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The Sons of Caesar: Imperial Rome's First Dynasty Hardcover – 18 Apr 2006
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About the Author
Dr Philip Matyszak is the author of numerous books on ancient Rome, including Chronicle of the Roman Republic and The Enemies of Rome, both published by Thames & Hudson.
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However, the main fault with this history is Philip Matyszak's handling of the complex material, insofar that he is mostly unable to simplify the events to beeasily readable. Of course, the fact that the Romans insisted on naming their daughters after the family name of the father doesn't make simplification easy.
The criticism, though, is quite minor, but for me enough to warrant a loss of the fifth star. Despite this I would very strongly urge the purchase of the book to anybody looking for a brief reminder of these times and the events surrounding the fascinating figures in it.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I plan on reading everything I can get from this author. I just wish his publisher would not charge so much for his Kindle editions :)
While not the best book written on the subject, it encapsulates the Julio-Claudian dynasty excellently.
It provides a fairly detailed account of what each Caesar accomplished. Written in a conversational manner, it is easy to read and gives a good account of this families reign.
It deserves a place among your Roman history books.
He still addresses the rumors and innuendos of such authors as Suetonius, though seems to place these actions in the perspective of their times and questions the likelihood that they even occurred.
Granted, there is little if any way to confirm the entertaining gossip of Suetonius though trying to put a shine on the perceived rotten apple of Caligula after nearly two millenia of bad press is admirable but certainly a minority opinion.
The text appears to be a positive rendering of the Caesars and their contributions to the creation of and the century of stability that was the Roman Empire prior to the death of Nero.
Though for all the positives, the creative accounting utilized by the author does not do much towards altering the balance sheets of history. Despite all the positives, the negatives weigh heavily against these figures as they will against our present day best and worst in the centuries to come.
Overall, the book should be read as a compliment along with Tacitus, Suetonius and Dio et al.