The First Man in Rome PDF Ì Man in PDF/EPUB Ã

    The First Man in Rome PDF Ì Man in PDF/EPUB Ã to humankindA towering saga of great events and mortal frailties, it is peopled with a vast, and vivid cast of unforgettable men and womensoldiers and senators, mistresses and wives, kings and commonerscombined in a richly embroidered human tapestry to bring a remarkable era to bold and breathtaking life."/>
  • Paperback
  • 1076 pages
  • The First Man in Rome
  • Colleen McCullough
  • English
  • 06 April 2017
  • 9780380710812

10 thoughts on “The First Man in Rome

  1. Karla Karla says:

    If I could have sex with this book, I would.

    Nothing I write can really do justice to why I love this book so much. I've just finished it for at least the 4th time (most likely the 5th), and the series will probably serve as my comfort read whenever I'm in a book slump. They're great and awesome and a guaranteed satisfying read. They've spoiled me for pretty much all other HF out there, no matter the time period. Apart from Patrick O'Brian, no other author has seemed to capture an era so brilliantly with mere words.

    The setup is rather simple: Gaius Marius is a very rich man from the Italian provinces with political ambition and military experience. But he lacks one thing: he's not a patrician, and in the very snobbish political circles of Rome, it's not enough to have the citizenship. You have to have the right blood in your veins. Marius sets out to best them at their own game. He marries well in blood (if not in money), he slowly accrues undeniable success in foreign wars, and he never gives up. By the end, he has been elected consul an unprecedented six times (a 7th term looms in the future) and rocked the established order to its foundations. From this point on, the later autocracy of the Roman Empire is inevitable. The immense size of their territory makes the contained ideals of earlier centuries impractical and unpracticable. Marius' willful prominence in a society that prides itself that no one in the Senate stand above his peers opens the door to other men with singular gifts. Cue Julius Caesar....

    It might sound heavy and complicated, but it's really not. Learning about the evolution of Rome from republic to empire has never been so much fun. There is red meat drama with backbiting, dysfunction, cutthroat ambition, and soap opera passions. People harangue each other, commit suicide, are brave or cowardly, lead armies into certain slaughter or save them through cunning, and exhibit the ideals of Roman behavior or plumb the depths of immorality. I want to hug them, slap them, strangle them, lick them, and keep them in a special box with a fancy little bow to pull out and play with whenever I want a grand old time.

    Why I Re-Read This Book Over And Over:
    1) The Style. It's really hard to describe it, but I would liken it to Roman farce. They were a rude and bawdy folk, those Romans, yet also insufferably smug and pious about their lineages and onerous duty to be a shining beacon of light for the rest of the world. McCullough obviously holds these people in great affection for their strengths as well as their weaknesses. It all comes through in a style that is accessible while at the same time being illuminating. The characters seem impossibly unreal and all too human at the same time.

    2) Publius Rutilius Rufus' Letters. This is partly related to the Style issue, but these really are a highlight of the book. A patrician with a grudging respect and love for Gaius Marius, he takes it upon himself to keep the perpetually-abroad-on-campaign Marius informed of events in Rome in witty, long letters written from the peanut gallery. He has opinions about everything and everybody, goes off on tangents, and keeps warning Marius that Rome's established order can only be pushed so far so fast. It's through his letters that lots of the infodumpy material gets conveyed in a way that's both entertaining and easy to consume. (Wish more authors would learn how to do the infodump so well.)

    3) The Scope. The story covers Roman life from the heights of power in the Senate to the stews of the Subura, where Julius Caesar's mother is resident landlady of a tenement building (her dowry). Sometimes it seems there are more layers to the Roman social and political strata than stars, but McCullough follows characters from different backgrounds (from ossified aristocrats to back alley assassins) to paint a canvas of Rome in all its infinite variety.

