Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Sex Lives Of The Roman Emperors” as Want to Read:
Sex Lives Of The Roman Emperors
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Sex Lives Of The Roman Emperors

3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  83 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Takes you emperor by emperor, through the entire sexual history of ancient Rome, its mores and its literature, and lays bare, if not the heart, other organs of the civilization that laid the foundations of our own.
Unknown Binding
Published August 1st 2005 by Not Avail
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Sex Lives Of The Roman Emperors, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Sex Lives Of The Roman Emperors

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 209)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
A collection of the juiciest gossip of the Roman age. I'm still amused that Barnes & Noble placed it on a discount table next to children's books. Nothing says "young adult" like incest, prostitution, and lurid details that could make the Marquis de Sade blush (though, apparently not the Roman Emperors or their wives).
So fascinating and disturbing! Yet I couldn't stop reading! Some of these dudes were sick fuckers...i.e. Tiberius, Nero, Caligula...just to name a few. A great read if you have the stomach for gratuitous sex and depravity. The Romans definitely had a different view of what was acceptable in sexual practices and what wasn't.
I am really on page 69...
Despite the title this book isn't all about sex, it's also about the twisted lives and practices and minds of the Roman Emperors (and their lovers'). The surprising brutality of life back then was definitely a wake up call to how far we really have evolved past the general acceptance of killing and murder and slavery etc. Thank goodness for that. Lets just hope it stays that way.

A couple things that I didn't like about this book was how much he kept plugging his other books, I almost felt like
Quite an encapsulating eye-opener to not only the sexual practices, but the blood-thirsty violence of an age of Roman emperors, who experienced little respect for human life, and exhibited little morality as we know it, on any level. With an engaging voice, and some tongue-in-cheek humor, Mr. Cawthorne takes us quickly from Augustus to Justinian with numerous jaw-dropping snapshots of debased history. Separating much of the sex and violence, and skimming quickly over politics, war, and daily lif ...more
Though the topic was interesting, I found that I hated this book. History was zipped by to such an extent that people started running together, and I found that from chapter (or even paragraph) to the next, I wasn't retaining any information.

Additionally, the snarky tone from the author was insufferable and only got worse as the book progressed, as did the typographical errors.

This book is true crap, and I'm sad that I actually finished this. Such is my compulsion with getting through a book a
Should be a minus 5: Yuck as to the subject matter. Double-yuck (and more significant yucks, at that) for the historical justification for the subject matter. This book has asterisks that indicate, no, not references justifying the statements the author makes, no, not footnotes, but plugs for the author's other books in the "Sex Lives of the (insert class of persons here)" series. Turns out this guy has written a bunch of books claiming to detail the sex lives of the Popes, Homosexuals (which mo ...more
This book had a little bit of history but not enough context to be interesting. It was also really difficult to keep track of the emperors because their names were so similar (or the same) and because the author kept flipping around among different family members. In addition, the author was a little too self-indulgent with his puns.
Finally, the Romans were just disturbing.
Who knows how much of this is true? I suspect the actual number of prostitutes at Caligula's parties has been lost to the sands of time. A lot of it just seems physically impossible. Didn't anyone ever get headaches in ancient Rome?

I thought the author's frequent Latin asides and jokes were a bit pretentious; not everyone can read it, after all.
May 04, 2009 Kelly added it
I have no idea how accurate this book is...but it's absolutely hysterical. I can totally imagine a quirky British academic called Nigel Cawthorne giggling as he adds in his random quips about sex almost every page. Hilarious. A good read that I totally recommend.
Jessica Shin
Definitely interesting that this guy researched detailed sexual acts of a lot of Roman emperors starting from Julius Caesar. But it gets redundant after a while, and no wonder the Roman Empire fell!
Elizabeth C L
This book discusses public events that I would have never dreamed! (and hopefully won't) I don't know how accurate the accounts are, but it is interesting, to say the least.
Not as great as sex lives of the popes, possibly because you kind of expect this kind of stuff from the Romans. That and it does get slightly disturbing during Tiberius' reign.
Faith Justice
Utter trash, obviously written to bring in quick cash by appealing to people's prurient interests. The chapters I sampled had numerous historical errors.
There is a back story to this book....And only funny when you know that I once dated a man that thought he has been Caesar in past life...The book lied :)
Casey Dunigan
A must read for any moron who thinks that current society is going to hell in a hand basket! Unbelievable perverts are described in great detail.
Jane Doe
For all the folks out there that think they have their kink on it's all been done before in a more prevalent way with harsher consequences.
Interesting subject matter, but Cawthorne writes with all the skill and eloquence of a 9th grader.
Arumay Seth
Arumay Seth marked it as to-read
Jan 25, 2015
Yezdi Solaina
Yezdi Solaina marked it as to-read
Jan 24, 2015
Kristen Hisam
Kristen Hisam marked it as to-read
Dec 04, 2014
Caidyn marked it as to-read
Dec 01, 2014
Tim marked it as to-read
Nov 08, 2014
Mahmoud marked it as to-read
Oct 31, 2014
Trejon marked it as to-read
Oct 11, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Most Evil Men And Women In History
  • The History of Manners (The Civilizing Process, Vol. 1)
  • History of Women in the West, Vol 1: From Ancient Goddesses to Christian Saints
  • Emperors of Rome: The Story of Imperial Rome from Julius Ceasar to the Last Emperor
  • You Did What?: Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters
  • Caligula: A Biography
  • Sexy Origins and Intimate Things: The Rites and Rituals of Straights, Gays, Bis, Drags, Trans, Virgins, and Others
  • Sovereign Ladies: The Six Reigning Queens of England
  • Working IX to V: Orgy Planners, Funeral Clowns, and Other Prized Professions of the Ancient World
  • Caesars' Wives: The Women Who Shaped the History of Rome
  • The Ring and the Crown: A History of Royal Weddings 1066-2011
  • The Bloody Countess: The Atrocities of Erzsebet Bathory
  • Nefertiti: Unlocking the Mystery Surrounding Egypt's Most Famous and Beautiful Queen
  • The Lady in Red: An Eighteenth-Century Tale of Sex, Scandal, and Divorce
  • The Customer Is Not Always Right: Hilarious and Horrific Tales of Customers Gone Wrong
  • The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found
  • Madame de Pompadour: Mistress of France
  • Nell Gwyn: Mistress to a King
Nigel Cawthorne is an Anglo-American writer of fiction and non-fiction, and an editor. He has written more than 80 books on a wide range of subjects and has contributed to The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph Daily Mail and The New York Times. He has appeared on television and BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Many of Nigel Cawthorne's books are compilations of popular history, without footnotes, referen
More about Nigel Cawthorne...
Serial Killers and Mass Murderers: Profiles of the World's Most Barbaric Criminals Killers: the Most Barbaric Murderers of Our Times The World's Greatest Serial Killers (World's Greatest) A History of Pirates: Blood and Thunder on the High Seas Sex Lives of the Popes

Share This Book