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Book Reviews

The Gates of Rome (Emperor #1) by Conn Iggulden Book Review

The ultimate Rome story From the spectacle of gladiatorial combat to the intrigue of the Senate, from the foreign wars that secure the power of the empire to the betrayals that threaten to tear it apart, this is the remarkable story of the man who would become the greatest Roman of them all: Julius Caesar. In the city of Rome, a titanic power struggle is about to shake the Republic to its core. Citizen will fight citizen in a bloody conflict – and Julius Caesar, cutting his teeth in battle, will be in the thick of the action. The first installment in the bestselling Emperor series.

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Excerpts

Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations Excerpt

We enjoy publishing our thoughts and those of our writers, but we also love going to primary sources whenever possible. Today we’re sitting at the feet of ancient Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius to hear his timeless thoughts on what matters in life—and what doesn’t. The following is excerpted from Book II of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations.

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Marcus Aurelius most mis-quoted advice on how to live a good life

Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.

― Marcus Aurelius

It seems to me like the quote above was fabricated based loosely on another.
Marcus Aurelius was NOT an atheist, the actual quote should show this quite clearly, though much of his philosophy was very practical, and for the most part disinterested in the supernatural.

“Now departure from the world of men is nothing to fear, if gods exist: because they would not involve you in any harm. If they do not exist, or if they have no care for humankind, then what is life to me in a world devoid of gods, or devoid of providence? But they do exist, and they do care for humankind: and they have put it absolutely in man’s power to avoid falling into the true kinds of harm.”
—Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 2.11

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Book Reviews

Red Rising By Pierce Brown (Book 1)

“I live for the dream that my children will be born free. That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them.’
‘I live for you,’ I say sadly.
She kisses my cheek. ‘Then you must live for more.”

I absolutely loved this book. Why? Who wouldn’t want to read about a society split into different functional levels on Mars? About a school for the elite that starts off with the brutal murdering of half of the applicants by their peers, about a rise from rags to riches and a struggle to the top when everybody is perfect. A book about a Mockingjay that sings the start of a revolution and then is hanged to death in front of friends and family and her devoted husband.
About wits and courage and loads of hate.

“Sharpened by hate. Strengthened by love.”