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The Gates Of Rome:Emperor Series 1
Author: Conn Iggulden

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780007321759
Pages: 425
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The Gates of Rome - spanning from 92 BC to 82 BC (Caesar at eight years of age to the victory of Sulla). Caesar grows up with his childhood friend Marcus outside Rome, terrorized by the slightly older chubby neighbor Suetonius Prandus. Caesar and Marcus are trained to be warriors under the tutelage of ex-gladiator and soldier, Renius. After Caesar's father and others are killed in a slave revolt, the children go to Rome to join Caesar's uncle (in reality not related by blood) Gaius Marius and the populares faction. Marius, who is consul, is 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 VI of Pontus. Meanwhile, Marius takes possession of Rome and Caesar falls in love with Cornelia Cinna, daughter of a popular. Marcus goes to Macedon to join a legion as he is, by his unnoble birth, not in position to become a senator. Upon Sulla's return, civil war rages (historically, though simplified) between him and Marius. By having left soldiers in Rome, Sulla succeeds in capturing the city and kills Marius when he refuses to surrender. By his dying breath, Marius asks his loyal men to defeat Sulla. After days of tough street-fighting in which Caesar is captured, Sulla emerges victor and is proclaimed dictator. He asks Caesar to join him, threatening him with torture and death if he refuses. Upon seeing the young man irresistibly wanting to turn his back on his dead uncle, Sulla lets him go. Forced to flee Rome, Caesar does so and joins the navy to go to Egypt. Meanwhile, Marcus has been victorious in campaigns against barbarians and is opted to lengthen his contract. He does so, and when asked to sign his name, reveals the surname Brutus (Marcus Brutus). The book closes by Brutus being praised for his great valor.