Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor Audiobook | Anthony Everitt | Audible.com
We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor | [Anthony Everitt]

Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor

Caesar Augustus has been called history's greatest emperor. It was said he found Rome made of clay and left it made of marble. With a senator for a father and Julius Caesar for a great-uncle, he ascended the ranks of Roman society with breathtaking speed. His courage in battle is still questioned yet his political savvy was second to none. He had a lifelong rival in Mark Antony and a 51-year companion in his wife, Livia. And his influence extended perhaps further than that of any ruler who has ever lived.
Regular Price:$27.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Historian Anthony Everitt earned widespread critical acclaim for his best-selling biography of Cicero. Now, with Augustus, he delivers his second spellbinding account of a Roman icon whose legacy has echoed through the ages.

Caesar Augustus has been called history's greatest emperor. It was said he found Rome made of clay and left it made of marble. With a senator for a father and Julius Caesar for a great-uncle, he ascended the ranks of Roman society with breathtaking speed. His courage in battle is still questioned, yet his political savvy was second to none. He had a lifelong rival in Mark Antony and a 51-year companion in his wife, Livia. And his influence extended perhaps further than that of any ruler who has ever lived.

Drawing on the available information, while making a handful of his own groundbreaking assertions, Everitt brings the real Augustus to vivid life in this fascinating narrative.

©2006 Anthony Everitt; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC

What the Critics Say

"This familiar story is fresh again in this lively retelling." (Publishers Weekly)
"Everitt's writing is so crisp and so lively he brings both Rome and Augustus to life in this magnificent work, a must-read for anyone interested in classical times." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (753 )
5 star
 (269)
4 star
 (304)
3 star
 (133)
2 star
 (28)
1 star
 (19)
Overall
4.1 (351 )
5 star
 (135)
4 star
 (145)
3 star
 (44)
2 star
 (19)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.2 (350 )
5 star
 (157)
4 star
 (116)
3 star
 (58)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Joyce Eriksen Blairsville, Ga United States 04-11-07
    Joyce Eriksen Blairsville, Ga United States 04-11-07 Member Since 2007

    History addict

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "The real thing"

    This is a serious and well researched Biography of a man most of us know as the villain of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra and the old fool in I Claudius.
    It is eminently clear from Augustus, that he was a born power broker and getter. If he was corrupt it was the kind of corruption we still see in the political arena. The US does not see much in the way of political assasination, but it is certainly a way of life in many countries today just as it was in Rome. This book is very well worth the read.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James F. Geary 04-08-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    56
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent story"

    If Augustus did not did not exist, a novelist would have had to invent him. A truly extraordinary life. The book is far more detailed on his rise to power than his life as the creator of the Rome the movies have made familiar to generations of fans. In part that may be a result of the extraordinary power Augustus exerted over the history of Rome once he was the last man standing when Anthony died. All in all, a great adventure!

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trent Bloomington, IL, United States 04-09-09
    Trent Bloomington, IL, United States 04-09-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    86
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    20
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "A well rounded history of Augustus"

    A well written and well narrated history of Augustus. Definitely worth a credit. Highly recommend.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    proton 08-27-07
    proton 08-27-07 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    227
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Outstanding"

    An excellent biography of one of the most important persons in all of human history. Beautifully told and brilliantly read. Not only highly enjoyable but factual with caution.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 07-15-13
    Cynthia Monrovia, California, United States 07-15-13 Member Since 2012

    Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3344
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    146
    146
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1617
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Original Game of Thrones"

    Augustus

    Before I listened to Anthony Everett's "Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor" (2007), my knowledge of Ancient Roman History was woefully inadequate. I had a high school world history class with a chapter on Ancient Greece and Rome, and an inexplicably thorough semester long course on mythology, both that I promptly forgot.

    Everett's "Augustus" made that time and place real to me. I was fascinated by the political and military acumen that Octavian (later Augustus) used to gain and keep his power. Ancient Romans needed family pedigrees to attain rank, and Augustus did so by becoming the adopted son of his uncle, Julius Caesar.

    Daughters were treated as political coin, used to establish and maintain powerful connections. For example, Livia, Augustus' wife, was married to Tiberius Claudius Nero, and divorced him to marry Octavian (Augustus). The political connection was so important that Tiberius gave her away in marriage, since Livia's father was dead. Julius Caesar had adopted the younger Tiberius. The younger Tiberius married Julia Augustus Filii, Augustus' son with his former wife, Scribonia. That Tiberius succeeded Augustus as Emperor.

    The Ancient Romans resorted to murders and forced suicides to gain power, and this story had them all - from the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC to the suicides of Marc Antony and Cleopatra in 30 BC, to the assassination of Postumus Agrippa, Augustus' grandson 14 AD, shortly after Augustus death. Postumus Agrippa's murder cleared any claim to Augustus' throne. There has always been speculation that Livia helped in some other convenient deaths.

