Our first chat in the New Year is an oldie but goodie: First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough.
January 6 & 20, February 3
This novel, the first in the "Masters of Rome" series, has sparked the interest in Roman history for many readers. For myself, this is one of several go-arounds since I started these online chats in 1995.
From the book description:
With extraordinary narrative power, New York Times bestselling author Colleen McCullough sweeps the reader into a whirlpool of pageantry and passion, bringing to vivid life the most glorious epoch in human history.
January 6: through page 275 (Chapter "The Third Year")
When the world cowered before the legions of Rome, two extraordinary men dreamed of personal glory: the military genius and wealthy rural "upstart" Marius, and Sulla, penniless and debauched but of aristocratic birth. Men of exceptional vision, courage, cunning, and ruthless ambition, separately they faced the insurmountable opposition of powerful, vindictive foes. Yet allied they could answer the treachery of rivals, lovers, enemy generals, and senatorial vipers with intricate and merciless machinations of their own—to achieve in the end a bloody and splendid foretold destiny . . . and win the most coveted honor the Republic could bestow.