Publication Date: October 24, 2023
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A sweeping account of the social and political world of the Roman emperors by “the world’s most famous classicist” (Guardian).
In her international bestseller SPQR, Mary Beard told the thousand-year story of ancient Rome. Now she shines her spotlight on the emperors who ruled the Roman empire, from Julius Caesar (assassinated 44 BCE) to Alexander Severus (assassinated 235 CE). Emperor of Rome is not your usual chronological account of Roman rulers, one after another: the mad Caligula, the monster Nero, the philosopher Marcus Aurelius. Beard asks bigger questions: What power did emperors actually have? Was the Roman palace really so bloodstained? She tracks down the emperor at home, at the races, on his travels, even on his way to heaven. She introduces his wives and lovers, rivals and slaves, court jesters and soldiers—and the ordinary people who pressed begging letters into his hands. Emperor of Rome goes directly to the heart of Roman (and our own) fantasies about what it was to be Roman, offering an account of Roman history as it has never been presented before.
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