From the death of Julius Caesar in 44BC to the fall of Rome in 476AD, Dark History of the Roman Emperors presents a wry and witty look at five centuries of Roman mayhem, murder, incest, infanticide, sadism, sexual depravity and madness. Featuring such notorious names as Claudius, Tiberius and Commodus, this book retells all of the most eye-opening accounts of imperial misdeeds, drawing on many original Roman sources.
Illustrated with striking images of the protagonists and their deeds, from ancient statues to medieval engravings and renaissance paintings, Dark History of the Roman Emperors is an entertaining and visually spectacular account of the skulduggery of the greatest empire the world has ever known – and the hubris that came with it.
In this remarkable dual biography of the two great lovers of the ancient world, Goldsworthy goes beyond myth and romance to create a nuanced and historically acute portrayal of his subjects, set against the political backdrop of their time. A history of lives lived intensely at a time when the world was changing profoundly, the book takes readers on a journey that crosses cultures and boundaries from ancient Greece and ancient Egypt to the Roman Empire.
Drawing on his prodigious knowledge of the ancient world and his keen sense of the period's military and political history, Goldsworthy creates a singular portrait of the iconic lovers. "Antony and Cleopatra were first and foremost political animals," explains Goldsworthy, who places politics and ideology at the heart of their storied romance. Undertaking a close analysis of ancient sources and archaeological evidence, Goldsworthy bridges the gaps of current scholarship and dispels misconceptions that have entered the popular consciousness. He explains why Cleopatra was consistently portrayed by Hollywood as an Egyptian, even though she was really Greek, and argues that Antony had far less military experience than anyone would suspect from reading Shakespeare and other literature. Goldsworthy makes an important case for understanding Antony as a powerful Roman senator and political force in his own right.
Pompey, Caesar, Cicero, Brutus, Antony: the names still resonate across thousands of years. Major figures in the civil wars that brutally ended the Roman republic, their lives pose a question that haunts us still: how to safeguard a republic from the flaws of its leaders.
This reader’s edition of Plutarch delivers a fresh translation of notable clarity, explanatory notes, and ample historical context in the Preface and Introduction.