Fantasy and Romance Author
Beginning with a gripping account of Augustus's death in AD 14 (the author speculates that Livia may have participated in an assisted suicide so that timeline for the transfer of power to Tiberius would go exactly as planned), this fascinating account of the life of the first Roman emperor covers both the personal and political life of Augustus, who was shrewd and ruthless, cruel yet loyal to his friends, a master manipulator of public opinion, and a consummate propagandist who maintained the facade of being merely the "first citizen" in a republic, while holding sole power for forty years.
In addition to vividly sketching Augustus's famous contemporaries--Julius Caesar, Marc Antony, Cleopatra, among others--the author also presents a lively picture of life in ancient Rome, from weddings to funerals, from food to sexual mores.
A very enjoyable and informative book. I'm definitely going to be downloading the Everitt's biography of Emperor Hadrian next!
This was a magnificient tale from start to finish. Every other biography, movie, or story about Augustus and Mark Antony, leaves you feeling like Augustus is the 'good guy', and Antony is the 'bad guy' ...such a simplistic description fell by the wayside when I read this biography.
In reality, both Augustus and Antony were cruel, despotic tyrants with ruthlessness and savagery in their hearts. Think of Augustus and Antony as being the equivalent of the Hitler and Stalin of the ancient world. Hard to describe either Hitler or Stalin as a 'good guy'. Augustus was the coward and untrustworthy ally at the beginning of the biography, hiding in a marshy swamp at the Battle of Phillipi to avoid joining his men in a battle he was losing; and his betrayal of Cicero, who had helped Augustus to power, by surrendering him to Antony, showed the pettiness and selfishness of Rome's 'greatest emperor'. Talk about despicable, Augustus divorced his first wife Clodia Pulcra, and married Livia on the same day Clodia gave birth to Augustus' first child. And Antony, though not the coward Augustus was, was just as totally self-interested, black-hearted and dishonest, from his foreknowledge of Caesar's assassination. to his deserting/abandoning of his army and navy at the Battle of Actium in order to sexually pursue Cleopatra.
The evil of both Augustus and Antony is breath-taking--the betrayals, the greed, the self-interest...I wound up hoping both tyrants would die before the end of the book...which thankfully they do. No longer do I feel pity for the elderly Augustus' poisoning at the hands of his wife Livia...he surely deserved worse. And Antony's and Cleopatra's well-deserved deaths had me cheering as well. A well-written biography which takes the Hollywood romantic aspect out of the real story of Rome during the civil wars of Augustus and Antony.
Addicted to Audible since 2009
I really enjoyed this book. Well written and the narrator was great. Definitely a good listen!
After watching the TV series Rome I was wondering how much was historically accurate so I downloaded this book. The first half was very interesting and gives a unique view of Caesar Augustus's rise to power. The second half of the book was a bit confusing at times because the author jumped back and forth on the time line. Overall it was a good book and well narrated. It made the historical figure seem more like a living, breathing human rather than the stoic figure so often depicted in marble.
I rather enjoyed this book once i got past the narrators voice. Definitely worth getting if you want to know about Roman History.
I'm not a big history buff, so it has to be interesting in order for me to hang in there with it.
The author makes Roman history fascinating and interesting.
I highly recommend this book!
I enjoyed this book, and I adore the narrator's British accent. The book contains detailed information about Roman lives in and around 40 BC as well as Augustus' personal and political life, although I have to admit, after Actium, the book seemed a little dull and I struggled to finish the last third of the book, but it's still very informative nonetheless.
Tell us about yourself! I am addicted to Audio Books I read them all the time in the car, doing dishes, ironing, What ever.
Lots of good evalution. I enjoyed his take on the data. I liked the way he helped me understand the Roman look at life. He sort of debunked some of the sensational myth.
This is an extremely well written fictionalized account of one of the most fascinating historical figures who ever lived. Interestingly, very germane to present day US. That being said, and although I very much like to learn through reading, the delivery of this material was very dry, more like a history lesson than a novel.
So, if you're looking to be entertained, this may not be for you. If you're looking to be informed, you'll be pleased.
Told as a story and not a dry recitation of facts.
see above. I never could get into the book enough to finish it.
He did not
I might as well be sitting in a class, listening to a lecture for all the entertainment value. I'm sure he knows his subject matter, but I couldn't make a real person of this character as delivered. I want to be entertained, not advised.