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Full Version: New Book: Imperial General by Philip Matyszak
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Just saw this on Amazon, and found no mention of it here (unless I missed it, for which I apologize if I did).

Perhaps someone has seen an early review copy or has some info on this title?
The listed publication date is September 2011, but amazon lists the book as still unreleased.
Ignore the cover art -- imaginative at best.

http://www.amazon.com/IMPERIAL-GENERAL-R..._hu_m_3_dp

Publication Date: September 2011

Petilius Cerealis is one of the few Imperial Roman officers, below the level of Emperor, whose career it is possible to follow in sufficient detail to write a coherent biography. Fortunately his career was a remarkably eventful and colorful one. With a knack for being caught up in big events and emerging unscathed despite some hairy adventures (and scandal, usually involving some local wench) he appears to have been a Roman version of Blackadder and Flashman combined.

Cerealis was in Britain when Boudicca's revolt erupted (60 or 61 AD) and marched to confront her. He lost most of his force but narrowly escaped with his own skin intact. In 69 AD, the infamously tumultuous 'year of the four emperors', he was in Rome, the seat of conspiracy. When his uncle, none other than Vespasian, decided to make his own bid for the imperial purple (he was to become the fourth emperor that year), Cerealis was in danger of losing his life as a traitor and had to escape from the city to join his uncle who was marching to force his way in. A short while later he was commanding a force on the Rhine when the Batavian mutiny broke out. This time he only escaped death because he was in bed with a local girl rather than in his own tent. And so it goes on...
'Imperial General is both a fascinating insight into the life of an imperial Roman officer during the period of the Principate, and a rollicking good tale told in Philip Matyszak's trademark lively style.


:?

Narukami
This book has actually been mentioned here, although nobody has yet come forward with a comment or review. I did think at the time that it looked potentially interesting, although I'd rather wait to see what others make of it first...

Cerealis found his way through a fair number of scrapes, but I wonder whether an account of his life could be stretched to 250 pages without quite a bit of fact-inflation. Where, for example, do we learn that he was 'in bed with a local girl rather than in his own tent' when the Batavian rebels attacked his camp? Tacitus only mentions that he was still in bed, and was not in the camp - so he was probably in neighbouring Trier, presuming on the provincials. The 'local girl' is merely local colour...

(*Edit - I was actually wrong about this: Tacitus does mention the rumoured woman (Claudia Sacrata, of the Ubi, allegedly), in Histories 5.22)

If Cerealis's life is used as a hook upon which to hang a detailed account of the period (particularly, and potentially controversially, his governorship of Britain: did he really build all those forts in Scotland, rather than Agricola? Confusedhock: ) then this might be a worthy read. However, I've seen quite a few 'biographies' of minor figures and incidents from the ancient world which veer too much towards 'fiction'...

Quote:Ignore the cover art -- imaginative at best.
I think he's showing us his 'war face' Confusedmile:
OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!! Confusedhock:

Cerealis is one of my favourite historical charaters and I really resent the Blackadder/Flashman tags!

How VERY dare they. :x :x :x

'Imperial General is both a fascinating insight into the life of an imperial Roman officer during the period of the Principate, and a rollicking good tale told in Philip Matyszak's trademark lively style.

How that makes me shudder. May the ghosts of the Ninth haunt Matyszak for his "trademark lively style".
Hi,

I waited in great anticipation for this book and pre-ordered only to be told that it was unavailable and my order was cancelled. I had forgotten about it until I saw this thread and went back to Amazon and it is now available. I have ordered it at last!
I too am disturbed at the Blackadder/Flashman comment...I more imagined him to be more like Stephen Fry's Duke of Wellington portrayal :twisted:
*quickly runs for cover*
Wink
Dando Collins seems to be quite the scholar from the sounds of this! :twisted: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Quote:Petilius Cerealis is one of the few Imperial Roman officers, below the level of Emperor, whose career it is possible to follow in sufficient detail to write a coherent biography.
Hmmm ... sufficient detail for a novel, perhaps. But a biography? :?