The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1) The First Man in Rome discussion


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Masters of Rome Series

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message 1: by Alison (new)

Alison Someone saw me reading Diana Gabaldon and said if I like her books, I would probably like these. Has anyone read them? If so, what did you think about them? What about in comparison to Gabaldon? Thanks in advance for sharing!


Emaly I just finished The First Man in Rome a few weeks ago. I was a really good historical epic. Some similarities I see between these 2 series are a)both writers are excellent, b)both books really transport you to another, very vivid world, c)both writers are capable of being cruel to their very likeable characters, d) you need a wheelbarrow to carry around either book in hardcover. However, the themes in the these books are very different. The main thing I remember about Outlander is how strong my feelings for Jamie became, so for me, this book centered around love. The First Man in Rome really centered around power struggles and polictical intrigue.

Overall, I like the Outlander series better than The First Man in Rome (I've only read the first one); but, if you want a book you can get lost in, The First Man in Rome will do the job. Really, there is only 1 Jamie, right?


message 3: by Alison (new)

Alison Thanks so much! And yes, there is only ONE Jamie!!!


Alena I've read this entire series (by Colleen McCullough)and the books get better and better. There's a lot of military stuff and if you're not into that you kinda have to hang in. But I think you will enjoy them as you go. I've also read Diana Gabaldon series and of course Jamie rocks but these series are two completely different things.


message 5: by Zoe (last edited Jul 28, 2011 10:47PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Zoe Saadia The first five books in these series I've enjoyed immensely! This saga is so well-written, so informative, so encompassing; the Republican Rome is brought to live so forcefully, it seems as if happening right around the corner of our times.
The sixth book is not up to the previous standard, in my opinion. The seventh one I haven't read yet :)


Chris Northern I'm tempted to believe CM has a time machine and personally interviewed the people before writing. I know she gained an honorary degree for the research. Great characters. Great book(s). Can't compare to Diana Gabaldon - haven't read any yet - but absolutely recommend TFMIR.


IUHoosier I attempted to read Gabaldon and couldn't get into it - I've meant to go back and try again, but just haven't found the time or the desire. On the other hand, I adore the McCullough series. It transports the reader into Roman lives and relly brings their history alive. I highly recommend them if you like historic fiction.


message 8: by Ben (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ben I often go back to reread the books of the Masters of Rome series and pick up new tidbits and details every time. For example Julius Caeser was the great rebel that upset the Republican applecart of Rome but there were others like Sulla and Marius who were more dangerous as soldiers in the field who never got the long lasting recognition they deserved.

Marius changed the fundamental composition of the army, how it fought and how it was paid that laid the foundation for Caeser and the later emperors to exploit and undermine the army's loyalty to the Republic vs loyalty to the generals.

Sulla never lost a battle but Caeser did. However he is the only general in history(Caeser)who was able to fight and win a great battle by fighting in two directions at the same time time(Alesia).


Chris Northern Marius also circumvented the law that stopped a candidate standing for Consul again inside ten years; a little like an American President staying in office for six or seven terms. That broke the Republic perhaps more than any other single event; making an Augustus - effective dictator for life - inevitable.


Christian The Masters of Rome series are good, well researched novels. They read like great historical soap operas with great men vying for power, fame and riches. I enjoyed them but was exhausted after each one read. With each volume approximately 1000 pages, it was the fiction equivalent of running a marathon.


catherina north I read the first one not long after it was published, years ago, it took me ages to get into it, but being a lover of all things Roman and Greek I persevered, I am so glad I did, am now getting through her last one, 'Anthony and Cleopatra" I feel as if I am there it is frustrating because I want to stop what is going to happen, silly me


message 12: by Regina (last edited Nov 21, 2012 07:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Regina Solis I would like to know if any of you could recommend another writer specialized in the same time period in roman history as Colleen McCullough... I have read every book several times and I love the whole series... not so amazed with Anthony and Cleopatra... but because I am in love with Caesar... :D


Regina Solis Thank you, about Steven Saylor I´ve only read "A Murder on the Appian Way" I found it nice, but after reading Colleen McCullog, I felt some details missing... I will look for the Robert Harris Trilogy... thank you very much Marina :D


IUHoosier I've read Harris' Pompeii but haven't tried the Cicero trilogy yet - I like to wait 'til a trilogy is complete before I start one. I also liked Fatherland and Enigma. I'm afraid nothing will beat McCullough's series though.


Brian Braden CM Masters of Rome series had a profound impact on me as both a reader and a writer. Her no nonsense prose and character building is, in one word, disciplined. She can write to both appeal to men and women, such as her descriptions of Caesar's miliary campaigns and his relationships with women. I have one word for her as an author - masterful.
Black Sea Gods


Brian Braden Ben wrote: "I often go back to reread the books of the Masters of Rome series and pick up new tidbits and details every time. For example Julius Caeser was the great rebel that upset the Republican applecart o..."

Its Sulla's personal life I found both fascinating and sad. Is transformation from handsome hero to oppresive monster was masterfully written.


Marilyn Alison wrote: "Someone saw me reading Diana Gabaldon and said if I like her books, I would probably like these. Has anyone read them? If so, what did you think about them? What about in comparison to Gabaldon? Th..."

I have read both. In my opinion, Colleen McCullough is a superior writer. But they both plot well, and Gabaldon is as addictive. I highly recommend the Masters of Rome series, although you might want to keep a chart of the characters, who all tend to have the same name!


Janet Colleen McCullough did an amazing amount of research, as she does with all her writings. I'm sure you'll enjoy the series.


message 19: by Paul (new) - rated it 5 stars

Paul Bennett I have read all of the CM series and found it to be excellent...although like some other's have said, the 7th one isn't quite as good as the rest. For those interested in another series that revolves around Gaius Julius and his Gaul campaigns I highly recommend the Marius Mules series by SJA Turney..well written...thoroughly enjoyable.


Elaine I've read all the books in the Ancient Rome series and the first four of the Galbadon books. I loved both (although I did get bogged down in the 5th Gabaldon book and never finished it) but I preferred McCullough's books. I felt as if I had travelled to the past.


Christian Borchgrevink-Vigeland Any suggestions to similar books/series set in ancient Greece?


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