    4) The Arc & Theme. Marius begins as a man trying to distinguish himself by working within the existing system. When that proves nearly impossible because of solid opposition to him from the Old Guard, he upends the system to favor himself and what he believes is the best interest of Rome. At the end of the book, when the tribune of the plebs Saturninus demagogues a popular revolt, Marius sides with his old enemies because mob rule is not in Rome's interest. While he has fought endlessly for years to earn fame and recognition for his own feats, in the end Rome is supreme and must be preserved at all costs. No one man is worth more than Rome, because Rome isn't about people and buildings, material things. It is about ideals and a state of being. Try reconciling that with the need to feed the grumbling belly that is Rome while staving off restless, wandering barbarian tribes 800,000 strong. The theme of the book is ideals vs. pragmatism, and the men who adhered to one school of thought or the other, and the successes or disasters that resulted from those decisions.

    5) Lucius (Call Me Luscious) Cornelius Sulla. Saving the fangirlish for last. There's no other way to say it: Sulla's a sexy bastard.


    While not quite fitting the alpha hero mold in the bodice rippers I read (you know, committing murder and all), he is a take-charge guy with that attractive evil/darkness about him. His very red-gold/pale complexion is a stark contrast to the demons that gnaw on him. He has no scruples about anything if he thinks it'll get him closer to his perceived destiny. His ability to do some pretty awful things without getting caught only convinces him that Fortune has got his back. He's acutely aware of his flaws when working close with Marius, but he also sees the Great Man's weaknesses and is determined to succeed where Marius fails since he has the blood and family ties that Marius lacks. The two men work together for the good of Rome, but a submerged rivalry is born that plays itself out bitterly in the next book. As this book ends, Marius's sun is setting while Sulla's is on the rise and eventual success is in the hopeful offing. After all, he learned from a master.

    And if the stick-up-the-ass blue bloods in Rome think they had trouble with Marius, just wait until Sulla's in charge. But that's for the next two books. I really shouldn't look forward to another book slump because they really suck and are a downer, but I can't help but hope the next several books piss me off so I can eagerly grab The Grass Crown. Oh, when Sulla wins that crown on the battlefield, bloody and weary and riding a high of triumph and finally realizing his destiny... *fans self*

    Ahem. I've gone on and on, but I really haven't scratched the surface of why this book is one of the best novels ever written about the era. Make that ever written. Period. If you have even a remote interest in the time period, you should pick this up and lose yourself in an unbelievable drama over 2100 years old. McCullough does the reader the huge favor of putting a wiki and pronunciation guide in the back of the book, which includes everything from geography to Latin slang, so no need to interrupt your reading to run to the internet. It's all there.

    And believe it or not, you'll see that superpower governing hijinks haven't changed much over the millennia. They no longer wear those snazzy togas and orate so marvelously, but the players are still a bunch of preening, self-important, bickering pricks who need to be slapped with the Big Picture every so often. It's truly timeless.

  2. Ashley Daviau Ashley Daviau says:

    This is one hell of a monster of a book. Not only because of the page count, which is over 800 pages, but because of the sheer volume of information that you’re provided with. Even though I was thoroughly interested by the subject matter, it did get to be a bit overwhelming at times because of the amount of names and storylines. It was a bit difficult to keep track of sometimes. But I did thoroughly enjoy it despite that, I just needed to put it down sometimes and let my brain absorb. What I enjoyed most was how historically accurate the story was, the author put in an incredible amount of research and it really shows!

  3. Allison (The Allure of Books) Allison (The Allure of Books) says:

    This book is just...a collosal achievement. The Thornbirds is just eh for me, her take on P&P made me really appreciate her as a skilled author and storyteller...but THIS book makes me revere and idolize her as one of the best authors in existance.

    This is an almost 1000 page book about the ancient Roman senate, and I was addicted to every single word. How awesome is that? I was terrified to start it, when I glanced over the almost 300 page glossary, all I could think was man, what if I'm not smart enough to read this? I shouldn't have worried! All you have to do is trustingly place yourself in McCullough's hands, and her book will entertain as well as inform. She made this story so captivating that I was on the edge of my seat more than once-over such things as a massive grain shortage and the passing of a bill to grant basic Roman citizens (the 'Head Count') land.

