Caesar by Colleen McCullough

By Colleen McCullough

Rome fifty four BC:

Caesar's legions are sweeping throughout Gaul, brutally subduing the tribes who defy him. yet, in Rome, his enemies are plotting his downfall and shame. Vindictive schemers like Cato and Bibulus, the spineless Cicero, the avaricious Brutus. Even Pompey, Caesar's former ally.

But all have underestimated Caesar.

When the Senate refuse to provide him his due he marches upon Rome, a military ready to die for him at his again. Rome is his future - a future that might impel him to the banks of the Rubicon, and past, into legend.

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We were now privates in the Infantry Corps! Here, 27 C18248 Behind Enemy txt SD 24/8/01 8:45 PM Page 28 BEHIND ENEMY LINES NCOs were to be addressed by their rank. One only stood to attention for an officer, a godlike creature that to date we had only glimpsed as they floated about on mysterious errands. ‘Stewie’ then escorted us to the Q where we were issued with the infantry soldier’s tools of trade. Entrenching tool, helmet, rifle, bayonet and magazines and truly the most wondrous sleeping gear a man had ever seen.

We arrived on 1 August 1966. 38 C18248 Behind Enemy txt SD 24/8/01 8:45 PM Page 39 4 SAS selection Rolling through the Swan Valley on ‘the Rattler’, I wondered what lay in store for us on arrival at Perth Central. Would there be someone to meet us? Where was the SAS Regiment located? But for the moment there was little else to do but relax and enjoy the final stages of the trip through Perth’s eastern suburbs. With a screeching of brakes and a last blast on the whistle, the rail link to the eastern states rolled into the platform.

Presently a corporal turned up. Guv, conscious of his recent award for champion soldier, leapt to his feet and screamed us to attention. The good Cpl almost fell over backwards in sheer surprise at our actions and then spent some time briefing us that Wagga was far behind us. We were now privates in the Infantry Corps! Here, 27 C18248 Behind Enemy txt SD 24/8/01 8:45 PM Page 28 BEHIND ENEMY LINES NCOs were to be addressed by their rank. One only stood to attention for an officer, a godlike creature that to date we had only glimpsed as they floated about on mysterious errands.

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