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Sex Lives of the Roman Emperors

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  101 Ratings  ·  22 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.
Published August 1st 2005 by Not Avail (first published September 1st 2004)
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Jun 06, 2009 Nathaniel rated it liked it
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).
Oct 28, 2011 Aggie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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.
Mar 30, 2010 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really on page 69...
Feb 28, 2016 Tym rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fic, humor, gay, historic
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
Feb 15, 2009 Adrianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Apr 27, 2009 Conrad rated it did not like it
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 ...more
May 20, 2014 Lauren rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
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
Abhranil Dutta
Dec 17, 2011 Abhranil Dutta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
As the name suggest 'Sex Lives of the Rich and Famous' is mostly about the affairs and relations of some famous personalities which includes - MARILYN MONROE , OSCAR WILDE , CHARLIE CHAPLIN , PABLO PICASSO , HITLER , VICTOR HUGO , ELVIS PRESLEY , PRESIDENT KENNEDY and others..!!

There are some shocking revelations of the famous personalities ..!! For example - Most people don't know that CHARLIE CHAPLIN was a philander(!) and apart from acting he wrote screenplays , then was a director and a prod
Saran Wolf
Mar 04, 2016 Saran Wolf rated it it was amazing
While we can never really know how much of this is slander and how much reality, it is well known that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, and that throughout history powerful men have indulged their wildest sexual fantasies. The section on Caligula reads true to me, and the idea that it "cannot be" due to modern historical revisionism is a nonsense.
David Nouvel
Jun 18, 2015 David Nouvel rated it liked it
Un ouvrage intéressant. Malheureusement, l'absence de notes de bas de page, ainsi que des explicitations des sources rendent cette ouvrage peu scientifique dans son approche, et ne peut donc pas être suivi aveuglément.
De même, les chapitres n'ont aucun titre et il est donc impossible de choisir facilement les empereurs que l'on souhaite lire.
Dec 02, 2012 Sarah rated it it was ok
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.
Sep 20, 2013 Peacegal rated it liked it
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.
Jan 29, 2010 Gina rated it really liked it
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
Jul 15, 2014 Faith Justice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
Utter trash, obviously written to bring in quick cash by appealing to people's prurient interests. The chapters I sampled had numerous historical errors.
Jane Doe
Aug 31, 2011 Jane Doe rated it really liked it
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.
Elizabeth C L
Mar 21, 2011 Elizabeth C L rated it liked it
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.
Jessica Shin
Jul 23, 2007 Jessica Shin rated it it was ok
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!
Oct 03, 2007 AGustavia rated it liked it
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
Oct 03, 2009 Casey Dunigan rated it it was amazing
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.
A.J. rated it liked it
Mar 23, 2009
Tiffany rated it liked it
May 05, 2014
Jan 01, 2011 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Things for the FYI's er
Jonathan Brantley
Jonathan Brantley rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2012
Ophelia Jane
Ophelia Jane rated it it was ok
Nov 04, 2012
Dot Hutchison
Dot Hutchison rated it really liked it
Sep 21, 2012
Jennifer Rice
Jennifer Rice rated it it was amazing
Dec 21, 2012
Aschetti rated it really liked it
Jan 02, 2012
Jenn rated it liked it
Feb 24, 2008
Aleksandra rated it liked it
Aug 14, 2010
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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...

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