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Caesar's Women (Masters of Rome, #4)
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ROMAN EMPIRE -THE HISTORY... > 13. CAESAR'S WOMEN... July 2 ~ July 8 ~ ~ Book as a Whole and Final Thoughts

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message 1: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vicki Cline | 2122 comments This is a thread to discuss the book as a whole and/or anybody's final thoughts about the book itself.

We have opened up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other books.

This book was officially kicked off on April 9th. We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell's and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, or on your Kindle. This weekly thread will be opened up either during the weekend before or on the first day of discussion.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Vicki Cline will be moderating this selection.

Welcome,

~Vicki

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS

Notes:


It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations:

If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however.

Here is the link to the thread titled Mechanics of the Board which will help you with the citations and how to do them.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

Here is the link:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author may have used in his research or in her notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations or other books either non fiction or historical fiction that relate to the subject matter of the book itself. No self promotion, please.

Here is the link:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/8...

Caesar's Women (Masters of Rome, #4) by Colleen McCullough by Colleen McCulloughColleen McCullough


message 2: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vicki Cline | 2122 comments I think this is my favorite book of the series, probably because it's centered in Rome and deals with politics and domestic affairs. Very little (if any) scenes of war, unlike the first three books.

On the other hand, there's also very little from the viewpoint of Caesar's women. It's more about how they are useful to him. This is in contrast to at least the first two books. In The First Man in Rome and The Grass Crown, we really got to know Caesar's aunts Julia (Marius' wife) and Julilla (Sulla's wife), Aurelia (Caesar's mother) and Livia Drusilla (Servilia and Cato's mother). I guess it's logical - the focus has to be on Caesar himself.

The portrayals of new female characters were quite good. Terentia and Fulvia are very interesting, as is the new stubborn little Vestal Cornelia Merula.


The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1) by Colleen McCullough by Colleen McCulloughColleen McCullough
The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome, #2) by Colleen McCullough by Colleen McCulloughColleen McCullough


message 3: by G (new) - rated it 4 stars

G Hodges (GLH1) | 907 comments Thanks for introducing me to this terrific book. After some initial struggles, I really enjoyed it.

I am also reading Enemies: A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner and early in the book he quotes Hamilton Fish, a Congressman, as saying of Franklin D. Roosevelt - Americans....were starved for a strong leader. They were ready for a president who would create "an American dictatorship based on the consent of the governed"

From Caesars Women, I really got the sense that as much as they disliked his arrogance, the people of Rome wanted a strong leader to take charge and with some outlier exceptions, it would be with the 'consent of the governed'. That leader was Gaius Julius Caesar and the women in his life saw that before any one else did.

Enemies A History of the FBI by Tim Weiner by Tim Weiner Tim Weiner


Cheryl (Cheryl319) | 372 comments Very well put, G. Despite his shows of arrogance in these last sections, Caesar is an excellent leader and he does have Rome's best interests at heart (good thing those interests match his own self-interests). I think a theme of this book is how the women in his life don't see him as a threat the way his political rivals do, and can therefore see and admire his leadership qualities.

So when's the next one!? :)


message 5: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vicki Cline | 2122 comments It struck me that Caesar doesn't have many male friends. Except maybe Crassus, Balbus, Gaius Matius and Lucius Decumius. Sometimes it seems like his closest confidant is his mother Aurelia.


message 6: by G (new) - rated it 4 stars

G Hodges (GLH1) | 907 comments I think so, too. I think because he was such a political animal, and women, because of their place in society then, held no threat to him, he valued their opinions, especially the seemingly unbiased ones from his mother and, in all truth, Servillia as well.


message 7: by G (new) - rated it 4 stars

G Hodges (GLH1) | 907 comments If you could recommend one book to read in preparation for the next book in the series, what would it be?


message 8: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vicki Cline | 2122 comments Probably any good biography of Caesar would do. The next book covers the Gallic wars and the civil war. These three are all excellent.

