Emperors of Rome: The Monsters (Paperback)
From Tiberius to Theodora, AD 14–548
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As with everything else, there were good and bad Roman emperors. The good, like Trajan (98–117), Hadrian (117–138), Antoninus Pius (138–161) and Marcus Aurelius (161–180) were largely civilized and civilizing. The bad, on the other hand, were sometimes nothing less than monsters, exhibiting varying degrees of corruption, cruelty, depravity and insanity. It is a sobering thought that these ogres were responsible for governing the greatest civilization in the world, simultaneously terrorizing, brutalizing and massacring. Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, Domitian, Commodus, Caracella, Elagabalus, Septimius Severus, Diocletian, Maximinus Thrax, Justinian and Theodora all had more bad days than good; they are all covered in this book.
Their exploits have, of course, been well documented since classical times but much of the coverage can only be called gratuitous, sensationalist or tabloid. This book is different because it is based on primary sources and evidence – and attempts to balance out the shocking with any mitigating aspects in each of their lives. Many of our monsters have some redeeming factors and it is important that these are exposed if a true record of their lives is to be conveyed. The book also examines how each of the twelve has been treated for posterity in literature, theatre and film, and the lessons intended to be drawn from popular culture through the ages.
Chrystal works hard to shine an unbiased light onto these acts of violence in a way that considers the contemporary feelings of the Romans as well as the stark reality that these horrors led to mass pain and suffering for very real, very innocent people. It’s a heartbreaking and important addition to any history lovers book shelf.Melastrum
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"Emperors of Rome: The Monsters" depicts the depravity that was Rome through its more deviant rulers. The author begins by describing in two chapters the "monstrous behavior" in Rome and the Republic. The bulk of the book follows with "The Imperial Monsters", from Tiberius to Theodora, some thirteen emperors and one empress. Inclusive biographical sketches of each describe their own particular depravity and its effects on Roman life and society. Profusely illustrated, this is an excellent addition to the "History of Terror" series.Amazon Customer, David Poremba
This book is an addition to the very readable series that looks at the use of terror. The Roman Emperors were mostly monsters of one sort or another, very few being wise leaders of an Empire.- Highly RecommendedFiretrench
I found the book thoroughly compelling, hard to put down and fascinating in its depictions. The author has done an excellent job of research into his subject and presents his facts in a true and fair way.Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)
I would recommend this book to any student of Roman life and also anyone else interested in the genre.
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