The Gods of War

The Gods of War
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The fourth and final volume in the acclaimed Emperor series, in which Conn Iggulden brilliantly weaves history and adventure to recreate the astonishing life of Julius Caesar.Caesar must fight his toughest battle yet – with Rome itself.Julius Caesar, fresh from triumph in Britain and Gaul, is marching on Rome with his legions of hardened veterans. His goal: to unseat Pompey, now dictator of the Empire.But waging war on your own people is never easy. And even after the city itself is taken and Julius, Brutus, Mark Antony and Octavian re-enter in triumph, there are many battles left to fight. For across the Empire – in Spain, Africa, Greece, across Asia Minor – there are legions loyal to Pompey. How will Caesar prevail? And at what cost?‘The Gods of War’ is the story of ambition and loyalty, of friendship and power, of love and war. A famous tale, of truly epic dimensions, it ranges from Rome to Greece to Egypt and back to Rome; it shows how brilliant generalship can completely turn the odds, how overwhelming success can change even the best of men; it depicts brilliantly those famous names – Caesar, Marcus Brutus, Mark Antony, Pompey, Cicero, Cleopatra, Ptolemy – so that they appear anew. This is a triumphant conclusion to the outstanding Emperor series.


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Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 1 London Bridge Street London SE1 9GF

First published in Great Britain by HarperCollinsPublishers 2006

Copyright © Conn Iggulden 2006

Conn Iggulden asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

Source ISBN: 9780007437153

Ebook Edition © December 2013 ISBN: 9780007321780

Version: 2017-05-22

To my wife

‘Great men are necessary for our life, in order that the movement of world history can free itself sporadically, by fits and starts, from obsolete ways of living and inconsequential talk.’

Jacob Burckhardt

Pompey pronounced each word as a hammer blow. ‘Therefore, by his actions, Caesar is today declared Enemy of Rome. His titles and honours are revoked. His right to command legions is struck from the records. His life is forfeit. It will be war.’

The senate chamber was finally still after the storms of debate, the tension showing in every face. The messengers who had killed horses to reach them had no way of knowing the pace of those who followed. The Rubicon line had been crossed and the legions of Gaul were racing south.

Pompey had aged visibly over two days of strain, yet he stood before them with a straight back, his experience giving him the strength to dominate the room. He watched as the senators slowly lost their frozen expressions and saw dozens of them meet each other’s eyes in private communication. There were many there who still blamed Pompey for the chaos in the city three years before. It had been his legion that failed to maintain order then and his dictatorship that had arisen from that conflict. He knew there were more than a few voices muttering for him to put aside the position and elect consuls once again. The very building in which they sat was a constant reminder, with its smell of fresh lime and wood. The ashes of the old site had been cleared, but the foundations remained as a mute testament to the destruction and rioting in the city.

In the silence, Pompey wondered whom he could trust in the struggle. Who amongst them had the strength he needed? He had no illusions. Julius was coming south with four veteran legions and there was nothing in Rome to stand against them. In just a few days, the commander of Gaul would be hammering at the gates of the city and some of the men before Pompey would clamour to let him in.

‘There are hard choices to be made, gentlemen,’ he said.

They watched him closely, judging his strength, his weaknesses. One slip, he knew, and they would tear him apart. He would not give them the chance.

‘I have legions in Greece who have not been infected by the enthusiasms of the mob in Rome. Though there may be traitors in this city, the rule of law has not lost its voice in our dominions.’

How closely he watched them then to see who looked away, but every eye was on him.

‘Gentlemen, there is no other option but to leave Rome for Greece and gather our armies there. At present, the bulk of Caesar’s forces remain in Gaul. Once they join him, the whole country could fall before we have a sufficient presence in the field. I do not wish to lose a race to reinforce. Better to be certain and go to our armies. There are ten legions in Greece waiting for the call to defend against this traitor. We must not disappoint them.

‘If he remains in our city, we will return to tear him out, exactly as Cornelius Sulla did to his uncle. The battle must be joined with him. He has made that clear by ignoring the lawful orders of this Senate. There can be no agreements, no peace while he lives. Rome cannot have two masters and I will

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