At the heart of this history of the Julio-Claudian dynasty are the lives of six men - Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius Caligula, Claudius and Nero - men who mastered Rome and changed it from a democracy to a personal possession. It was no easy task: Caesar and Caligula were assassinated, Nero committed suicide and Claudius was poisoned. Only Augustus and Tiberius died natural deaths - and even that is uncertain. The Julio-Claudian saga has a host of other characters, from Cicero, the last great statesman of the Republic, to Livia, matriarch of the Empire; the passionate Mark Antony and the scheming Sejanus; and Agrippina, mother of Nero and sister of Caligula, who probably murdered her husband and in turn was killed by her son.
Set against a background of foreign wars and domestic intrigue, the story of Rome's greatest dynasty is also the story of the birth of an imperial system that shaped the Europe of today.
Thames & Hudson
Country of Publication:
01 October 2020
Julio-Claudian Family Tree * Preface * 1. Introduction: From Republic to Empire * 2. Family Fortunes * 3. Julius Caesar: From a Renegade to a God * 4. From Octavian to Augustus: Caesar's Deadly Legacy * 5. Tiberius: Emperor by Default * 6. Gaius Caligula: Fear and Loathing at the imperial court * 7. Claudius: the Unexpected Emperor * 8. Nero: The Death of a Dynasty * Epilogue
Philip Matyszak has a doctorate in Roman history from St John's College, Oxford. He is the author of many books on classical civilization, including Chronicle of the Roman Republic, The Enemies of Rome, Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day, Ancient Athens on Five Drachmas a Day, Lives of the Romans (with Joanne Berry) and Legionary.