The First Man in Rome

The  Masters of Rome series by Colleen McCullough is my ultimate summer read. It is over 6000 pages of living breathing historical fiction, chockfull of sex, drugs and, no, not rock and roll,– battle! The books entertainingly provide illuminating insights into the origins of western government and the perpetual war concept, and you learn about ancient Rome without having to read Polybius, definitely a bonus in my book.

The First Man in RomeThe series chronicles the seven consulships of Gaius Marius, a groundbreaking upstart from the boonies. It includes captivating characterizations of Marius, Lucius Cornelius Sulla, and Julius Caesar. There are also complex portraits of several of the women involved in the events. Though it is generally lauded, the series has been criticized for idealizing dictators. There is truth to the claim, but in my opinion, to sustain interest in reading such tomes it is more engaging to focus on the strengths of the characters. McCullough has added a seventh book since I read them, Anthony and Cleopatra, which I look forward to reading.

I have read this epic series twice, they’re that fantastic. I hope you enjoy them under a big brimmed hat with a frosty beverage. What could be more vsvevg than that?

Let me know what you think of them.