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
"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)
Well narrated, very enjoyable. Does a good job of describing the transition of Roman society from Republic to Empire. Lengthy discussions of Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. Interesting insights into family relations/politics after the death of Anthony.
There are so many reasons why this is one of my favorite books. Consider something like "Game of Thrones" and "Gladiator", but REAL history. Every aspect of humanity is touched.
I learned so much about what Roman life was like, I actually felt like I was watching events unfold at some points.
It's like a continious string of emotions.
Octavians wife during his funeral.
I laughed a lot many times. Shocked many other times.
Definitely yes - great history well delivered.
The recording had some flaws; I think patch sessions were recorded with a different mic, and poorly inserted, leading to volume discrepancies that distracted from the reading.
I don't think it was a particularly inspiring audio performance, but it wasn't awful.
Probably not. His tone changed greatly from chapter to chapter, which I thought was a little annoying. It was obviously recorded over a long period of time in little chunks. Also, at times he seemed to get very tired & his enunciation was degraded.
I didn't know much about Augustus before I listened to this, so I did learn a lot.
No, non of my friends are in to this kind of book.
Depends on the book.
The narrator was fine.
It was interesting but I was hoping for more of a story not just the facts.
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.
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