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Greece, Rome and And the Hellenistic Age at War

PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 9:49 pm

Michael Curtis Ford is also the author of "The Last King" and "Gods and Legions" and several other novels I have not read.

Colleen McCullogh's series includes:

"The First Man in Rome" (Marius and Sulla)
"The Grass Crown" (corona granica-awarded to those who have at lest saved a Legion or an Army-Sulla)
"Caesar's Women" (haven't read that one)
"Fortunes Favorites"

It is interesting to note the different shading an historical author can put on things.

McCullogh portrays Sulla (Lucius Cornelius) as ruthless, ambitious, and unfeeling, but lucky.

Michael Curtis Ford (paraphrased) tells two anecdotes about Sulla.

The first when Sulla Arrived at the current Capital of the unfortunately peripatatic King of Pontus, Mithridates VI.

"The King at first refused Sulla's demands-but the half cohort of his escort drew their swords-and the Shimmering metallic sound of 300 men drawing precisley the same instant had it's effect"

Micheal Curtis Ford said that when Sulla was buried a" black fetid mass of noxious insects issued forth from his mouth".

A bit like the images from the "Green Mile" in the reverse and negative.


PostPosted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 11:43 pm
by Van Canna
Micheal Curtis Ford said that when Sulla was buried a" black fetid mass of noxious insects issued forth from his mouth".

His last breath :lol:

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:49 pm
by Hugh
I tried to read McCullogh's series on Rome and never finished the very first one. It was historically well researched and very well founded, but I just couldn't get into it as it was just too damned long. If you want to try some equally accurate novels, try Johm Maddox Roberts' SPQR series of whdunnits featuring Decius Caecillius Metellus the Younger, a scion of one of the oldest of the Senatorial families that were of the "Optimates" party along with Sulla and Cicero. Decius is a very snarky soul and his view of Roman politics in the 1st Century BCE is very funny as well as being spot-on historically. Another covering the same period, but from the other end of society, is Stephen Saylor's "Roma Sub Rosa" series featuring Gordianus the Finder. Think of Mike Hammer set in Rome of the 1st Century BCE. The third series is Lindsey Davis's Marcus Didius Falco series. Falco is a private eye operating during the principate of my favorite first citizen, Vespasian. Her writing is unaplogetically British and sometimes you feel as if she is writing about the London underworld rather than that of Ancient Rome, but the novels are great. Paul Doherty has also written 3 or 4 set in Ancient Rome. Three of them, Murder Imperial, Queen of the Night, and Song of the Gladiator, are about Helena, Constantine I's mother and her spies, the agentes in res, who formed the political muscle to underlay Constantine's unquestioned military success. One of them, her "Little Mouse," Claudia, is the hero of the three stories and they all involve Helena and Claudia and the emerging Christians as a political force in Rome. Doherty wrote another, Domina about Nero's mother, Agrippina the Younger, and it is a very sympathetic view of a woman whom history generally sees as a manipulative bitch who got what she deserved when her son had her murdered. I rather enjoyed it.

Must Have-Sulla

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:32 pm
Gotta read those!!!!

Sensie Van: with respect to that 'person' absolutely nothing would suprise me.

but he was brave, brave enough to live among the approaching horde of Germans (allegedlly the Cimmimerians) and fought and fathered among them.

He was vain about his blond good looks and teuton like blond hair. He hated Marius who had money but no patrician blood. His own bloodline ,thru the "Cornelian Gens" was immpecabble, .

Marius literallally 'swam" in money, but his patrician blood was not deemed the best. It was rumoured that Marius "Was in trade".

It appears that he drove one wife "Jullilla" aunt of the Julius to suicide and murdered another. He brought the Legions into Rome itself, which was suppossed to be forbidden. he loved the occassional young boy or man and one in particular.

A fun kinda guy.

Nonetheless he won the Corona Granica-then Rome's highest military award, that awarded for saving an an entire army.

An interesting man who deserves his own thread.


PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:33 pm
by Hugh
Gaius Marius was a "Novus Homo" or "New Man" as he was the very first of his family to reach the Senate. His marriage to the Julius Caesar family married him into one of the oldest and most respected of the Patrician families, the Julians, and it was why young Caius Julius had to flee Rome during the Dictatorship of Sulla.

It was Sulla who introduced the proscriptions, whereby anybody could find themselves listed as an enemy of the state with a price on his head, frequently for no reason other than that somebody wanted is estate. That somebody was frequently one of Sulla's lieutenants, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and it was the basis for the fortune that made him the wealthiest man in the world. It was Crassus who paid for much of Caius Julius Caesar's political efforts up until Caesar went to Gaul and made his fortune there. Of course, Crassus was ever jealous of Pompey's and Caesar's military fame and wound up invading Parthia with very disastrous results at Carrhae in 53 BCE.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:46 pm
by Hugh
You also need to understand that the Romans did not see homoeroticism in quite the same manner that we do. Yes, it was forbidden in the legions for disciplinary reasons that I will neither attack nor support but, for civilians, the issue was onre of power and that was seen in who did the penetrating. The penetrator was considered in the superior power position and was not, therefore, frowned upon. The penetratee was seen as being in the same relative power position as a woman and THAT was a definite No-No! It was the general practice for wealthy older men to buy young slave boys for the purpose and it was this practice against which Paul was preachng in his letters.

BTW, as far as I can tell, lesbianism was perfectly acceptable as it was between lesser persons and it did not threaten the bloodline. I mean, what Roman man cared what women did as long as it did not include cuckolding them? Remember that Rome was just about THE most patriachal of societies that the West has ever known.