A Brief History of the Private Lives of the Roman Emperors by Anthony Blond

By Anthony Blond

With the new good fortune of "Rome" on BBC2, not anyone will examine the non-public lives of the Roman Emperors back within the related gentle. Anthony Blond's scandalous reveal of the lifetime of the Caesars is a must-read for all drawn to what quite went on in historical Rome. Julius Caesar is mostly awarded as a wonderful basic while actually he used to be an boastful charmer and a swank; Augustus was once so aware of his top that he positioned lifts in his sandals. yet they have been not anything in comparison to Caligula, Claudius and Nero. This ebook is interesting examining, eye-opening in its revelations and easily unique.

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Two slave kings emerged – one called Salvius, an Italian freedman and snake charmer, the other a Greek called Athenio – and raised an army of 60,000 well-armed slaves and 5,000 cavalry, but enthusiasm and indignation cannot glue armies together for ever. It was not until the revolt of Spartacus in 73 BC that the Romans were seriously threatened by ‘their enormous slave population’, which outnumbered them three to one. Spartacus and his ultimate destroyer, Crassus, were the stuff movies are made of: one noble, forgiving, heroic, the other greedy, cruel and charmless, the unacceptable face of Roman capitalism.

One of Nero’s aunts was very mean. She let it be known that she did not ‘appreciate’ – as New Yorkers say – one young man around town saying she sold old shoes. He sent back a message. ’) Tiberius, Augustus’ stepson and son-in-law, was the next Emperor and essentially the most scrupulous and conscientious of the bunch, and the misanthropy which soured him only came from his bitterness at being forced (by Augustus) to abandon the only human being he loved – his wife. (Augustus, by the way, was certainly not poisoned by his wife, Livia, as seen on television.

Only one Jew, a nephew of Philo the philosopher and historian from Alexandria, abandoned his religion and became Prefect of Egypt, as well as Prefect of Police and Corn and of the Praetorian Guard, one of the top jobs in the Empire. 7 Herod came from Idumaea, the biblical Edom, the bottom left-hand corner of what is now Israel, inland of the Gaza Strip. The Herod of the New Testament, he who massacred the Innocents, gross, cruel and stinking, like Henry VIII at the end of his life but with four more wives, has left an impression of horror difficult to dent.

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