Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Listen with Prime Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars2
5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£27.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item
Share your thoughts with other customers

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 12 August 2001
In the wake of "Gladiator," it is perhaps a useful coincidence to have such a decent biography of the greatest of Roman emperors published. I should begin by pointing out that books of such scholarly value (I am reminded of "The Inner Citadel" by Pierre Hadot, a magnificent explanation of Aurelius' Meditations) are best reviewed by peers, and I cannot claim such qualifications. For what it's worth, I have long been fascinated by the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, and I found this biography to be immensely rewarding. Prospective buyers should be aware that this is a very deeply researched biography... It can be, at times, very heady reading.
The book is rich with anecdotes of Marcus' family life. How interesting it seems, after viewing "Gladiator" (much as I enjoyed it, it is a film as contemptuous of history as "U-571") to hear that Marcus' son, Commodus, at the age of eleven, ordered a bathkeeper to be thrown into a furnace for letting the bathwater go lukewarm. A sheepskin was burned instead, to mask the deception, and yet the contrast between impetuous Commodus and the stern, reflective Marcus at age eleven, shows how the apple does not always fall close to the tree. [Incidentally, Commodus was strangled in his bath on New Years Eve and did not meet his end in the arena at the hands of Maximus.]
Birley's work is at times awfully heavy reading for the layperson, but in the end proves a thoroughly enjoyable rendering. A triumph.
0Comment|31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 June 2010
Marcus Aurelius by A. R. Birley is absolutely a superb portrait of the philosopher - emperor, a must have both for scholars and roman imperial history lovers.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)