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    Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar by Tom Holland


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    This book is a splendid read. Those familiar with Tom Holland's style will be unsurprised by the confident deftness with he sweeps readers into the political maelstrom of the Roman Revolution at the end of the first century BC and then deposits them, better-informed and breathless, on the edge of the Year of the Four Emperors in AD 69. It is quite a ride.  Basically this is the story of the Julio-Claudians, from the rise of Augustus to the fall of Nero. The book is essentially the biographies of the emperors in that line (other members of the dynasty get far less attention, and that usually in the course of being killed off by whoever was emperor at the time). The focus is on the glamour and public appeal of the Julio-Claudians, the author's point being that no other dynasty has had the same mix of glamour, perversion and sheer deranged blood-lust as the Julio-Claudians. He considers – in his words - 'the House of Caesar as something eerie and more than mortal. Painted in blood and gold, its record would never cease to haunt the Roman people'...

     

    ...continue to the full review of Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar by Tom Holland



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