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Review: Vespasian. False God of Rome

Robert Fabbri

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Vespasian. False God of Rome

The book “Vespasian. False God of Rome” is the third part of the cycle devoted to Vespasian, the founder of the Flavian dynasty and the initiator of the construction of the magnificent amphitheater – the Colosseum. The action of the third volume takes place during the reign of young Caligula, who takes over the reign after the death of his uncle – Tiberius.

Initially, Caligula held office reasonably, surrounding himself with numerous advisers. Over time, however, under the influence of illness (37 CE), he turned into a despot, focusing on entertainment and pleasure. He copulated with all his sisters (also at public feasts). He abused his considerable power to satisfy his sexual desires, while at the same time giving vent to his love of ridiculing others, regardless of their position, merit or knowledge. After all, he himself wanted to be worshiped as a deity, and therefore he intended to put his statue in the temple in Jerusalem. He was only stopped from doing so by the threat of the Jews that if he dared to do so, they would incite an uprising. The figure of the ruler-madman is excellently shown to us by Robert Fabbri in his book. He allows himself, in the face of much uncertain information, to guess and create the plot according to his own assumptions, not only as to the person of the emperor but also religious matters.

The author properly arranges the facts so that the reader can get to know the figure of Saint Paul and get acquainted with the judgment of Jesus in Jerusalem. Naturally, the author again allows himself to show a subjective version of history, which, however, does not negatively affect the plot and historical content. The reader can explore the complex socio-religious relations in Judea and realize the complexity of the process of shaping early Christianity.

Naturally, the main character is Vespasian, whose ideals of serving Rome get distorted. He has to fulfill all the whims of the emperor, who commissions him with the mission of stealing a precious and symbolic item from Alexandria, just so that he can make a triumphal procession. The author presents us with a character who is already mature and aware of his decisions, but he is still subjected to numerous challenges and contradictions. The heroes are inseparably accompanied by numerous obstacles and adversities, which only adds vigor to the plot.

The author at the end of the book puts his own observations on the plot, fantasizing, and sources. This is an extremely useful part of the book, allowing you to better understand the timing and decisions of the author about the plot. The third volume, like the previous ones, effectively and effectively takes us into the world of ancient Rome. The author tries to thoroughly show the complexity of the relationship between the Eternal City and the entire Empire during the reign of “Shoe”.

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