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Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (Chronicles) [Hardcover]

Chris Scarre
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (Chronicles) Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (Chronicles) 4.8 out of 5 stars (12)
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Book Description

2 Oct 1995 Chronicles
A book focusing on the succession of 80 Roman emperors, using timelines and visual aids. Information such as who built the Colosseum and when Rome was sacked by the Goths is provided. There are biographical portraits of the 56 principal emperors from Augustus to Constantine, with a concluding section on the later emperors. Contemporary judgements made by writers such as Suetonius and Tacitus are balanced by character assessments made in the light of modern research. The famous and the infamous emperors are all looked at, including Caligula and Claudius, Trajan and Caracalla. Each emperor is introduced by a coin portrait, a bust and a datafile listing information about their lives.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (2 Oct 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500050775
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500050774
  • Product Dimensions: 26.1 x 20.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 220,738 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


A fine chronicle which will prove hard to put down.

Gossipy, yes; readable, certainly: but excellent on the politics and social history, too, with first-rate maps ... the very best kind of popular, illustrated history --The Good Book Guide

Expertly unpicks the tangled imperial lineage ... Scarre provides lively detail. --The Independent --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Emperors: A complete chronology 28 April 2003
I had looked forward to receiving this book eagerly and in no way did it disappoint. Scarre's analysis goes into intricate depth and his ability to question the biases of some of the historians of the day is something which he can take real credit for.
Starting with Augustus, you journey through the ups and downs of the Roman Empire in startling detail, comprehensive accounts are given of each Emperor and dynasty, right through to the 5th century AD.
From this we are easily able to understand each Emperor at an individual level. Those that greatly forwarded the fortunes of the empire, the forgotten Emperors who ruled only briefly as well as the monsters and megalomaniacs!
I found this to be a thoroughly informative and gripping account.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The roman emperors 26 Aug 2004
First of all this is one of the best books you can get for this subject, in terms being accurate and straight to the point, giving plenty of detail and not over doing it. This then not only makes it a exciting and educational read but also makes it a good reference guide. All in all ane of the best book on the roman emperors you can get. An excelent job.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome's Emperors 27 Mar 2008
This book is easily the most accessible and readable title on the Roman Emperors. It provides short biographies of the rulers of Rome from Augustus Caesar in 30 BC, right through to the fall of the Western Empire and the reign of Romulus Augustulus in AD 476.

The book is really well illustrated, with plenty of photographs of busts, coins and cameos, giving you an idea of the apperance of each emperor. The book also contains a few colour illustrations showing the architecture of the Imperial Palaces or the Colosseum. There are 328 illustrations, 111 of which are in colour.

What makes this book a worthy purchase is the sheer wealth of facts on each page. For instance, there is an addition of a timeline - This allows you to put the lives of the Emperors into the context of the period. The addition of family trees, information tables on the titles and achievements of each emperor and the addition of colour maps give you an even greater appreciation of the book. This title also has several sections which look at the art and architecture of the Roman Empire, from the Colosseum to Trajan's column, the city of Palmyra and the Palace of Diocletian and much, much more.

What I found very interesting were the biographies on the lesser known emperors, such as Florianus, Tacitus, Probus and Gordian III. These are rarely mentioned in history books, so it was great to read about these murky figures along with the biographies of more famous figures such as Augustus, Nero and Caligula.

My only complaint is that the later Roman emperors are not significantly covered. All the rulers from Constantine I onward are mentioned in just under eight pages.
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A polished pageant of Rome's Emperors 27 May 2000
Dr. Scarre has written an excellent review of the lives of the most powerful men of Imperial Rome. Chronologically, with linking time lines he introduces the reader to the men behind the torsos and coins which are often all that is left of their reign. The illustrations are well chosen and relevant to each subject and I particularly liked the contemporaneous quotes and the way they are explained in context. The book is well laid out and suitable for simply reading through or for reference. The prose is scholarly and accessible. The book has a useful bibliography for those that want to take their interest further. In these days of computers and easy travel, I would like to have seen a list of website addresses of museums relevant to the subjects and some maps linked to each emperor indicating archeological sites where they had left their mark. Could this be the next book? Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant introduction to classical studies! 16 May 2011
By sally tarbox TOP 500 REVIEWER
The second in this series, covering the history of Rome from Augustus (31 BC) to the eastern and western emperors of the 6th century AD. Richly illustrated throughout, this covers the life of each ruler and really brings the era to life. An excellent and very readable book.
One of the useful aspects for me was being able to put a name and a face to those who initiated the construction of the many buildings we lump together as 'built by the Romans'. Who was this Caracalla who had the famous baths constructed in Rome and what was life like then? And why did Nerva build a forum?
Lots of info also on events within the empire at this time: Masada; the defeat of Zenobia; the Goths...
For earlier information on Rome see 'Chronicle of the Roman Republic' covering Romulus-Octavian (750 BC- 14 AD)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable as a Reference Book 19 May 2008
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
For anyone with even a passing interest in Roman history this book is an invaluable source of knowledge about the Roman Emperor's. Personally it helps to set the scene for me even if the book is a work of fiction if I can pin point the period of Roman history that is being written about and knowing what emperor was reigning in Rome and in what years is a sure fire way of pin-pointing the period in which the book is written.

Of course the book is so much more than a time scale of Roman history, there is also information regarding what wars if any were fought during a particular emperor's reign and what Roman building were attributable to any given emperor. The book covers the succession of 80 emperors, with biographical portraits of the 56 most notable ones. Names that leap out from the pages of the history books, Julius Caesar, Hadrian, Nero, all names to conjure with.

There are contemporary judgements made by writers of the time including Suetonius and Tacitus and these are balanced by character assessments made in the light of modern research. This is a book that is well worth having, not only for its reference capabilities but also it is a good read in its own right.
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