COMPLETE ROMAN EMPEROR IMPERIAL LIFEMICHAEL SOMMER Book Number: 87768 Product format: Hardback
From Augustus to Romulus Augustulus, 80 quotations from ancient commentators, fact boxes, maps and more, seven thematic chapters cover foundation, power and imperial building projects. How did a man rise to the status of Emperor, or 'take possession of the purple' as it was known? In order to succeed he had to be of noble birth, a senator. Good leadership and the ability to communicate with the main social pressure groups of Rome were absolute requirements. However, military skills, though useful, were not mandatory. Although an emperor's son was expected to succeed his father, very few actually did due to various machinations. Few Roman emperors died peacefully, they were murdered or lost their lives on the battlefield or in prison. Emperor's wives were not supposed to excise power, though many had considerable influence over their husbands or sons, but Roman society retained clearly defined gender roles. 'Powerful though many empresses became, emancipated women they were not.' Palaces were luxurious, with mosaic floors and friezes, and dinner parties took place regularly, with guests reclining on their left side on couches, using just the right hand for eating. Chapters include Augustus and the Transition to Empire, Emperors on Campaign, Rome and Constantinople and Decline and Fall in the West. This informative story of Imperial Rome and its rulers is illustrated with many coloured photographs and concludes with a section called Brief Lives that contains biographical information on the various Emperors. 208pp. Colour illus, plans, maps, charts.
Published price: $40
Bibliophile price: £12.50