by Colleen McCullough
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Jan 15, 10


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 intensifies and Sulla and Marius, former allies, find themselves on opposite sides. The young Julius Caesar, nephew to both, appears in the narrative. Sulla tries to check the chaos by entering the City with his army but then leaves for the East to fight a war with Mithradates. The now old and mad Marius seizes Rome with an army of slaves and creates a bloodbath in the streets. Because of a prophecy that Young Caesar will be the greatest Roman Marius takes steps to ensure that Caesar can never become a politician or a soldier by forcing him into a lifetime priesthood. Again the rich panoply of McCollough's characters bring a complex and distant sector of history to life.
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