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Ernest K Gann

Triumph, The
Simon & Schuster, 1986


Recommended for adults. (Includes adultery, drunkenness, homosexuality.) Plot summary: life of General Flavius Silva after he returns to Rome from his victory at Masada. Silva supports Titus against Domitian, has an affair with Vespasian's daughter, adopts one of the surviving children from Masada, meets Plutarch and Josephus. He tries to preserve his self-respect, himself an introspective person, respectful of other cultures. Titus, Vespasian, and Domitian are prominent characters. The duality of the Flavians (Titus & Vespasian): affable and approachable up to a point, then...beware!! The author supplies a chronology of the Flavians at the beginning of the novel. Gann has done research in Rome, Praeneste, the EUR, and Ostia and talked to several archaeologists. He thinks Flavius Silva may have been subject to "damnatio memoriae", which explains his "disappearance" after Masada The novel emphasizes Rome's seamy and corrupt side: informers spread lies, destroy reputations. Rosalind Harper

- Rosalind Harper , 11/27/2005

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