Friday, October 22, 2021

R. Fabbri and Cricus Maximus

 Salvete Omnes,


Having taken a short break from the XVII century Polish-Turkish  wars and horse tribulations I decided to read a novel of the magnificent European and Mediterranean past i.e., the ancient Rome.
There are many writers on the UK and USA sides of the genre, and since I have not yet received the newest one by Harry Sidebottom so I picked  one novel  by Robert Fabbri titled Vespasian, Tribune of Rome. Vespasian takes place during the reign of the princeps Tiberius and his family and his praetorian prefect Sejanus' rule in the capital, involves our main characters getting pulled into many schemes and machinations of then Roman elites. The world depicted in the novel is of passions, warrior-craft, brutality, hot tempers, slaves and pitiless slavery, punishment and pain, suffering, intrigue, quest for power and even love and obviously hatred  - you can read the biography of Vespasianus on Wikipedia and you will get the idea what the potential for a good adventurous novel his life had and this novel may have. The hero is young, perhaps too wise for his years, but then he had to grow up fast and furiously if he wants to survive this ride - yep, there is lots of riding too.
And Swiss-UK author, Robert Fabbri,. delivers the story in his epic style and with dramatic attention to minutiae. Ergo, we, a reader, get a fine epic story, with clearly described heroes and villains and without judgement on their actions. The sidekick from Sabura one Magnus is a gem too.

So I finished it in no time, it was enjoyable and entertaining, and among its scenes and places there is a long sequence devoted to the chariot race  in the famous Circus Maximus of Rome. The scene at the races is important for the book in general and for the characters in the story, and from what I know about the actual Vespasian most likely  important for the whole 9 novel series (I am gearing up to read the 2nd one in the series). 
I could say that if you have an itching to read some ancient Roman history novel this one is quite good. 

Last year I posted this entry about Roman chariots and horse, and here I would like to add some more images in the series on this subject - the ancient Roman horse and its environment. 

 on Academia there are many articles, eg -  
Sinclair Bell - The Costume of the Roman Charioteer -
Virgil at the races -  

The Circus and the Cosmopolis -


 a painting of imaginary race at the Circus Maximus  by Viviano Codazzi and Domenico Gargiulo - from my favorite XVII century



all images are from Wiki Commons

1 comment:

Dario T. W. said...

I hasten to add that many years ago I read and enjoyed Robert Graves' I Claudius, and equally liked the British series based on the novel (and the sequel)... with the great Derek Jacobi - later maestro Jacobi played a Benedictine monk and healer brother Cadfael in another film series based on the murder mystery novels by Ellis Peters that took place in the XII century England. Adding to this the British series on Robin Hood with the soundtrack by Clannad those films were fantastic, imaginative, well acted and educational, without being gross, vulgar and insulting to ones intelligence. There was some beauty in them...