    These people with their 3 and 4 word ridiculous names will quickly become real people, and by the end you'll feel like you've been reading about them for years.

    Totally awesome.

  4. BrokenTune BrokenTune says:

    There is something terribly reassuring about being in politics to enrich oneself. It's normal. It's human. It's forgivable. It's understandable. The ones to watch are the ones who are in politics to change the world. They do real damage, the power-men and the altruists.

    I've always been hesitant about reading The First Man in Rome, Colleen McCullough's magnum opus about the Roman Republic. I just didn't know what to expect, and the size of the book (my very large hardcopy version had 700+ pages) was a little off-putting, too. However, I loved her writing in The Thornbirds and I knew that McCullough was a history buff, so I had to check the book out when I saw it in the library.

    I'm glad I've read it. It was difficult to get used to the names and find out who is who at first, but ultimately the stories of the main characters develop and interlope and become quite interesting. McCullough goes into a lot detail in describing life and customs in ancient Rome - some I was familiar with and A LOT that I learned. Her attention to detail is fantastic. And, yet, she does not beat the reader over the head with explanations of the political systems, the structure of the military, or Roman history. McCullough requires some pre-existing knowledge from her readers and it makes the book very engaging - it's like a dialogue between reader and author.

    In short, The First Man in Rome is a brilliant example of what historical fiction can be.

    And, yet, why can I not give the book 5 stars?

    Well, some of the story is drawn out way beyond what I was able to pay attention to. Yes, some parts dragged. There, I said it. What drove me nuts more than this, tho, was that there were no chapters! It was difficult at times, especially after putting the book down, where the story was at and which person the particular part was focusing on. Seriously, this structural/editing choice really got to me.

    Lastly, though, as much as I admire McCullough's work here, some of the ways that the Roman paranoia of an impending invasion was portrayed almost without comment made me wonder whether McCullough, despite her love of detail, stuck to the classic Roman-is-best narrative for dramatic reasons or whether she truly subscribed to that particular historical perspective. In Thornbirds, part of the admiration I have for McCullough's work is that she challenged some of the characters attitudes - or indeed created one of the finest characters in the book to antagonize an entire religion! - whereas this is missing from The First Man in Rome. I really missed the gumption of a character of Mary Carson's quality and not even Sulla could make up for this.

    Marius glared. The worst of you - Sulla! - is that I will never know what makes you work! What makes your legs go up and down, what makes your arms swing, why you smile like a wolf. And what you really think. That I'll never, never know.
    If it's any consolation, brother-in-law, nor will anyone else. Even me, said Sulla.

  5. Ashley Marie Ashley Marie says:

    Monthly group read with Historical Fictionistas!

    A solid four stars, which will probably get bumped up to five once I get a chance to reread this in its entirety rather than listening to the abridged audiobook. Don't get me wrong, the audiobook is fantastic, but... abridged. *shrugs* DOS did a fantastic job reading, as I knew he would, and McCullough's research shines through each of these characters. I don't know how much of each character was made up and how much was historical fact (aside from Gaius Marius ruling for six unprecedented terms), and to be honest I really didn't care because that's how good the story was. Excited to reread this, and I've already got book two on the shelf at home! :)


  6. Marilyn Ware Marilyn Ware says:

    I've read the entire Man in Rome series - TWICE. 900 plus pages per book. My all-time-favorite books. I'd read them all yet again should I feel so compelled. I tried to get them all in hard-bound so I could keep them for my grandson to read. I'm only missing the one I loaned out. (Dang, I shouldn't do that!)

    In my opinion there is not a more definitive, comprehensive, and well researched set of novels written about the Roman Empire, Caesar in particular. Love history? Read, read, read!

  7. maricar maricar says:

    a larger-than-life, fascinating novel...

