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I, Claudius Chapters 11-16 - very delayed version - There's always time for a book
emmaco
emmaco
I, Claudius Chapters 11-16 - very delayed version
I've been away for work (highlight was the facilitator who sounded just like a talk-show host version of Sean Connery) so have squished a few comments on the last two chunks together here.

Ooh, so Posthumous has managed exile over poisoning, never a mean feat in ye olde Livia-ruled Rome. Does anyone else wonder if they're going to run out of small islands to exile people to, though?

Eeeew to the violent bloodsports!

Cassius is shaping up to be quite the hero, winning duels, keeping his men alive, winning battles despite the odds, surviving a mutiny and so on.

Life in the army sure didn't seem like a barrel of laughs. I love how the soldiers get to sort it out amongst themselves as to who was guilty of leading the mutiny, and then the head chopping is carried out straight away.

There's lots about Germanicus in these chapters. He's becoming a bit annoying. Sure he's honest and is nice to Claudius, but I think he's being willfully naive and ignorant of Livia's ill-doing. I do like how he persuaded his wife to leave his battle camp by asking "whether she thought that Livia would make a good mother for their orphaned children". Of course, this quote shows he knows Livia is trouble but still chooses to do nothing about it!

I kept forgetting about Tiberius and so forgot to hate him until he responded to Claudius' offer of help with "a present of forty fold pieces 'to buy toys with next All Fools' Day'". Wow, nice uncle.

This book is making me realise just how little I remember (or indeed ever knew) about Roman history. I see Caligula has entered proceedings as a cute child and think "hmm, famous, possibly turns out to be evil, maybe emperor?". Very embarrassing. (By the end of Chapter 16 Caligula is shown to be a horrible child so I think I was right and Claudius is laying the ground for Caligula to be a rotter as an adult)

And remember Bookshelves of Doom has more commentary/links to other posts etc!
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Comments
dorianegray From: dorianegray Date: March 12th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Watching you reading this book is fascinating, because I've known and loved it for many years, so seeing what a new reader picks up on is really interesting. Of course, I have to restrain myself from shouting "yeah, but he's gonna die pretty soon" a lot, so as not to make spoilers for you...ah, just assume that most of the characters are going to die. Messily. That's not a spoiler, that's just Imperial Rome at that time. :-)

I must say that I do love Livia. Yes, she's the EvilBitchFromHell, but she's so good at it!
emmaco From: emmaco Date: March 13th, 2008 04:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't worry, I'm pretty much prepared for everyone in the whole entire book to die. Including Claudius, who could finish off the last pages after being poisoned by one of the bad Claudians.

Yes, you have to admire how good Livia is at carrying out her schemes!
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