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Old 05-01-2020, 06:55 PM   #16
AnotherCat
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Once it found its legs I found the book to be a good and interesting read. I generally approach historical novels as having pretty much nothing to do with the truth unless I test it against an academic history - which I mostly never do and did not with this book, I just regard them as novels.

That said the brutality, and the intrigues of the authoritarian state of Rome are of general knowledge and so while I regarded those depicted in the book as just "maybes" I felt them to be representative. Even today we have supposedly sophisticated and little criticized countries that practice lashings (even in excess of a 1000 strokes spread over time), amputations, beheadings by sword, executions of convenience, etc. for crimes, even for "crimes" not internationally recognized as being such (e.g. adultery, apostasy).

So I found it easy to accept that Rome's realms 2000 years ago would be brutal and the intrigues represented in the book credible. All that in a story line that held together and was interesting for me. So am glad to have had the push into reading it.
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