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Augustus Introduction to the Life of an Emperor by Karl Galinsky

Augustus Introduction to the Life of an Emperor


Augustus Introduction to the Life of an Emperor by Karl Galinsky

Augustus, Rome's first emperor, is one of the great figures of world history and one of the most fascinating. In this lively and concise biography Karl Galinsky examines Augustus' life from childhood to deification. He chronicles the mosaic of vicissitudes, challenges, setbacks and successes that shaped Augustus' life, both public and private. How did he use his power? How did he manage to keep re-inventing himself? What kind of man was he? A transformative leader, Augustus engineered profound change in Rome and throughout the Mediterranean world. No one would have expected such vast achievements from the frail and little-known eighteen-year-old who became Caesar's heir amid turmoil and crisis. A mere thirteen years later, after defeating Antony and Cleopatra, he had, in his words, 'power over all things'.


'Of all the great men of the ancient world, Augustus is the most elusive. Doing equal justice to his ruthlessness and his statesmanship is a difficult task, but Karl Galinsky manages it with clarity, sympathy, and good sense. Learned but readable, this portrait of the first of the Roman emperors is a brilliant achievement.'
T. P. Wiseman, Emeritus Professor of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter

'Drawing on a lifetime's research, Galinsky has produced a magisterial summation of Augustus's life, combining precision and clarity with the readability of a best-selling biography.'
Carin Green, University of Iowa

'Galinsky's study is the best succinct introduction to the age of Augustus in English. His insightful synthesis of the whole range of evidence (prose and verse texts, monuments, coins, and objects of art) provides an excellent account of Augustus's personal story within the larger context of the political and social conditions of his day.'
Harriet I. Flower, Princeton University

'Galinsky's mastery of the material is on display on every page of this new biography of Augustus. Generously illustrated and enhanced by many tools to help the beginner, this will surely become the standard introduction to the life and times of Rome's first emperor.'
Carlos Norena, University of California, Berkeley

'Students starting a course on the wider period or Augustus in particular will find this invaluable. Anyone else with an interest in the theme, or who simply wants to gain a glimpse of such a remarkable and important historical figure, can do no better than to start with this short book.'
Dr Adrian Goldsworthy, adriangoldsworthy


About the Author

Karl Galinsky is the Cailloux Centennial Professor of Classics at the University of Texas, Austin. The author and editor of several books, including Augustan Culture and The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, he has received awards for his teaching and research, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Max-Planck Society.

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Book Info

Publication date

16th July 2012


Karl Galinsky

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Cambridge University Press


220 pages


European history



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