ebook First Emperor of Rome

By Adrian Goldsworthy

cover image of Augustus

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The acclaimed historian and author of Caesar presents “a first-rate popular biography” of Rome’s first emperor, written “with a storyteller’s brio” (Washington Post).

The story of Augustus’ life is filled with drama and contradiction, risky gambles and unexpected success. He began as a teenage warlord whose only claim to power was as the grand-nephew and heir of the murdered Julius Caesar. Mark Antony dubbed him “a boy who owes everything to a name,” but he soon outmaneuvered a host of more experienced politicians to become the last man standing in 30 BC. Over the next half century, Augustus created a new system of government—the Principate or rule of an emperor—which brought peace and stability to the vast Roman Empire.
In this highly anticipated biography, Goldsworthy puts his deep knowledge of ancient sources to full use, recounting the events of Augustus’ long life in greater detail than ever before. Goldsworthy pins down the man behind the myths: a consummate manipulator, propagandist, and showman, both generous and ruthless. Under Augustus’ rule the empire prospered, yet his success was constantly under threat and his life was intensely unpredictable.