Caesar Politician and Statesman by Mattias Gelzer by Mattias Gelzer

Caesar Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy by Adrian GoldsworthyAdrian Goldsworthy

Caesar A Biography by Christian Meier by Christian Meier


Cheryl (Cheryl319) | 372 comments I have to say that I continue to be thoroughly impressed with McCullough's writing. Her research is so deep and so informed that the characterizations just spring to life. The conversations that she invents for her characters strike so true to what may have been said surrounding those historically documented events. I also love the wisdom she imbues her characters with, especially Aurelia. One example that stands out is when she tells Caesar she entered Julia's room without knocking, because a young person should learn to always behave as if someone were watching. I'm glad no major characters died during this book - I feel like I get to know some of these characters so well that I actually mourn their passing!


message 10: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vicki Cline | 2122 comments I agree totally, Cheryl. In addition to the great conversations, I really like the letters that various characters send to others to describe events that are happening elsewhere. The ones from Pompey were particularly entertaining.


message 11: by G (new) - rated it 4 stars

G Hodges (GLH1) | 907 comments What amazes me, as a 'late bloomer' to the book, was that McCullough actually caused me to want to know more about the time and the characters. My exposure to her was entirely Thorn Birds many years ago and perhaps that kept me from initially enjoying the book. But now, I want to know more. I also think her extensive documentation leant the entire story so much credibility that I could believe those words actually came from Servillia, Julia, et al. I could believe Cicero was a whiny little person (little in the emotional sense) even though he was clearly a talented orator and writer. I am looking forward to reading the next book. Thanks, Vicki for the recommendations of books to read. I will go with whichever my library has, and if they have all three, I am done for.


message 12: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vicki Cline | 2122 comments G, now that we have you hooked on McCullough's version of Roman history, you really should read the first 3 books in the series. The characters of Marius and Sulla are amazing, and you get to meet Aurelia as a young woman, and Servilia and Cato's mother Livia Drusilla. Not to forget Lucius Decumius, a fictional character but so interesting.

The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1) by Colleen McCullough The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome, #2) by Colleen McCullough Fortune's Favorites (Masters of Rome, #3) by Colleen McCullough by Colleen McCulloughColleen McCullough


message 13: by G (new) - rated it 4 stars

G Hodges (GLH1) | 907 comments I've already taken out The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough Colleen McCullough!


message 14: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vicki Cline | 2122 comments I'm sure you'll love it.


message 15: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (last edited Jul 21, 2012 02:29PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vicki Cline | 2122 comments G, your book citation in message #13 doesn't quite follow the required method here at the History Book Club. The standard is:
the book cover, the author's photo and the author's link.

So your post should look like this:
"I've already taken out The First Man in Rome.
The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1) by Colleen McCullough by Colleen McCulloughColleen McCullough"

This is discussed at greater length in the MECHANICS OF THE BOARD section at http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...

Why don't you give it a try?


message 16: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jul 21, 2012 04:21PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bentley | 30605 comments G wrote: "What amazes me, as a 'late bloomer' to the book, was that McCullough actually caused me to want to know more about the time and the characters. My exposure to her was entirely Thorn Birds many yea..."

Good job Vicki and the folks who stuck it out saw the value of the author's research.

Hi G, when mentioning other books aside from the one you are discussing on these threads, please make sure to add the citation:

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough by Colleen McCulloughColleen McCullough


message 17: by G (new) - rated it 4 stars

G Hodges (GLH1) | 907 comments Vicki wrote: "G, your book citation in message #13 doesn't quite follow the required method here at the History Book Club. The standard is:
the book cover, the author's photo and the author's link.

So your pos..."


My apologies, Vicki, and I no longer have an excuse as I have a new computer. So, I already have The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1) by Colleen McCullough by Colleen McCulloughColleen McCullough and I have just bought your recommendation Caesar Life of a Colossus by Adrian Goldsworthy by Adrian Goldsworthy Adrian Goldsworthy. I am looking forward to them both.


message 18: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vicki Cline | 2122 comments Congrats on the new computer, G. Good work on the citations. Note that just below the comment box is a link called "(preview)" which will show how your post will look. I use it all the time.

Also, discussions of the previous books in the series have been archived in the Roman Empire section, way down in the topics list. For instance, the very first discussion of the first book is here -
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/3...
You might find it interesting to see what others have said about the book.

The Roman Empire section has many other interesting topics and is here -
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/group_...


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Books mentioned in this topic

Caesar's Women (other topics)
The First Man in Rome (other topics)
The Grass Crown (other topics)
Enemies: A History of the FBI (other topics)
Caesar: Politician and Statesman (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Colleen McCullough (other topics)
Tim Weiner (other topics)
Mattias Gelzer (other topics)
Adrian Goldsworthy (other topics)
Christian Meier (other topics)
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