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Render Unto Caesar Paperback – Jul 15 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books (July 15 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765306549
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765306548
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 13.1 x 19.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,022,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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HERMOGENES WAS ALMOST ASLEEP BY THE time the carriage stopped. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover
As a huge fan of any good book about Romans (especially Colleen McCullough's series) I eagerly snatched this one up and I wasn't disappointed. Although not grand in scale like many works set in Rome at its heyday, it is exceptionally faithful to the historical accuracy of the time (16 bc) and to the leading figures who interact with the main character, a fictional Alexandrian businessman from Egypt. The author is a gifted storyteller who immediately immerses you into Rome and the plight of this proud and honest "Greekling" who gets himself caught up in high-power Roman consular plots and intrigue. The author also does an excellent job of peering into the hearts of her characters, and deftly weaves the appropriate amount of loves lost and found into the plot, not to mention the ubiquitous greed and pride that goes with any Roman story. Believable and interesting from start to finish, it is very well written.
And my measure of a books success - I had great difficulty putting it down until I was done! Highly recommended for fans of the Roman era and lovers of a well-told story.
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Format: Hardcover
Hooray, another Bradshaw historical! Gillian Bradshaw has a special gift for characterization that makes all her work a treat to read, but her historicals surpass the rest. As histories they make the ancient past not just vivid, but also human and comprehensible. Her readers become privy to mindsets vastly different from their own.
Bradshaw's novels also do what good fiction must do--grip the reader and never let go. Even better, her books bear re-reading, again and again. My absolute favorite continues to be _Island of Ghosts_, but this latest outing is another fine addition to the bookshelf.
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By A Customer on Oct. 12 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is not a very good book- it's written as though it's intended for a sixth grade audience- one which knows nothing about Imperial Rome. The protagonist behaves in an unbelievable way- NO Roman citizen of the period would spend even a fraction of the time that this guy does worrying about the slaves and their treatment. And a Roman consul who physically attacks a citizen- unbelievable. Then there is the woman who rescues our hero, the female gladitator! Don't waste your time. The mysteries of Steve Saylor and Lindsey Davis portray a much more accurate picture of ancient Rome and it's citizens.
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Format: Hardcover
This was a very good book for historical fiction fans.
Hermogenes, a Romanized Greek banker from Alexandria, travels to Rome to collect a debt that he inherited from a relative. He has no reason to believe that everything won't go according to law. After all, the man who owes him is very wealthy. Why would he miss such a paltry sum? Unfortunately, the debtor, now a powerful consul, sees no reason that a "true" Roman should pay the likes of a Greek. This sets off a wild ride for Hermogenes as he runs a round Rome just a step ahead of his enemies trying to collect his money and go hom in one piece.
The best part of the book is the setting. Like many ancient history fiction books, the plot need not as important as the scenery. There is plenty of historical "eye candy." Ancient Rome really comes alive -- the government buildings, prisons, centurions, city walls and gates, and even the different types of housing, both tenements and high-class villas.
This isn't to say that the plot suffers -- it is very good, too. All the characters play their parts well -- the golden=hearted Hermogenes, the loyal Maerica, the merchant Crispus, the fair but tough Taurus, and the properly rotten Pollio and Rufus.
With both the Emperor and his right-hand man, Agrippa, absent from Rome, we get to see the rest of Rome -- its consuls, prefects, and businessmen. The plot begins quite simply, but even when events go crazy, I still understood them. There are not too many characters, and they are well-developed. I especially liked the scenes in Crispus' house, describing the people who work there.
I admit that the story is very pat with a "happily ever after" ending. Also, Hermogenes is often too good to be true. Then again, everyone keeps calling him a "strange man."
All in all, this is a very good book -- a good view of the ancient world and a good story.
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Format: Hardcover
Gillian Bradshaw's newest, "Render unto Caesar," came yesterday and I just finished it - it's that good. I'm a fan of all of her books and admire her ability to create three-dimensional characters set in ancient Rome, Athens, Alexandria, or Britannia, but I think this book is at the very top of her form.
Set in the mid-period of Augustus' reign, Hermogenes, a young Greek merchant from Alexandria who has "purchased" and very proud of his new Roman citizenship, comes to Rome to settle the problem of a debt, inherited from his uncle, from a wealthy Roman who, it turns out, is now Consul of Rome Hermogenes thinks, as a respectable Roman citizen, he can politely demand payment under Roman law and all will be well. What happens, however, when he asks the powerful Lucius Tarius Rufus for his 450,000 sesterci debt, sets a plot in motion that is as enticing as any thriller while full thought-provoking historical questions that will intrigue and puzzle. Bradshaw's book is centered in a very real sense of just what real life might have felt like in ancient Rome, from what a wealthy man ate at a dinner party to the refuse and fleas of a fourth-rate insula room for rent. Hermogenes is a fascinating and ultimately admirable character, deeply committed to the idea of Roman justice, proud of his citizenship - yet a Greek from Alexandria in the generation just after Actium and Cleopatra when Greeks were despised as effete and Egyptians as subhuman. His adventures and dangers in Rome feel satisfyingly three-dimensional, without any of that unfortunate trend towards setting a "2003 plot in a toga" that mar some Roman efforts. Bradshaw's scholarship is impressive, and invisible.
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