The October Horse

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The October Horse
ColleenMcCullough TheOctoberHorse.jpg
First US edition cover
AuthorColleen McCullough
SeriesMasters of Rome series
GenreHistorical novel
PublisherCentury (UK)
Simon & Schuster (US)
Publication date
7 November 2002
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages608 pp (first edition, hardback)
ISBN0-7126-8056-X (first edition, hardback)
Preceded byCaesar 
Followed byAntony and Cleopatra 

The October Horse is the sixth novel in Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series.

Plot introduction[edit]

The book begins with Gaius Julius Caesar's Egyptian campaign in Alexandria, his final battles with the Republicans led by Metellus Scipio, Cato the Younger, Titus Labienus and the brothers Pompeius in Africa and Spain, and ultimately Caesar's assassination on the Ides of March by Marcus Brutus, Gaius Cassius and the Liberators. The latter stages of The October Horse chronicle the death of Cicero, the emergence of Octavian and his battles with Mark Antony, and conclude with the Battle of Philippi.

Explanation of the novel's title[edit]

The title of the book comes from a peculiar chariot race in Rome on the Ides of October, after which the right-hand horse of the winning team was sacrificed to the Roman gods. Then two teams, one from the Subura and the other from the Via Sacra, competed for the Horse's head. Julius Caesar, figuratively the best war horse in Rome, represents the October Horse in this novel.

Characters in The October Horse[edit]

Release details[edit]


Kirkus Reviews says the book is "a rousing and richly satisfying take on some of history's real beings."[1]