OB, I had forgotten Warner. Thanks very much for jogging the memory. I may have to check him out as well.
Pat, really enjoyed your post. Thank you. Though you qualify things a bit in your note, I was going to suggest that huge amounts of historical fiction – at least apart from the big events of which we have record – has to rely on historical guesswork. This isn’t to say some of it doesn’t feel “better”, more “authentic” than others, but when it comes to covering things like motivation, relationships, inner monologues or even general worldview things can get a little dicey…as none of us was there. Of course, to some degree this is true even of modern history and fiction.
Strange Ms McCullough seems to have a thing for old JC. While there’s no questioning his position in history, or his incredible ability as a leader (and self-promoter!), I definitely would have listed him in the relatively rotten category, a “bad egg”, just like you. Early, intensive reading of Asterix might be to blame.
As stated above, if the gods smile upon me, the first volume of Marius’ Mules should arrive in the post today. Quite excited!