The First Emperor: Caesar Augustus and the Triumph of Rome Paperback – 15 Nov 2007
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
'An exhilarating portrait of Roman social customs and politics' (Publishing News)
'A comprehensive and readable account of [Augustus and the Roman world]' (Literary Review)
'This biography of the first Roman Emperor depicts Augustus, the man who turned inner weaknesses into strengths and painstakingly restored Rome's civic greatness at home and military doinance abroad . . . Quite a guy' (Tony Matthews, Defence Focus)
'His story is also the story of perhaps the most vibrant period of Roman history' (Sunday Business Post)
'This sparky text certainly brings the Emperor to life, as well as a host of supporting characters' (Sunday Telegraph)
'(A) solid biography' (Guardian)
A riveting new biography of Caesar Augustus, Rome's first emperor and one of the most influential men in historySee all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
And thoroughly enjoyed it!
In the introduction the author sets out the difficulties of writing about people and events in ancient times. He lets the reader know that in many cases he had to rely on works written long after the events they describe and often the authors had their own political agenda. Many times in the book he admits that due to the limitations of historical sources we don't know the reason for or details of events mentioned.
Given the limitations described above Everitt has done a fine job. We get a great insight into the public and private lives of Augustus (AKA Octavian). He was a rather peculiar character in many ways. Brought up in a well off but not very influential rural family a prominent public life seemed unlikely. However his adoption by his great-uncle Julius Caesar opened many doors for him. He used his connection to the great man throughout his life. However he was completely different to Julius. That may explain why he was assassinated and Augustus lived a long life!
His record as a general is mixed to say the least, which surprised me. His tendency to get ill before major battles is interesting. More than once he relied on better generals such as Agrippa to garner vital victories for him, though that didn't stop him from often taking the credit for them.
However it was as a cool and calculating politician that he was at his best.Read more ›
Straight to the punchline: a big thumbs up from me!
I like the way this book is written. I already had a reasonable knowledge of this period but found plenty to keep me interested. On the other hand I'm sure that newcomers will find it equally engaging - not much is assumed about prior knowledge. One thing I didn't realise, for example was the prominence - and eventually equivalence - of Agrippa. What a team those two made!
Mr Everitt keeps his chapters nice and tight - and short! This is a personal thing but as I read a book over many 'sittings' I like to be able to close a chapter before I leave the session. If I'm tired a chapter of 20-25 pages is a bit daunting and it puts me off a bit. Maybe I'm a bit weird! But the author manages to get across a lot of good information in an informative manner in nice 'chunks'. I actually think that's a bit of a skill. But I'm biased!
So, my age old test: to what degree did I find myself checking out how many pages were left? Not a bit!
Most popular history about ancient Rome seems to focus on Julius Caesar - is that because he was so successful in Gaul? Or because he ended the Republic? Or because of the famous way he died? Maybe I'm missing something here but the reign of Augustus was equally thrilling and meaningful? Maybe someone can enlighten me! Anyway, my point is that this book fits very nicely. Dam' good job!
The Emperor himself became a vivid and clearer person to me, "warts and all". The writing of his complex life, and of those who influenced, guided,and certainly those who challenged him was so well written and woven together in such a clear style, that it succeded in turning this into a facinating read.