Roman Emperors Running the Family Business
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In this summation of three and a half centuries of the Roman Empire as seen through the lives of ten of the most important emperors, from Augustus to Constantine, author Barry Strauss tells the story of the Roman Empire from rise to reinvention, from Augustus, who founded the empire, to Constantine, who made it Christian and moved the capital east to Constantinople.
During these centuries, Rome gained in splendor and territory, then lost both. By the fourth century, the time of Constantine, the Roman Empire had changed so dramatically in geography, ethnicity, religion, and culture that it would have been virtually unrecognizable to Augustus. Rome’s legacy remains today in so many ways, from language, law, and architecture to the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. Barry examines this enduring heritage through the lives of the men who shaped it: Augustus, Tiberius, Nero, Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Diocletian, and Constantine. Over the ages, they learned to maintain the family business—the government of an empire—by adapting when necessary and always persevering no matter the cost.
Barry Strauss is the author of the bestselling books, Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine (2019), The Death of Caesar: The Story of History’s Most Famous Assassination (2015), The Battle of Salamis: The Naval Encounter that Saved Greece – and Western Civilization (named a best book of 2004 by the Washington Post) and several other books. His books have been translated into 15 languages. He teaches History and Classics at Cornell University where he is also Director and co-founder of the Program on Freedom and Free Societies.