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Eagle in the Snow por Wallace Breem
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Eagle in the Snow (original 1970; edição 2004)

por Wallace Breem (Autor)

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3311661,019 (4.08)48
A novel about General Maximus, one of the inspirations behind Ridley Scott's massively successful film GLADIATOR. 'Behind me I left my youth, my middle age, my wife and my happiness. I was a general now and I had only defeat or victory to look forward to. There was no middle way any longer, and I did not care.' In the year AD 406 Rome was on the defensive everywhere, and a single Roman legion stood desperate guard on the Empire's Rhine frontier. Maximus, the legion's commander, is urged to proclaim himself emperor, but he stands by his concept of duty and holds the frontier for longer than seems possible. Then chance plays a cruel trick.… (mais)
Membro:Privada
Título:Eagle in the Snow
Autores:Wallace Breem (Autor)
Informação:Rugged Land (2004), Edition: Reprint, 400 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read, queue

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Eagle in the Snow por Wallace Breem (1970)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 16 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Gripped me at the start, but I lost interest towards the end, because of obvious historical inaccuracies right out of bad medieval movies, plus the lack of any likeable characters. ( )
  summerloud | May 9, 2021 |
I have no memory of buying this book. But I obviously did at some point, because it was sitting on my shelves as I browsed looking for something to read. And I'm not sure why I picked it up to read this time as I thought I was looking for something more light-hearted. A quick read. Still, this was the one I picked, a classic historical fiction first published in 1970 telling the story of "General Maximus and Rome's Last Stand". It is not quick read.
But it is a very good one.
General Maximus is our narrator, he is telling the story of his own life, and that of the end of the Roman empire. It is a quite a dense book, and at first I will admit I thought that I'd made a mistake and that I wasn't going to enjoy it at all. It seemed on the dry and dusty side, but as I read on I realised that it wasn't at all. It is never going to be an in-depth look at the characters or full of stirring heroics. At least not in an overt way. But the writing manages to make you care about this general and his unwavering sense of duty.
I often have issues with historical novels set in the Roman empire, especially when they tell the tales from the Roman POV. I know that the Roman Empire did many great things, ((thank you Monty Python's Life of Brian)) but it was also an empire founded on blood on conquest, and a belief that the Roman way was the best, the only way. I object to that, and also to the dismissal of all other people's at the time as "barbarians".
Eagle in the snow does have a Roman general as it's first person narrator, so of course it is going to give that Roman point of view, but Maximus' perspective does allow for some recognition of the barbarians as people, and he certainly is not above criticising the empire and its corruption.
It is a book all about soldiering, but not the sword and sandals sort, this is the tactics and the actual management of men. Yes, battles feature, but so too does the important of quartermasters and supplies. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in historical fiction.
As I said, it's style isn't one I often enjoy, but Breem's writing did more than enough to keep me entertained in the whole story. ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
I have read the negative reviews and the positive. The build up for this story leading to its tragic ending is a slow grind to say the least. But I honestly believe that this what the author was going for. Several reviews point out the lack of characterization of the soldiers. Well. If you can imagine it..then this was probably exactly the way they saw each other. These men knew each other extremely well on the line. But outside of that, which is an area that really did not exist because none of them had much a life to return to, having been away so long. I guess you can call it being institutionalized in warped sort of way. I see many references to Pressfield's Gates of Fire. An exceptional book in itself. But the comparisons are a little too tight to be of much relevance. The story is about one thing....Honor and lack of it. ( )
  Joe73 | Dec 3, 2020 |
A splendid novel: an absolute masterpiece!!! I loved the author's style and descriptions of the bleak landscape, forts, and towns; I could feel every sword thrust, the ice and snow, every emotion of the protagonist! The mood of foreboding permeated the whole novel. Set in the 4th and 5th centuries, the time of Honorius, Stilicho, and Galla Placidia, the story is told in the first person in flashback by the dour Roman General Maximus, to a group of tribesmen in Segontium (modern-day Caernarfon, Wales). The general holds to the stoic manly virtues of the earlier Rome. Due to a quirk of fate, the Rhine freezes over and the barbarians cross on the ice to the west bank, overwhelming the Romans at the 30th milestone between Augusta Treverorum (Trier) and Moguntiacum (Mainz).

In history, this Rhine battle actually did contribute to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire not many years hence. The ending, in an epilogue, was heart-breaking. The author has clearly done his historical research. Possibly for heightened dramatic effect, the author blended the forced suicide of Martinus, Vicarius of Britannia, with those of Arria and Paetus, all three of them historical figures. ( )
  janerawoof | Feb 17, 2020 |
“Eagle in the Snow” is a historical novel set in the part of Germany that was under Roman control in the 5th century. I found this a fascinating story of “…how the last of the Eagles was destroyed by a river of ice.” (From the prologue.)

The Roman Empire is on its last legs, with its legions too reduced and scattered to be effectual anywhere. Paulinus Gaius Maximus is the Roman general entrusted with keeping the barbarians out of Gaul. His front line is the 78 miles of the Rhenus River (now Rhine) from modern Koblenz to Worms, Germany, using one legion (6,000 men) for a job that previously utilized (and still needed) 80,000 men.

From the summer of 405 AD until January 16 of 407, Maximus recruits, trains, builds, plans and battles to keep the line. Except for the prologue and epilogue, Maximus narrates the story. The author does a fine job of getting you into the time, seeing what the Romans thought was necessary to keep the peace, and how they went about doing their jobs, part of their problem being the political intrigue of the time.

Sense of time and sense of place were very well done. ( )
  countrylife | Jun 15, 2016 |
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You think I am lucky because I am old, because I knew a world that was not turned upside down.
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He had no initiative, no imagination, no understanding. It was hard to blame him. He was, after all, only a civil servant.
It was full of polite evasions, veiled threats, meaningless assurances, and hollow sincerities, the whole so wrapped in the stilted language of the civil administration as to rob the contents of any value whatsoever.
DIS MANIBUS P GAIO MAXIMO FILIO CLAUDII ARELATISPRAEFECTUS I COH TUNG LEG XX VAL VIC DUX MOGUNTIACENSIS COMES GALLIARUM ANN LXVII CCCCX ET Q VERONIO PRAEFECTUS ALAE PETRIAE PRAEFECTUS II COH ASTUR MAGISTER EQUITUM GERMANIAE SUPER ANN LXVI CECIDIT BELLO RHENO CCCCVII SA TURNINUS AMICUS FECIT
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A novel about General Maximus, one of the inspirations behind Ridley Scott's massively successful film GLADIATOR. 'Behind me I left my youth, my middle age, my wife and my happiness. I was a general now and I had only defeat or victory to look forward to. There was no middle way any longer, and I did not care.' In the year AD 406 Rome was on the defensive everywhere, and a single Roman legion stood desperate guard on the Empire's Rhine frontier. Maximus, the legion's commander, is urged to proclaim himself emperor, but he stands by his concept of duty and holds the frontier for longer than seems possible. Then chance plays a cruel trick.

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