Denise Rinaldo’s Julius Caesar: Dictator (A Wicked History)

Julius Caesar: Dictator for Life (Wicked History) by Denise Rinaldo | LibraryThing

Rinaldo, D. (2010). Julius Caesar: Dictator for life. New York: Franklin Watts. 9780531212769

Reasons for Reading After I finished the Cleopatra biography, I wanted to know a little more about Julius Caesar. Yet, I didn’t want to read a 400 page book about him. That’s when I remembered the Wicked History Series. I checked out a copy from HCPL.

Summary Back in 100 BC, Rome existed as a democratic republic. Some consider this one of first democracies. Yet, Rome faced trouble – slave revolts, corrupt politicians, military coups, etc.

Rising from the Roman ashes, Julius Caesar eases the chaos. He ruthlessly attacked all who opposed him; including old allies. After winning the civil war, Caesar declared himself supreme ruler. The Republic ended with him. Not everyone liked that.

What I Liked This series of books delivers the facts in a concise, informative way. I appreciated learning the facts of Julius Caesar and his world without being bogged down in too many details.

What I Disliked Just one thing – I wished for more on Cleopatra.

Four Out of Five Pearls


We should all be

very afraid. He is surely

making himself into a tyrant.

– Roman orator Cicero, on Caesar, 59 B.C.

Song: Tears For Fears – “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” – ORIGINAL VIDEO – YouTube

Setting: Ancient Rome, the Near East, Europe

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Stacy Schiff’s Cleopatra: A Life

Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff | LibraryThing

Schiff, S. (2010). Cleopatra: A life. New York: Little, Brown and Co. 9780316001922

When selecting books, I usually choose fiction. Of course, I’m still participating in the Non-Fiction Challenge. My favorite Non-Fiction genre would be Biography. Within Biography, Cleopatra has been a top pick for me. She was powerful and charming and rather pecular in a world dominated by men. Seeing Stacy Schiff’s recent book on Cleopatra, I naturally added my name to HCPL’s waiting list for this book.

After much research, Schiff endeavors to render a true, living color portrait of the enigmatic Cleopatra. She richly recreates the everyday life of Cleopatra and her contemporaries as she relates the great rise and fall of this unforgettable figure.

This biography filled my plate with much food for thought. I’m unaware of any other Cleopatra biography that offers this much to ponder. As I don’t care for spoilers, I’ll leave it to future readers to discover those various gems. One side note which I doubt reveals much is about Cicero rather than Cleopatra; this pompous man was an excellent writer and Schiff conveyed that well.

My biggest gripe about the book would be the huge words which had me reaching for the dictionary countless times. I felt as though I were in my first year of college again.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Places: Egypt, Rome, and most of the Ancient Near East  

Song:  Tal Bachman – She’s So High – YouTube

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