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The October Horse (Masters of Rome #6)
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ROMAN EMPIRE -THE HISTORY... > 4. OCTOBER HORSE... March 18 ~ March 24 ~ ~ pp. 183-246; No Spoilers Please

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message 1: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3833 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the fourth week's discussion of October Horse by Colleen McCullough. The threads are always open so folks can participate at any time as we move along and/or as you get caught up. Even though this book is part of the Masters of Rome series, it can easily stand alone. You do not have to have read any of the other books to read this one.

The fourth week's reading assignment is:

Week 4 – March 18-24: pp. 183-246

We will open 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 spotlighted books.

This book was kicked off February 25. We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders 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.

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 nonfiction 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...

The October Horse (Masters of Rome 6) by Colleen McCullough Colleen McCullough Colleen McCullough


message 2: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (last edited Mar 18, 2013 01:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3833 comments Mod
Section Overview and Summary


III. Putting Things Right in Asia Minor: from June until September of 47 B.C.: 183 – 220


Even though Cassius had been treated coldly by the boni after he successfully governed Syria following Crassus’ defeat and death at Carrhae, he took the Pompeian side in the civil war because he was jealous of Caesar. After Pharsalus, Cassius hears that Brutus, his brother-in-law, has been pardoned and joins him at Tarsus. He helps Brutus train a legion for Mithridates of Pergamum, who is heading south to join Caesar in Egypt.

When the war in Egypt is over, Caesar heads north to deal with Pharnaces, the king of Pontus. When he gets to Tarsus, he praises Brutus and Cassius for the state of the legion they’ve raised and accepts Cassius without explicitly pardoning him. Cassius is annoyed by Caesar’s self-confidence and tells Brutus he’d like to kill him, since that’s what tyrants deserve.

Caesar deals with some of the petty kings in the region, accepting tribute from them. He amassed quite a fortune with which to pay back the Treasury. Caesar deals with Pharnaces easily, coining the phrase “Veni, vidi, vici” – “I came, I saw, I conquered.” He sets sail for Rome, taking Brutus and Cassius with him.

IV. The Master of the Horse: from the end of September to the end of December of 47 B.C.: 221 – 246 (through section 1)

When Caesar gets to Italy, he meets Cicero on the read and begs him to come back to the Senate; Cicero refuses. Caesar meets with his cousin Lucius Caesar and finds out that Antony is making a mess of things, whoring and drinking and putting down Dolabella’s gang in Rome with his legion. Also he’s moved into Pompey’s former villa. Dolabella, as a Tribune of the Plebs, was trying to get a general cancellation of debt passed, but two of Caesar’s Tribunes kept vetoing the measure. When Caesar gets back to Rome, he chews out Dolabella and declares his adoption into a plebeian family illegal, hence he’s no longer a Tribune. Next Caesar takes on Antony, who’s been living it up and parading around in gold armor. He tells him to move out of Pompey’s villa, to return the silver he took from the Treasury and to sort out whether the legions have been correctly paid. Caesar’s worried that the legions may no longer be loyal to him, but waits to see what develops there.


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

G Hodges (glh1) | 901 comments I really didn't like Putting things Right... It felt rushed. The introduction to the Romans in Syria was abrupt. The interactions with Cassius felt incomplete, especially when you know what happens later and yet the middle sections, through the trip to Iconium were too long. There was no 'stride' for me. It was choppy and unfulfilling.


Tomi | 161 comments I have had trouble throughout the book with keeping everyone straight! Everybody is a Brutus or a Decius or some such!


message 5: by G (new) - rated it 3 stars

G Hodges (glh1) | 901 comments I know the feeling. It happened to me when I first read a book in this series. You should read the authors afterward which helps a little, and use Wikipedia which helped me a lot. But the best resource is the glossary for this thread, which is moderately searchable (a goodreads issue). If you don't get caught up in the names, the story begins to flow and it is a very interesting tale of ego, politics and love.


message 6: by Tomerobber (new) - added it

Tomerobber | 334 comments I'm a little more comfortable with the people involved . . . but I'm with all of you about keeping everyone straight. I have my iPad on a stand and my iPad mini underneath it . . . so I can refer back without distraction. The highlighting and defining features help but in the eBook if the publisher has formatted it making use of these features it makes it a lot easier.


message 7: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (last edited Mar 19, 2013 06:41PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3833 comments Mod
Roman names can be confusing. Different families tend to prefer particular first names - Gaius and Lucius for the Julius Caesars, Marcus for the Brutuses. Plus it's hard to start in the middle of the story, so to speak. The first book in the series, The First Man in Rome, had an excellent appendix about the different part of Roman names.

The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1) by Colleen McCullough Colleen McCullough Colleen McCullough


message 8: by G (last edited Mar 21, 2013 06:26PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

G Hodges (glh1) | 901 comments I found this section of Master of the Horse interesting because it is showing me that Mark Antony in a somewhat different light than my prior knowledge. I didn't think of him as intemperate and hedonistic. But this is how he is portrayed by McCullough. I thought he supported Caesar; I did not think he wanted to displace Caesar and become Dictator himself.


message 9: by Tomerobber (new) - added it

Tomerobber | 334 comments Vicki,
I keep reading and frequently find a reference to OUR SEA . . . is this an actual sea? I'm trying to look at the various maps I have and can't figure out just where it is . . .


message 10: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3833 comments Mod
Tomerobber wrote: "Vicki,
I keep reading and frequently find a reference to OUR SEA . . . is this an actual sea? I'm trying to look at the various maps I have and can't figure out just where it is . . ."


That's just what the Romans called the Mediterranian. Guess they thought they owned it.


message 11: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3833 comments Mod
G wrote: "I found this section of Master of the Horse interesting because it is showing me that Mark Antony in a somewhat different light than my prior knowledge. I didn't think of him as intemperate and he..."

Yes, Mark Antony is another one that she doesn't seem to like much. He's been portrayed in a bad light in previous books too. I don't remember which ones you've read.


Cheryl (cheryl319) | 372 comments It seems like Cassius wants to hate Caesar so badly, but Caesar doesn't give him a chance to with his 'pardon that doesn't use the word pardon' charm. He's also clever with Brutus and his clients, playing cat and mouse with him. My favorite line, though, is when he says of his upbringing that his mother was "strong enough to resist me without crushing me." I miss Aurelia.


message 13: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3833 comments Mod
Aurelia was such a great character. As with most of Caesar's enemies, Cassius doesn't come off well, but at least she hasn't made him pimply, like Brutus.


Cheryl (cheryl319) | 372 comments (Smirk) - Agreed. I also like that Cassius has some passion and intensity, and can take the place in Rome of Caesar's other enemies who are in Africa. Cato's the only other one left with any real intensity. I almost feel sorry for Caesar - he has his admirers, but it seems like he doesn't have any real friends left. It seems like having opponents is more important to him than having friends, though.


message 15: by Vicki, Assisting Moderator - Ancient Roman History (new) - rated it 4 stars

Vicki Cline | 3833 comments Mod
I think he even says that somewhere, that he needs opposition, but reasoned opposition, not just blind obstructionism.


Cheryl (cheryl319) | 372 comments Yes - I think he says it several times in a few different ways.


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