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Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor di…
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Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor (edizione 2015)

di Adrian Goldsworthy (Autore)

UtentiRecensioniPopolaritàMedia votiCitazioni
404653,360 (4.13)3
Tells the story of the heir to the murdered Julius Caesar who, as Rome's first emperor, brought peace and stability to the empire and presided over a new system of government.
Utente:williamprescott
Titolo:Augustus: From Revolutionary to Emperor
Autori:Adrian Goldsworthy (Autore)
Info:Weidenfeld & Nicholson (2015), Edition: UK ed., 624 pages
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
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Augustus: First Emperor of Rome di Adrian Goldsworthy

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Bibliography: p. 522. Includes appendices and index.
  TorontoOratorySPN | Aug 31, 2022 |
I’ve read dozens of biographies over the years and have often thought that perhaps the best way to study history is to read biographies of the seminal figures that created the history. You want to know about the European theater of World War II? Read Martin Gilbert’s biography of Winston Churchill.

I have read many histories of the Roman Republic and the civil wars that accompanied its demise. Of course, Octavian played a part in those events, though tangentially in its early stages. I have also read The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, so am somewhat familiar with the events of those year. I was, however, somewhat lacking in the very earliest years of the empire, and thus felt a biography of the first Roman Emperor would be beneficial in that regard.

Surprising to me, Augustus Caesar was never crowned Emperor, but was merely designated “princeps”, essentially “leading man”. Despite being offered added powers on many occasions, he made a point of retaining many of the features of the former Republic. I can only guess that at some point, his successors made the final transition to Emperor.

In any case, this was a perfectly serviceable biography, though not exceptional. I’ve read many better, and several worse. Of course, some of the most underwhelming biographies I’ve read were concerned with individuals from antiquity or Middle Ages, so perhaps source material plays a role. For whatever reason, I can’t wholeheartedly endorse this effort. ( )
  santhony | Mar 16, 2021 |
The best biography of Gaius Octavian, later known as Augustus, I have ever read. Gives a great insight into this sometimes cruel but visionary soldier and statesman who took on an empire and moulded it to his own vision. ( )
  AnthonyGLast | Oct 14, 2019 |
Adrian Goldsworthy is the benchmark for how history books should be written. ( )
1 vota MartinEdasi | Oct 13, 2017 |
I decided to read this book after reading the author biography of Julius Caesar. At the moment I am also listening to a rather boisterous (not sure how else to describe it) podcast on Augustus. Not being a scholar on this topic, I can only say that I appreciate the work that authors like Adrian Goldsworthy do in researching for and writing books such as these.
Augustus is probably the first Roman person I knew by name (from Luke 2), but beyond that I knew virtually nothing about him other than in the context of the lives of Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony. It is interesting to note that the author states the first part of Augustus public life gets most attention, and that this book intended to cover the latter part as well. However, it seems that Augustus great amount of activity in his early life gave the Republic/Empire peace and rest, so that there are fewer momentous events to record and report.
Most helpful are a number of family trees at the back of the book. The book also has a few maps, but it's a pity that they do not record the names of many of the places mentioned in the text.
The author seems to have been taken to task for paying some attention to the birth of Christ in an effort to appease some lobby. This is odd thing to say seeing that some many of the records of the life of Augustus (and many others in that period) are fragmentary, and second or third hand. Yet we dearly hold them as facts. Goldsworthy's appendix 2 is a fair treatment of this topic. I have heard said, that Roman historians look on in jealousy at the strength of evidence for the life of Christ compared to what they have on. ( )
  robeik | Jun 16, 2017 |
"'Augustus' is a first-rate popular biography by a skilled and knowing hand, a fine companion to Goldsworthy’s Caesar volume."
 
"Historian and biographer Goldsworthy (Caesar) showcases his deep knowledge of Ancient Rome in this masterful document of a life whose themes still resonate in modern times."
aggiunto da bookfitz | modificaPublishers Weekly (Sep 8, 2014)
 
Goldsworthy capably guides us over the rapids of “modern scholarship”. He challenges stories that are repeated often but never questioned, dismissing as gossip the idea that Livia poisoned Augustus; more likely, his heart “simply gave out”. Goldsworthy is particularly sound on senatorial power struggles and the use of marriage to cement or break political alliances.
 
"Historian Goldsworthy (Caesar: Life of a Colossus, 2008, etc.) obviously has ancient Rome in his bones, and his biography of Augustus is also a solid chronicle of Rome and its development."
aggiunto da bookfitz | modificaKirkus Reviews (Aug 1, 2014)
 
Adrian Goldsworthy’s Augustus was ambitious for personal power from the start of his long life. A gambler rather than a planner, he seized control of the state with a military dictatorship (in fact, if not in image) that was accepted by the majority of Romans who saw no better alternative, or feared worse. If ambition was a traditional motivation among the Roman elite, Augustus’ means to supremacy were as unprecedented as the times in which he pursued it, but supremacy saw him act for the common good and his restoration of the res publica, in Goldsworthy’s view, was a success as worthy of praise as the violence of his rise invites censure. This is a cautious and fair biography that contains reasonable interpretations of controversial episodes, such as Crassus and the spolia opima (226-9); the settlement of 23 BC (266-72); Tiberius’ withdrawal to Rhodes (388-91); and the disaster of Varus (446-55). Acute observations pepper the narrative, such as the awareness that Augustus’ supremacy ‘was more rather than less obvious after 23 BC’ (272), or the appreciation that there was ‘something chilling’ in Augustus’ display of ‘absolute assurance’ (i.e. dominance) in objecting to Vedius Pollio’s nasty habit of feeding disgraced slaves to his lampreys (327), or the elucidation of Tiberius’ loss of independence on his adoption by Augustus (430). The biography will satisfy the curiosity of its intended audience of ‘general readers’ who enjoyed Goldsworthy’s Caesar: The Life of a Colossus (2006) and Antony and Cleopatra (2010). Undergraduates will find here a reliable and readable account of Augustus’ life and principate. Advanced students, however, will not be provoked fundamentally to reconsider their view of Rome’s first emperor.
 

» Aggiungi altri autori

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Adrian Goldsworthyautore primariotutte le edizionicalcolato
Hjukström, CharlotteTraduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Perkins, DerekNarratoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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This brief mention in the Christmas story must have been the first time I heard of Augustus, and although it is hard to be precise with such early memories I must have been very young.
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Tells the story of the heir to the murdered Julius Caesar who, as Rome's first emperor, brought peace and stability to the empire and presided over a new system of government.

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