    If these story lines were written for the soap opera "One Life to Live" they would be edited to make them more believable.

    The familial relationships, deifications, name changes, and honors granted with titles were so complex that I wished for a text version of the book with an index and family trees.

    I enjoyed the narration, but I have no idea whether the Latin pronunciations were correct. However, as a long ago Latin teacher pointed out to me - no one knows. It's not spoken anymore except in Mass, and after 2,000 years, it may have changed.

    [If you found this review helpful please let me know by pushing the helpful button. Thanks!]

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Houston, TX, United States 01-19-14
    David Houston, TX, United States 01-19-14 Member Since 2008

    Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    446
    139
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    272
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Workmanlike"

    Having been completely captivated by Robert Graves' "I Claudius" when I was young, first as a book and then in the brilliant Masterpiece Theatre series, I'm afraid I was a fairly tough audience for this entirely workmanlike and respectable biography of the pivotal Augustus. It is completely unfair and foolish to compare history with historical fiction--different rules and different objectives. Nonetheless, I could have hoped for a style and approach which were somewhat more evocative of the world in which Augustus operated. Almost all of the context here is political or military which is somewhat disappointing when you are dealing with an era which is so rich in so many other ways. Of course the historian is limited by the available sources, but I think Everitt could have utilized a good deal more of the available material on the social and physical milieu of the times.

    Nonetheless, I never found my interest flagging. The presentation of the material was coherent and there is more than enough fascinating detail to draw one along. Where the historical record is too scanty to provide definitive answers to key questions, the author speculates, carefully laying out the evidence for alternative theories and making some tentative judgements about the most likely answers in a way which leaves paths open for further speculation.

    So while this is certainly not a riveting account of Augustus’ life, it is definitely worth your time and credit if you want a solid introduction to the subject.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trevor Paso Robles, CA, United States 01-10-13
    Trevor Paso Robles, CA, United States 01-10-13

    History Major Video Game Player Avid Skiier Unskilled Lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Noncontroversial but Entertaining!"

    Augustus is perhaps the most historically significant figure in western civilization.

    In "Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor," Everitt weaves a very harmonious narrative about the life of Rome's princeps. Proceeding chronologically, Everitt begins with a short history of Julius Caesar's career. What follows is essentially a day to day account of the life of young Gaius becoming the elderly Augustus. Along the way the reader encounters many semi-mythic figures including Agrippa, Sextus Pompei, Cleopatra, and of course Marc Antony. The biography finishes its narrative with Augustus attempting to ensure his dynastic ambitions.

    The novel is an excellent in-car read for classics enthusiasts. It paints a vivid and colorful picture of what the life of Augustus was probably like. My biggest complaint, is that this book reads more like a best seller and less like a text book. That is not to say that this work has not been well researched, only that the author does not frequently stray from his interpretation of the truth to acknowledge other understandings of what might have taken place. This aides in readability (or listenability?), but detracts from the intellectual, or more specifically, historical, merit of this work.

    TL;DR: The book is not a masterpiece of historical research, but it makes for a fantastic listen for enthusiasts of Classics, Rome, or Western Civilization.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Iga Los Angeles 08-24-12
    Carolyn Iga Los Angeles 08-24-12 Member Since 2008

    Carolyn

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging"
    What made the experience of listening to Augustus the most enjoyable?

    Certainly brought to life the characters. I happened to be in Rome during the listen so it really deepened my experience of the city and ruins. I am not a history buff so I do not know if all facts are true but it was certainly very believable. Enjoyed the read very much.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pino Montreal, Quebec, Canada 07-26-12
    Pino Montreal, Quebec, Canada 07-26-12 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    33
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "History done right."
    Where does Augustus rank among all the audiobooks you???ve listened to so far?

    I've listened to many history books. Some of them are boring, some are too detailed and I lose interest but not this one. I always want facts and this book delivers and that's a fact.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Octavian was an interesting figure but then again the Roman history is interesting in itself.


    Any additional comments?

    If you love history, then this is a great book. If your thing is Roman history, then this is a no brainer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Sarasota, FL United States 02-05-12
    Amazon Customer Sarasota, FL United States 02-05-12 Member Since 2005

    Ricko

    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    118
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "All the Details Most Histories Skip Over"

    This is a fascinating book about one of history's most significant figures. I studied Roman history extensively in college, but most histories gloss over so many of the most fascinating years of Augustus' life. Everitt's book delves into them and more. It's a compelling, enjoyable, and even-handed appraisal of the man's life an times. A perfect follow-up to the book Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland, which is another great audiobook.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 47 results PREVIOUS1235NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.