    Halfway through this book, I found myself with eyes full of dark circles. That's when I realized that I haven't had a full night's sleep since picking up this novel. Which in turn made me wonder at my reluctance towards reading another Colleen McCullough book (my previous book by her was, unfortunately, less than memorable). Suffice to say, after reading The First Man in Rome, I am now more than willing to eat my words and bow at the brilliance of McCullough's writing.

    In an attempt to be objective, though, not every part of this story was that engrossing. Some accounts of warfare or political intrigues were too protracted that I just had to skim through it. And the latter part about Saturninus' and Glaucia's machinations just felt like a last-ditch effort by the author to maintain the drama right up to the end. Rome with Marius at the helm of power, proved the most riveting part of the book.

    Other than that, I have only good things to say about this novel. The depiction of the Roman Republic was so vivid and gripping. The people, their stories, and the interactions among them were so relatable they can be material for today's soap operas: from the live organism that is the Senate, with all its peculiarities, to the women behind the men, and even the State's enemies – every character of note was given life under the author's succinct prose and witty dialogues. I don't know how she did it, but this gargantuan scope of a lifelike historical fiction is a guaranteed page-tuner.

  8. Roman Clodia Roman Clodia says:

    McCullough is superb on ancient Rome and genuinely does bring it to life without resorting to any spurious and trite fictional claims that the Romans were just like us. She has read all the sources and sticks to them, simply fleshing out the characters and events so that they make narrative sense. This isn't by any means an easy read, since she delves into the intricacies of Senate debates and internal politics, but it is quite unlike anything else that has been published on Rome.

    This is the first volume of her massive 7 book series, and probably covers the least-known period of Republican history: the rise of Marius and Sulla, and the transformation of the Roman army, arguably the first steps towards civil war and the fall of the Republic.

    There are times where (in this book) the characters slightly tend to soap opera, but they are few. Overall, a superb read. This only lost 1 star because the middle books are even better!

  9. Mark Porton Mark Porton says:

    The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome Book 1), by Colleen McCullough is an absolute masterpiece. Sometimes we forget the greatest treasures we have are closest to home. McCullough was born in New South Wales, Australia, and comes from a medical background. Interestingly, she lived on Norfolk Island, a tiny Australian Island in the South Pacific. This is where she died several years ago. I have paid scant regard to McCullough over the past few decades, I recall such works as Tim (early Mel Gibson film) and Thorn Birds when I was a young bloke. I didn’t really know she was so adept, knowledgeable and able to write an epic piece of Historical Fiction like this. As someone who has obsessed about Ancient Rome for the past two years, culminating in my first visit there earlier in 2020, reading a book like this was the ultimate treat.

    McCullough not only breathes life into real characters of Republican Rome she paints a picture of settings such as the Roman Forum where much of the political action takes place in this story. I’ve spent some time cross referencing these characters and major events described in this book, and they actually happened. In fact, they are described in such detail the author must have conducted a colossal amount of research into this topic. Naturally, there are some fictional characters and the Author must have taken some artistic licence in describing the lives of these people. From my understanding of ancient Rome this story is believable and mostly legitimate.

    One other exciting aspect of this work is it concentrates on the Republic Period, this story more specifically covers 110 to around 100 BCE. So, for those who don’t know, this is before the Imperial Period (of the Emperors – the first being Augustus) which commenced in 27 BCE. This story therefore deals with political leaders many of us are unaware of.

    The two main characters in this story are:

    Gaius Marius (158-87 BCE)

    This guy is one of the most fascinating characters of Republican Rome and was made Consul (the main decision makers in the Curia) a record seven times, which was unheard of. He was an amazing General but a crappy Politician – which makes you wonder how he was so successful as a Political Player during this period. This story provides considerable insight into the man and how he achieved this.

    Lucius Cornelius Sulla (138-79 BCE)

    Sulla was such a fascinating guy, not only an accomplished military leader, Machiavellian, brutal, handsome, a capable politician with a scintillating private life. There is never a dull moment when Sulla makes an appearance.

