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Augustus: First Emperor of Rome

Unabridged Audio Book

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Derek Perkins

18 Hours 28 Minutes

Tantor Media

August 2014

Audio Book Summary

Caesar Augustus's story, one of the most riveting in western history, is filled with drama and contradiction, risky gambles and unexpected success. He began as a teenage warlord, whose only claim to power was as the heir of the murdered Julius Caesar. Mark Antony dubbed him 'a boy who owes everything to a name,' but in the years to come the youth outmaneuvered all the older and more experienced politicians and was the last man standing in 30 BC. Over the next half century, he reinvented himself as a servant of the state who gave Rome peace and stability, and created a new system of government-the Principate, or rule of an emperor.

Adrian Goldsworthy pins down the man behind the myths: a consummate manipulator, propagandist, and showman, both generous and ruthless. Under Augustus's rule, the empire prospered, yet his success was never assured, and the events of his life unfolded with exciting unpredictability.

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  • Adam Paschal

    This book is fascinating. Augustus is known as the first Emperor of Rome but Adrian Goldsworthy's monumental work enlightens the reader. Calling Augustus emperor is in many ways misleading and this work shows how he, as Rome's leading citizen or "Princeps," restored order to a broken state. It also gives the reader a deep understanding of how Rome accepted a benevolent tyrant who carefully created a republican facade and established a form of government that lasted for over a millennium. The narration is lively and enjoyable. The book, to be appreciated, should not be a first foray into Ancient Rome. I recommend the rise of Rome by Anthony Everitt as prerequisite reading

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