Emperor: The Gates Of Rome

  By Dawn, 28 January 2007; Revised
Emperor: The Gates Of Rome By Conn Iggulden

Love of Rome- that’s what made me pick up this little ditty. For as long as I can remember I’ve read about the Republic and Empire. Fact, fiction it didn’t matter. So on that faithful day when I discovered this one in a pile of books that had come into my little used book shop I thought great a book set in ancient Rome and greater still It had to be about one of my favorite Romans Later when I sat down with book in hand I was still thinking great this has got to be good. After a few chapters I was thinking my god is this guy confused. At the end it was boy am I glad I didn’t spend my money on this trash.

The story is the tale of two young romans coming of age on an estate out side Rome with the back drop of the chaos of the Marius and Sulla years. Learning the things a roman gentleman will need to know.
Now it’s not that the book wasn’t easy to read, it was. It read like a Saturday matinee, a Hollywood rendition . Lot’s of excitement, blood and adventure, all the rest. The trip to the gladiator school was good. The author’s style is compelling .His attention to creating a mood and feel was good. It’s just that the facts are all wrong. I spent the entire read thinking it didn’t happen like that, that’s not possible, the time frame is all wrong in this. The book is so riddled with historical inaccuracies it is beyond over looking. The book is spun around the biggest one. Gaius Julius Caesar and Marcus Janius Brutus are childhood friends raised together, one the son of a senator the other the bastard child. This author could have written propaganda for Populares with ideas like this. Caesar and Brutus couldn’t possibly have been raised together and friends in their youth on a Juili estate. According to Suetonius Caesar was raised in a modest house in the Subura .Ceasar was about 15 years older than Brutus. Servilla, Butus’ mother was Caesar’s mistress by the time Brutus was 10.

Now I’m usually the first to defend fiction as entertainment. Even if there has been artistic liberty taken with the material, the hope that it will interest someone in history it’s good. This one goes too far, it’s not liberty it’s butchery.

Rating: 1 out of 5