    Other significant players of this period are involved such as Gaius Julius Caesar (Grandfather and Father of the one we all know), Sextus Julius Caesar, Publius Rutilius Rufus, Julia, Aurelia Cotta, Marcus Livius Drusus, King Jugurtha of Numidia and so on and so on – too many to mention, by far. In fact, it can become quite confusing and complicated, so there are good periods of this substantial book where the reader needs to pay attention – even then it can still be confusing.

    If you want to read and understand more about the skulduggery of Roman politics, corruption, daily life of the rich and poor, slavery, the sexual proclivities of the elite, housing, the marauding Germanic Tribes (there were hundreds of thousands of them), farming, pirates, African Kings, warfare all this whilst creating a wonderful, colourful, noisy, chaotic and beautiful mental picture of ancient Rome and client states – I can surely recommend this book. If you love history, especially Roman history this is a must read.

    The Author even includes numerous maps and pictures of the main players. I particularly enjoyed the maps, as they even showed where various characters lived in the Roma Urbs (City of Rome) in great hand drawn detail. How exciting!!!!!

    Now I’ve devoured this, I must get into a meaty piece of Non-Fiction on Gaius Marius.

    Loved it 5 Stars

  10. Checkman Checkman says:

    First I have to compliment Colleen McCullough on her research. Truly an outstanding effort and very praiseworthy. Her glossary at the end of the book is excellent and one which I have referred back to more then once for just general information. Having said that I now have to state that the entire series has been going down in quality since the second installment The Grass Crown . With the first two novels it is apparent that Ms. McCullough wrote them more or less simultaneously over a period of several years while doing her very extensive research. I read that she spent over five years researching and writing the first chapters and it shows. The attention to detail is excellent, her characters come to life, they sound and act like Romans (Silly thing to write actually. Let's go with they don't sound and act like people living in the late Twentieth Century. None of us actually know what ancient Romans sounded or acted like do we). There is nothing modern about her dialogue, plot, or characterization. After a short while I felt like I was reading a prequel to Robert Graves classic novels about Claudius. The only thing I felt there wasn't enough of was the biting wit that was so prevalent in Graves work. But I could live with that.

    Unfortunately ,starting with the third installment, I saw the old Colleen McCullough coming through. The bestselling author who has written The Thorn Birds and Tim . It was obvious that the research was done and the dramatic stage set was built. Now Ms. McCullough was simply filling in with her trademark writing. Instead of a series of Roman novels there is a soap opera with modern characters running around in togas. Instead of intriguing and fleshed out historical personae there is hero worship of Julius Caesar and two dimensional characters. I made it through the fourth installment and gave up. More tired then disgusted - for what had been rather unusual was now become typical and could just as easily be set in New York City of today. I recommend the first two novels highly. In my opinion they reach a level higher then the average summertime read, but after that one has mind candy. Read I Claudius and Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina by Robert Graves if you want truly entertaining fiction set in the Roman Empire.

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The First Man in Rome[PDF] ❤ The First Man in Rome By Colleen McCullough – From the bestselling author of The Thorn Birds comes a masterpiece of historical fiction that is fascinating, moving, and gloriously heroic The reader is swept into the whirlpool of pageantry, passion From the bestselling author of Man in PDF/EPUB Ã The Thorn Birds comes a masterpiece of historical fiction that is fascinating, moving, and gloriously heroic The reader is The First PDF \ swept into the whirlpool of pageantry, passion, splendor, chaos and earthshattering upheaval that was ancient Rome Here is the story of Marius, wealthy but lowborn, First Man in eBook ✓ and Sulla, aristocratic but penniless and debauchedextraordinary men of vision whose ruthless ambition will lay the foundations of the most awesome and enduring empire known to humankindA towering saga of great events and mortal frailties, it is peopled with a vast, and vivid cast of unforgettable men and womensoldiers and senators, mistresses and wives, kings and commonerscombined in a richly embroidered human tapestry to bring a remarkable era to bold and breathtaking life.