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Volume 1: Julius Caesar. The Roman Colossus
In 49 BC a Roman army marched south from the Alps and crossed the Rubicon, a shallow river that marked the northern border of the territory controlled by the city of Rome. The army was led by a young general and Roman politician called Julius Caesar, and when he crossed the Rubicon he ignited a series of civil wars that led to the overthrow of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the Roman Empire. He extended Roman power across the Rhine and the English channel, conducted whirlwind affairs with two queens, created the modern calendar, and profoundly changed the political workings of Rome. He was, by both ancient and modern estimation, one of the most complete men that the ancient world ever produced.
His death was as dramatic as his life. The brilliant tactician who had spent a career unflinchingly facing death, walked unguarded into a senate chamber and was struck down in one of the most notorious political assassinations in history. But even before the smoke cleared from his funeral pyre, he had become a larger-than life figure. The fallen dictator was reborn as Shakespeare’s colossus, straddling the globe.
Now New York Times bestselling author, Lars Brownworth, brings to life the figure Alexander Hamilton called “the greatest man who ever lived.”
Volume 2: Julius Caesar: The Rise and Fall of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty
In 44 BC, the eighteen-year old Gaius Octavius entered Rome against the advice of virtually everyone, and jumped into the lethal knife fight of Roman politics. Against him were ranged the assassins of Julius Caesar, various would-be power brokers, and the star-crossed lovers Antony and Cleopatra. Most assumed at first that this boy would be easily manipulated, but Octavius turned out to be the most formidable teenager who ever lived. In just over a decade he crushed all of his rivals, established himself as Augustus, and founded a dynasty which would rule Rome for a century and dominate its memory long after the empire vanished.
The Julio-Claudians were the world’s first celebrity family, men whose names are still familiar two thousand years after the last one died. There was the grim Tiberius, whose lifetime of flinty service ended in a debauched and demented refuge on the pleasure island of Capri. His successor Caligula was even worse, a sadistic tyrant who appointed his horse as a priest and frequently killed to escape his own boredom. Finally, there was the crafty Clodius who faked idiocy to survive, and the infamous Nero whose suicide marked the final end of Julius Caesar’s line.
Now, Lars Brownworth, brings the family and its times to life in a gripping and accessible narrative history.