Marcus Aurelius: A Biography (Roman Imperial Biographies) Paperback – 5 May 1993
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address 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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The Parthian War, which was commanded by Co-Emperor Lucius Verus, is given a good overview. However, the Marcommanic Wars are covered in excellent detail. Anthony Birley reviews all the sources that are available and gives reasons for his conclusions. Coins, The Colume of marcus Aurelius and Cassius Dio are the prime sources for the Marcommanic Wars. The Commanding Generals are named and fans of 'Gladiator' will be disappointed.
This is real history and a look into one of Rome's most popular Emperors. If you are a fan of 'Gladiator' then read this book and see how much more exciting reality is.
The role Commodus played and the reasons Marcus made him Co-Emperor after Lucius Verus are explained very well. This book by far is one of the best Imperial Biographies I have read.
Even so, it is written as an academic treatment limiting the story to the primary sources, with constant quotes from them. This is certainly an accurate manner to depict biographical information, but not as compelling as say Robin Fox's treatment of Alexander the Great which is equally well-research and annotated but is also a great "read."
We learn a great deal about the Emperor's tutors and family. But the reader, at least this reader, is given so much detail, that it is difficult to organize the data in a meaningful way. I could not distinguish the significant from the merely interesting.
If you already know quite a bit about Marcus Aurelius and want to learn more, by all means buy this book.
If, on the other hand, you want an inroduction to his life, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biography > Historical > BCE-500 AD
- Books > Biography > Historical > Countries & Regions > Europe
- Books > Biography > Religious
- Books > History > Ancient History & Civilisation > Rome
- Books > History > Britain & Ireland > Early British & Roman Britain
- Books > History > Cultural History
- Books > History > Europe > Pre-500
- Books > History > Religious History > Christianity
- Books > History > World History > Pre-500
- Books > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Spirituality
- Books > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality