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07 March 2008


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Julie Carter

One thing I really appreciate about what Graves did was in giving those diminutives to successive generations. If you've ever read the "real" names of these people, it's baffling. Everyone has exactly the same name. Claudius mentions that when he talks about all the people called "Germanicus."

And yeah, it's amazing how ugly a name Urgulanilla is. Ouch.

All the admirable characters are fools and all the wicked characters are clever. Why? WHY?

Erin A

Ok, I'm way behind -- a combination of an avalanche of client work and evening meetings along with having mis-read the assigned chapters for the week (my bad).

Given that tonight and most of tomorrow are spozed to be dreadfully gross and rainy, I fully intend to catch up.

BTW, I did create a family tree. Spent a good hour, at least, detailing the first three chapters, taking notes, and then connecting the dots. I've found it to be immensely helpful, I've been referring to it frequently. I'd totally share it, but I have no way to post it...


I am a total muppet as I did not realize that we had to read chapter 10 as well. I will read it later. I find the idea of arranged and forced marriages especially at such a young age extremely creepy but I suppose it does explain why the marriages never end well. I really enjoyed the interaction between Claudius, Livy and Pollio I think the latter's advice to Claudius was spot on considering that showing any ambition or independence Livia is a death sentence. I am glad I bought an old copy of I, Claudis because without my family tree I think I would be totally lost. Ok I am off to read chapter 10 and 11, 12 and 13.


Here is today's offering. It just keeps getting better and better. I felt awful about Camilla. I was really attached to her. Though I knew she would be offed.


I love how everyonce in a while you get those flashes of traditional-novelish scenes. And Pollio is one of my all time favorites; I'd trade all of Livy for Pollio. But then, I can't stand Livy (the writer, not the character).

Poor Camilla! I think the most awful thing about it (apart from the fact that she's ELEVEN for crying out loud) is that she died just to prevent Augustus from making his own independant dispositions.

Also: Postumus. Yeah. Falling in love with Livilla? Why? I mean, I know Claudius claims she's always nicey-nice around Postumus, but I'm not sure I buy that she's able to so fully supress her horrible personality. And why, if you'd gotten far enough to suspect Livia of being a poisoner, would you mouth off to her? I think it's because of that quote from the first assignment: Postumus (and Germanicus and Augustus and everyone but Poor Claudius) doesn't realize the extent of her ambition.


I think Urgulanilla is a lovely name. Of course, I wouldn't name a child that- maybe a cat. Anyway, what I enjoy about this book is that I hate everyone I am supposed to, and yet sympathize with them. It's refreshing.


The name Urgulanilla reminds me of that thorny goddess from Diana Wynne Jones' Deep Secret (Uglalaia or something? I miss my books that are in storage!). It's just so spiky and depressing (sorry Mairi!).

I agree that Pollio's advice was crucial if Claudius wants to survive his teen years!

Some more notes here.


I'm catching up!
Chapters 7-10
(let's see if I can't manage a link...)

I'm another one who's perplexed by Postumus' fondness for Livilla. Also, I love the name Postumus! Cracks me up. I'm firmly against Urgulanilla - it sounds like someone gargling.


I like Urgulanilla's name too. I said, "rhymes with Godzilla." My turtle's name is Godzilla. I have a teensy bit of hope that Urgulanilla will surprise us, and somehow help Claudius...the whole enemy of your enemy is your friend thing.

As one of the "good ones" that has fallen for one of the "bad ones" I can somewhat get Postumus' fascination for Livilla. Such people do know how to say the right things, but pull away just when you think you're getting close, and part of your love is your frustration with their not allowing that love. Their touch is an electric spark, like they're operating on a slightly different circuit, and that is exciting and slightly dangerous to us "good ones." We delude ourselves though, because that spark is just static, not deep currents, and that danger could be really really dangerous, not slightly. Along with that is a faith in love, born out of love, that thinks love will set them free. That these "bad ones" can only get out of this horrific psychological trap if indeed they are loved. Again, deluded.

Hey...I just thought of this. Maybe Postumus doesn't care because he's been blasted to pieces by Livilla. Of course you all may know this because you've already read the next chapters.

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