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The Roman Imperial Succession (Hardback)

Ancient History Rome P&S History Photographic Books

By John D Grainger
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Pages: 336
Illustrations: 100 black and white
ISBN: 9781526766045
Published: 29th May 2020

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John D Grainger analyses the Roman imperial succession, demonstrating that the empire organized by Augustus was fundamentally flawed in the method it used to find emperors. Augustus’ system was a mixture of heredity, senatorial and military influences, and these were generally antagonistic. Consequently the Empire went through a series of crises, in which the succession to a previous, usually dead, emperor was the main issue. The infamous ‘Year of the Four Emperors’, AD 69, is only the most famous of these crises, which often involved bouts of bloody and destructive civil war, assassinations and purges. These were followed by a period, usually relatively short, in which the victor in the ‘crisis’ established a new system, juggling the three basic elements identified by Augustus, but which was as fragile and short lived as its predecessor; these ‘consequences’ of each crisis are discussed. The lucid and erudite text is supported by numerous genealogical tables and dozens of depictions of emperors.

Definitely an excellent book that takes a huge topic and breaks it into manageable and understandable parts.

NetGalley, Caidyn Young

About John D Grainger

John D Grainger is a former teacher and historian of great experience with a particular interest in Classical and Hellenistic Greek history. His many previous works include the following for Pen & Sword: Hellenistic and Roman Naval Wars (2011); The Wars of the Maccabees (2012); Roman Conquests: Egypt and Judaea (2013); a three-part history of the Seleukid Empire (2014-16), King’s and Kingship in the Hellenistic World 350-30 BC (2017), Antipater’s Dynasty (2018), Ancient Dynasties (2019), The Roman Imperial Succession (March 2020) and The Galatians (August 2020). He lives in Evesham, Worcestershire.

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