The Ides of March: A Novel
The Ides of March: A Novel
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Drawing on such unique sources as Thornton Wilder's unpublished letters, journals, and selections from the extensive annotations Wilder made years later in the margins of the book, Tappan Wilder's Afterword adds a special dimension to the reissue of this internationally acclaimed novel.
The Ides of March, first published in 1948, is a brilliant epistolary novel set in Julius Caesar's Rome. Thornton Wilder called it "a fantasia on certain events and persons of the last days of the Roman republic." Through vividly imagined letters and documents, Wilder brings to life a dramatic period of world history and one of history's most magnetic, elusive personalities.
In this inventive narrative, the Caesar of history becomes Caesar the human being. Wilder also resurrects the controversial figures surrounding Caesar -- Cleopatra, Catullus, Cicero, and others. All Rome comes crowding through these pages -- the Rome of villas and slums, beautiful women and brawling youths, spies and assassins.
and yellow in color. Pink quartz in crop. Further detailed study has been ordered. Second pigeon: Nothing to remark. Observed flights: an eagle from three miles north of Mt. Soracte to limit of vision over Tivoli. The bird showed some uncertainty as to direction in its approach toward the city. Thunder: No thunder has been heard since that last reported twelve days ago. Health and long life to the Supreme Pontiff. I-A Notation by Caesar, confidential, for his ecclesiastical secretary. Item
Deedja—Crocodeedja is very unhappy-happy, very happy-unhappy. Happy that she is to see her Deedja on the night of the twelfth, all the night of the twelfth, and unhappy that the night of the twelfth is a thousand years away. When I am not with my Deedja I sit weeping. I tear my robe to pieces, I wonder why I am here, why I am not in Egypt, what I am doing in Rome. Everybody hates me; everybody sends me letters wishing me dead. Cannot my Deedja come before the twelfth? Oh, Deedja, life is short,
possible etymology of three obsolete words in the Testament of Romulus.] 959–963. [On some trends and events in current politics.] 964. [He gives his low opinion of Cicero’s employment of metrical devices in his orations.] 965–967. [On politics.] 968. [On Roman religion. This entry has already appeared in this volume as Section 1-B.] 969. [On Clodia Pulcher and her upbringing.] Clodia and her brother have invited us to dinner. I seem to have discussed the situation of this couple
my duties in connection with the Mysteries [of the Good Goddess]. Naturally, I would not think of going to that house without the assurance that you and your dear wife would be there also. Will you return one word by this messenger as to whether you will really be present or not? I must confess that I am not a little curious to see—after all these years of rustication—how that Palatine Hill society lives. The scandalized letters I receive from Sempronia Metella and Servilia and Aemilia Cimber
divine intelligence and great beauty. The truth on very good authority, however, is that he is an idiot and that although he has passed his fourth fifth third birthday he is unable to talk and is scarcely able to walk. The Queen’s sole aim in coming to Rome is to legitimatize legitimize her son and to seek to establish his succession to the mastery of the world. The plan is preposterous, but there are no limits to the ambition of Cleopatra. Her skill at intrigue and her ruthlessness,—which did