*Includes pictures*Includes ancient accounts*Includes online resources and a bibliography for further readingThe importance of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus (or as he was known from birth, Gaius Octavius “Octavian” Thurinus) to the course of Western history is hard to overstate. His life, his rise to power, his political, and his social and military achievements all laid the foundations for the cre...
Paperback: 168 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 11, 2018)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
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empire which would endure for almost five centuries, and whose traditions, laws, architecture and art continue to influence much of Europe and the world today. Octavian was the first true Roman Emperor, and the first man since the Etruscan Tarquins five centuries earlier to establish a successful hereditary ruling dynasty in what had been a proud Republic for over half a millennium. He was a canny strategist, an excellent orator, a fine writer, a generous patron of the arts and enthusiastic promoter of public works, but above all he was a master politician. Octavian’s great-uncle (and adoptive father) Julius Caesar was a great general, and his rival Mark Antony was a great soldier, but as a politician Octavian outmatched them all.One of the most overlooked emperors was also one of the first, and he lived in chaotic times. Tiberius was born in 42 BCE, just as the Roman Republic was dissolving and a new Roman imperial power structure emerged under Octavian, who became Rome’s first emperor as Caesar Augustus. Tiberius’s life soon became caught up with Augustus’s as the emperor worked to found and establish a dynasty, but it is unclear if Tiberius ever really wanted to be part of Augustus’s plans or inherit imperial power - Tiberius was known as a man who schemed and planned, but he was also a scholar and showed a marked desire throughout his life to retreat and escape the demands of power. Partially due to this continual tension, Tiberius’s life is enigmatic in many ways.All of Rome’s poor rulers pale in comparison to Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, a young man remembered by posterity as Caligula. Given how bad some of Rome’s emperors were, it’s a testament to just how insane and reviled Caligula was that he is still remembered nearly 2,000 years later as the epitome of everything that could be wrong with a tyrant. The Romans had high hopes for him after he succeeded Tiberius in 37 CE, and by all accounts he was a noble and just ruler during his first few months in power. But after that, he suffered some sort of mysterious illness that apparently rendered him insane, and the list of Caligula’s strange actions became quite lengthy in almost no time at all. Among other things, Caligula began appearing in public dressed as gods and goddesses, and his incest, sexual perversion, and thirst for blood were legendary at the time, difficult accomplishments considering Roman society was fairly accustomed to and tolerant of such things.Today, Claudius is particularly remembered for the conquest of Britain, as Roman power there had weakened since Julius Caesar had invaded nearly a century before. Beyond this, he established Roman colonies on the frontiers of the empire, annexed several territories in North Africa (including Thrace and Mauritania), and made Judea a province.Claudius’s successor, Nero, ranks among the very worst of the Caesars, alongside the likes of mad Caligula, slothful Commodus, and paranoid Domitian, a figure so hated that, in many ancient Christian traditions, he is literally, without hyperbole, considered the Antichrist; according to a notable Biblical scholar, the coming of the Beast and the number 666 in the Book of Revelation are references to Nero. He was the man who, famously, “fiddled while Rome burned”, an inveterate lecher, a murderous tyrant who showed little compunction in murdering his mother and who liked to use Christian martyrs as a source of illumination at night – by burning them alive.