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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.
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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

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  •  
    Bruce Austin, TX, United States 06-28-12
    Bruce Austin, TX, United States 06-28-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful biography of Augustus"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meghan De Beque, CO, United States 03-05-11
    Meghan De Beque, CO, United States 03-05-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting historical view of Caesar"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Gainesville, Texas, United States 01-13-11
    Anthony Gainesville, Texas, United States 01-13-11
    ratings
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    1
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    "Great book, good narrator"

    I rather enjoyed this book once i got past the narrators voice. Definitely worth getting if you want to know about Roman History.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Seattle, WA, United States 03-18-10
    James Seattle, WA, United States 03-18-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Captivating Way Of Telling 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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 09-12-09
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 09-12-09 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandee White Cloud, MI, United States 01-27-09
    Sandee White Cloud, MI, United States 01-27-09 Member Since 2007

    Tell us about yourself! I am addicted to Audio Books I read them all the time in the car, doing dishes, ironing, What ever.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Interesting"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nancy campione 09-30-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Well Written History Lesson"

    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.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    2Ponds Somerset, CA United States 07-06-13
    2Ponds Somerset, CA United States 07-06-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Subject, Poor Entertainment"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Told as a story and not a dry recitation of facts.


    What was most disappointing about Anthony Everitt’s story?

    see above. I never could get into the book enough to finish it.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He did not


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Wadsworth, OH, United States 10-07-12
    Andrew Wadsworth, OH, United States 10-07-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Long and to often boring."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    This was a long and all to often boring story. Small pieces grabbed my attention but the story failed to draw me in.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kym Hopwood 09-11-12
    Kym Hopwood 09-11-12 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
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    "Great Listen"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    After watching Rome on TV, wanted to learn more about what happened after Julius Ceaser. This book provided that follow up in an entertaining and thoroigh fashion. Sometime non-fictin can be tedious as a listen, but this book moved along and was read very well.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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