Everywhere you turn, people are comparing what’s happening in the US with the fall of the Roman Empire. And that got me thinking about a book I read long ago, which gave a portrait of those decadent times in an extremely readable format. I decided to read this one again, and enjoyed the effort.
Written from the perspective of Tiberius Claudius, the stammering and lame uncle of Caligula, we witness events of great interest during the Jesus years (the transition between BC and AD). Claudius’s grandfather, Augustus, is Emperor when the story begins. Livia is his evil, scheming wife who poisons off any contenders to the throne besides her son. Eventually, her son Tiberius becomes Emperor, and things start to go downhill for the Roman populace.
Caligula gains power after Tiberius is smothered, and lets his madness reign over the Senate and the people. He declares himself a god, and Claudius wisely humors him. After incest, prostituting his sisters, and other unspeakable acts, some of his Army plot to kill him, and do so. Claudius takes control, and his first thought is that now that he’s Emperor, people will have to read his books.
sub=From the Autobiography of Tiberius Claudius, Born 10 B.C., Murdered and Deified A.D. 54