Augustus: Godfather of Europe

Augustus: Godfather of Europe

by Richard Holland


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Following his successful biography of Nero, Richard Holland now turns his attention to Rome's first emperor, Augustus, about whom so little is known despite a reign of 44 years. The focus throughout this well-written study is on the figure of Augustus himself rather than on the cultural and social achievements of the Augustan Age that tend to overshadow his character. Much of the book focuses on the death of the Republic and the extraordinary circumstances that saw this 'young pretender', an insignificant-looking teenager, seize control from men such as Mark Antony in the aftermath of Caesar's murder. Augustus' manipulation of the ordinary as well as powerful people of Rome, his control of the army and his determined pursuit of Brutus and Mark Antony are vividly discussed here. Wherever possible, Holland searches these events, as well as Octavian's relations with such figures as Cicero, Mark Antony, Cleopatra and Virgil, for clues to the nature of the man Augustus. Many of the charges laid at Augustus' door, and later distorted by Shakespeare, are found to be tittle-tattle but he is till shown as a figure of conflict, combining generosity, prudence and a deep love for his wife of fifty years with 'ruthless bloodletting' and the severe punishment of his only child. Above all, however, this book demonstrates the sheer power of Augustus' personality and legacy as emperor, as head of a great dynasty and as a 'founding father of western civilisation'. This is a very enjoyable read with notes confined to the back.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780750929110
Publisher: The History Press
Publication date: 02/25/2006
Edition description: New
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Richard Holland was a journalist for twenty-five years, with eleven years on The Times. His first book on Nero, was published by Sutton in 2000. He lives on the Isle of Man.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrationsvii
Map of the Roman Empire c. AD 14xv
1The Making of a Master Race1
2Roman Murders Roman15
3The Boy Who Missed the War27
4Antony Takes Command45
5The Young Pretender61
6Octavian Fights Back77
7The Teenage General90
8Cicero Plays with Fire103
9The Takeover of Rome118
10Three to Rule the World132
11Twilight of the Republic146
12The New Master of the West160
13Octavian in Love175
14The Menace from the East190
15Suicide on the Nile206
16The Transformation of the State219
17The Summit of Power237
18The Struggle for the Succession251
19The Godfather of Europe268
Genealogical Table277
Select Bibliography297

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