3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Enjoyable but...the premise is a little too simple...,
This review is from: Caligula (Lancaster Pamphlets in Ancient History) (Paperback)
I have read everything on Caligula from Balsden to Barrett to Ferrill as well as all the extant historical works (still hoping the lost chapters of Tacitus will turn up somewhere...), and I found this to be a worthwhile addition to the genre.
While I can perhaps agree with the basic premise of the work - that Caligula was influenced by his early experiences in the east and did not approach his rulership in a manner in keeping with Roman traditions, I found that the author tends to use this to explain every action by the later emperor, which while I can appreciate that is his theory, seems a little too simplistic to me.
Caligula was only in the East from 16-19AD (when he would have been aged 4-7) which hardly seem like enough time to me to develop lifelong approaches to power based on the myriad of cultures he would have experienced over the period.
Finally there are some typos and factual problems that should have been picked up in editing (for example the author mentions Caligula spending several years in Egypt when in fact his father Germanicus visited there once a sight-seeing trip in 18AD and died the next year - hardly enough time for a young boy to decide that the Ptolemies got it right and screwing your sisters was the right way for monarchs to behave).