- The Death of Kings
name = The Death of Kings
image_caption = "The Death of Kings" first edition cover.
language = English
series = "Emperor" series
release_date = January 5, 2004
media_type = Print (
pages = 551 pp "(first edition)"
isbn = ISBN 0007136919
The Gates of Rome
The Field of Swords
"The Death of Kings" is a
novelby British author Conn Iggulden, and is the second book in the "Emperor" series, which follows the life of Julius Caesar.
The book was released in the UK in January 2004, published by
Following on from the end of
The Gates of Rome, a young Julius Caesar is forced to leave Romefollowing the rise of Cornelius Sullaand slaying of Julius' uncle Gaius Marius. Julius serves the Fourth Patrica on board a war galleypatrolling the Mediterranean, but his ship is captured by piratesand held to ransom.
The pirates demand ransoms from all of the men captured. All of the men try to negotitate lower ransom price, while Caesar says "I'am a son of the Julii" and demands his ransom price be raised.
The crew is eventually abandoned on the northern coast of
Africa. Over time, he recruits men and trains them into a fighting unit, before tracking down the pirates who captured him and exacting vengeance.Julius rapidly makes a name for himself as being a leader of men. He takes his new army into Greecewhere Mithridates VI of Pontuswas rebelling against Roman occupation. Caesar crushes the uprising, and returns to Rome as a hero.As Caesar begins to forge alliances and enemies in the Senate, and as Sulla is assassinated, Rome is rocked by yet another uprising - this time it is the slaves led by Spartacus.
Differences from historical persons
Although it is a work of fiction, many of the characters and events are based on historical sources. Iggulden added a historical note to the book in which he explains the differences between his novel and history.
In particular, the dictator Cornelius Sulla, who was based on the dictator
Sulla, is shown to have been murdered; in reality, Sulla apparently died in retirement of his excesses. Sulla's loyal general appears to have been based on Lucullus.
It should also be noted that the person known as Cato in this novel and his life bears little to no resemblance to the historical Cato the Younger who was Caesar's political opponent from about 60 BC.
Servilia Caepionisa high-class prostitute as she is shown in the novel; according to most historical sources, she was twice married and committed adultery only with Caesar himself. She was a wealthy and well-respected Roman matron in this particular decade of Roman history (when Caesar was under thirty).
Caesar did not distinguish himself through a march through Africa (something that
Cato Uticensisdid shortly before he committed suicide). Some of his earlier military exploits are attributable to other Roman commanders.
Another inaccuracy: Caesar serves on board the War Galley as a non-commissioned officer (tesserarius) reporting to a centurion. The Julii were member of the Patrician class who started their military service as Tribunes. Only Plebeians would have served in such a low rank.The turning from Rome and the circumstances pressed against him may well have meant that he would have been willing to take any position. After all, he just needed to get away and gather an army to return to Rome and defeat Sulla.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.