This book is the story of one of the most powerful dynasties in history.
Following the coup that brought him to power, the bloodstained Octavian recreated himself as the emperor Augustus and allied the Julian clan with the Claudians. The principate which he created lasted for centuries, but the strain on his family resulted in personal tragedy, murder and assassination.
Within a generation of Augustus’ death, the Julio-Claudian dynasty was extinct.
This compelling book reviews the rise of these families in the Republic and the social and political background of Rome, but at the heart of the story 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.
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 which shaped the Europe of today.
‘This lively account of a dynasty that destroyed itself through infighting and murder does justice to its cut-throat power struggles’
The Sunday Times
'Well written, insightful and a great read'
JULIO-CLAUDIAN FAMILY TREE 8
FROM REPUBLIC TO EMPIRE 12
2 FAMILY FORTUNES 18
3 JULIUS CAESAR: FROM A RENEGADE TO A GOD 36
4 FROM OCTAVIAN TO AUGUSTUS:
CEASAR'S DEADLY LEGACY 76
5 TIBERIUS: EMPEROR BY DEFAULT 125
6 GAIUS CALIGULA: FEAR AND LOATHING AT THE IMPERIAL COURT 162
7 CLAUDIUS: THE UNEXPECTED EMPEROR 198
8 NERO: THE DEATH OF A DYNASTY 242
9 EPILOGUE 274
FURTHER READING 287