Emperor (book series)

Emperor (book series)

Emperor is an internationally acclaimed book series by British author Conn Iggulden about the life of Roman statesman and general Gaius Julius Caesar. The series spans four novels and was released 2003-2005. They goes as follows:
* The Gates of Rome - released 2003
* The Death of Kings - released early 2004
* The Field of Swords - released late 2004
* The Gods of War - released 2005

The series has been very well acclaimed by critics but also commented that Iggulden sometimes changes historical facts to make a more thrilling tale. He adds notes in every novel to explain reasons why. This most notably is the main plot, featuring Caesar and Brutus growing up as childhood friends and aged the same (Brutus was in reality 15 years younger than Caesar and sometimes considered his son, though unlikely). This gives the series some complex similar to the famous movie 1900 (movie) of two boys, growing up together though with different destinies and what divides them as they get older and older (in this case, culminating with the Ides of March).

Apart from Caesar and Brutus, historical characters include: Gaius Marius, Cornelius Sulla, Mithridates VI of Pontus, Cinna, Cornelia Cinna, Pompey, Crassus, Cato the Younger, Spartacus, Crixus, Brutus' mother Servilia Caepionis, Octavian and his mother Atia, Titus Annius Milo, Publius Clodius Pulcher, Vercingetorix, Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, Marc Antony, and Cleopatra VII of Egypt who gives Caesar a son.

