In the year 44 BC, when Julius Caesar was killed, Augustus was a mere teenager who had been adopted into Caesar's household. His reaction to Caesar's death was to step forward and proclaim himself Caesar's rightful successor. The Senate did not take him seriously, but over the following months he raised his own army and, after defeating Mark Antony in battle, became one of the three most powerful men in Rome. He was not yet 20 years old. Over the next ten years he consolidated his power in Rome, and finally overthrew the last of his rivals in 31 BC. From that moment on Rome became an empire, and Augustus its first emperor. This is the story of how one man rose to become the most powerful man in the world, and stabilised an empire that had been racked by decades of civil war. Augustus's achievements, and his legacy, are almost unparalleled. Like Julius Caesar, he presided over a huge expansion in wealth and territory. Like Caesar he was honoured by having a month of the year named after him. But unlike Caesar he was able to keep hold of power for over 40 years, and bequeath the empire, whole, to his successors.
Goldsworthy has made a name for himself writing biographies of the great and the good of the Roman world. A careful scholar, he wears his knowledge lightly and is a skilled narrator and engaging writer. He brings all these attributes to play in his biography of Augustus. And he needs them, for making sense of the foul and complicated world of Roman republican politics is a complex job. Goldsworthy sets the scene and includes the context, and ably narrates the life of Gaius Octavius, or Augustus, from his early days and family life, to his marriage to Livia, and then his meteoric rise to ruler, or dictator, of Rome. His success was such that the rule of Augustus would long be considered a golden age. Goldsworthy’s biography demolishes some of the half-truths and tales that dog any successful ruler, and his book also acts as a brilliant history of Rome under Augustus.
Publication date: 14/08/2014
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson an imprint of Orion Publishing Co
|Publication date:||14th August 2014|
|Publisher:||Weidenfeld & Nicolson an imprint of Orion Publishing Co|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, History,|
Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His first book, THE ROMAN ARMY AT WAR was recognised by John Keegan as an exceptionally impressive work, original in treatment and impressive in style. He has gone on to write several other books, including THE FALL OF THE WEST, CAESAR, IN THE NAME OF ROME, CANNAE and ROMAN WARFARE, which have sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into more than a dozen languages. A full-time author, he regularly contributes to TV documentaries on Roman themes.More About Adrian Goldsworthy