Plot

* The Gates of Rome - spanning from 92 BC to 82 BC (Caesar eight years old to the victory of Sulla). Caesar grows up with his childhood friend Marcus outside Rome, terrorized by the slightly older neighbor Suetonius Prandus. Caesar and Marcus are trained to be warriors under the tutelage of an ex gladiator and soldier, Renius. After Caesar's father and others are killed in a slave revolt the children go to Rome to join Caesars uncle (in reality not related by blood) Gaius Marius and the populares faction. Marius, who is consul, are waging a political war against the conservative optimates led by Cornelius Sulla, the main antagonist. After a triumph celebrating Marius victory over African tribes, Sulla is shipped of to Asia Minor to fight Mithridates VII of Pontus. Meanwhile, Marius takes possession of Rome and Caesar falls in love with Cornelia Cinna, daughter of a populare. Marcus goes to Macedon to join a legion as he is - by his unnoble birth - not in position to become senator. Upon Sulla's return, civil war rages (historically, though simplified) between him and Marius. By having left soldiers in Rome, Sulla succeeds capturing the city and kills Marius when he refuses to surrender and by his dying breath asks his loyal men to defeat Sulla. After days of tough street-fighting where Caesar is captured, Sulla goes victor and is proclaimed dictator. He asks Caesar to join him, threatening with torture and death if he refuses. Upon seeing the young man irresistibly wanting to turn the back on his dead uncle, Sulla let him go. Forced to flee Rome, Caesar does so and joins the navy to go to Egypt. Meanwhile, Brutus has been victoriously in campaigns against barbarians and are opted to lengthen his contract. He does so, and is asked to sign his name. Revealing the surname Brutus (Marcus Brutus), the book closes by Brutus being praised for his good valor.
* The Death of Kings - released early 2004. 81 BC to 71 BC (Cornelia is pregnant to the defeat of Spartacus). Opening in the eugean sea, Caesar leeds a group of men to attack a rebellious fortress in Mytilene (historical). He is saluted well for his courage, meanwhile Brutus is forced to flee Greece upon having late meetings with a young woman. Accompanied by cruel but magnificent in fighting gladiator Renius he sets of to Rome. Meanwhile, Cornelia is terrified as Sulla haunts her. Upon raping her on the night where her and Caesars son is born, Caesar and Brutus' friend Tubruk (caretaker when they were young) kills Sulla and manages to escape uncaught though others are tortured and killed. Caesar is caught by pirates and forced to ransom 20 talents. He suggests 50 instead, and upon being released on the African coast he builds up a minor army, manages to find the pirate in Greece and takes revenge. Upon landing in Greece, he finds out Sulla is dead and decides to go home. Meanwhile, defeated but surviving Mithridates rebels yet again to fight Rome and Caesar falls into battle with him, managing to defeat and kill the king (the title of the book, suggesting Sulla and Mithridates). This event is fictitious as Mithridates was historically defeated by Pompey and committed suicide more than ten years later. Upon returning to Rome, Caesar rises as a lawyer and manages to claim Marius' old house and send the optimate housing it (general Antonidus) into slavery, receiving enemies among the optimates. Upon the rebellion of Spartacus, Caesar follows the populares Pompey and Crassus who rallies troops and haunts the slave army to Gaul. Cato, who secretly had Pompeys daughter killed as revenge for Sulla now let murderers kill Cornelia and Caesar returns in sorrow to Rome. Upon tracking down the assassin, Pompey kills him and Cato. Crassus builds a wall to trap the slaves on the coast. Caesar goes out to fight the last battle, depressed but encouraged by old friend Cabera, a healer and friend of Renius. Spartacus fights the last battle against Pompey and seeing his slaves are defeated he puts on his helmet, grasps his sword and charges into the battle, predicting Rome will fall one day. The book closes with Crassus and Pompey riding along the Via Appia towards Rome, passing six thousand crucified slaves. The two have been assuming power and exiled Caesar to Spain enters the city, Pompey believing Caesar will make no more than he already is.
* The Field of Swords - released late 2004, from 67 BC to 49 BC (four years after the defeat of Spartacus to the crossing of the Rubicon). Caesar is in Spain, still depressed after his wife's death and with no plans of further advancement. Pompey and Crassus rules Rome as consuls while Brutus mother Servilia travels to Spain to meet her son. Caesar goes out to ride with her and they falls in love, dividing Brutus and Caesar for the first time as Brutus unintentionally sees his mother and best friend in bed together. Soon returning to Rome, Caesar rallies to become a consul but is disturbed as Crassus reveals a conspiracy to him, led by the insurgent Catiline. Taking his Tenth legion (originally created by Brutus as Caesar was in Greece), Caesar defeats Catiline and his supporters are brutally executed by Pompey. Confronting Crassus, Caesar reveals he knew Crassus was the mastermind of the whole conspiracy, yet unknown by all others, including Pompey. After becoming consul, Caesar goes to Gaul to fight an eight year war. After finally defeating the great-king Vercingetorix where his old friend Renius dies in battle and Cabera shortly before, prophecising he saw Caesar fall on the Ides of March in Rome. After bloody battles between street gangsters Clodius and Milo, burning down half the city and killing them both Pompey assumes power and is proclaimed dictator. With only he and Caesar left, he orders Caesar dead by a spy who refuses to carry the execution out and also warns Caesar not to go into Rome alone as Pompey would want him dead. Standing at the Rubicon, Brutus says Caesar will always be his friend and have his support, whether they should invade Italy or go hide forever in Gaul. Uttering "the die is cast", Caesar crosses the river and goes to Rome.
* The Gods of War - released 2005. 49 BC to 44 BC (crossing of the Rubicon to assassination at the Ides of March). Pompey flees Italy as his troops are insufficient. Caesar takes the city in claim, saying he is no tyrant nor dictator and just wants to purify Rome from men such as Pompey. As he finds himself ignored, Brutus joins Pompey instead. Ultimately going to fight him in Greece, Caesar is defeated by his once-friend Pompey at Dyrrhachium but takes revenge at Pharsalus where he reuintes with Brutus, though the latter wouldn't forgive him. They follow Pompey to Egypt to receive his head and is soon caught in battle between Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy. Sleeping with Cleopatra, Caesar takes her party and captures Ptolemy. As he is released, Caesar is besieged but manages to defeat Ptolemys tropps, he and his minister Pothinus (here Panek) is killed. After a romantic trip at the Nile and the birth of Caesars only son he returns to Rome but once again disagrees with Brutus as the latter wants to preserve the republic. Brutus, encouraged by his mother passes from ignoring Caesar to join Cassius and Suetonius Prandus to have Caesar killed. Going alone to the senate an early morning in march, he is attacked and asks Brutus to kill him as he never wanted his long-gone friend as an enemy. The senators kills Caesar and then stumples out on the streets of Rome.


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