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Claudius the God (Claudius #2)

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  9,592 Ratings  ·  379 Reviews
In the sequel to I, Claudius a republican Roman Emperor writes the story of his reign.

Men classed Claudius as a pitiful fool. But the reign he describes is far from folly. Reluctantly launched into the purple, he emerges as a man who erred on the side of good and credulity. It is the common people and the common soldiers who sustain him in his efforts to repair the damage
Paperback, 443 pages
Published November 1st 1973 by Penguin Books Limited (first published 1934)
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Henry Avila
Jul 16, 2015 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miracles do happen, ask Claudius, the unread historian, the idiot, as his family perceives him, the people also, becomes Emperor of the Roman Empire... These events unfold, with the assassination of his mad nephew, Caligula, the Praetorian Guard, needs a ruler, or else they become obsolete, no one to keep from harm, and go back to the intolerable barracks. Claudius, is found behind a curtain, in the palace, shaking ( more than the curtain), scared to death, to state it mildly, expects the rampag ...more
Dec 14, 2012 Darwin8u rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aere-perennius, 2012
“Most men—it is my experience—are neither virtuous nor scoundrels, good-hearted nor bad-hearted. They are a little of one thing and a little of the other and nothing for any length of time: ignoble mediocrities.”
― Robert Graves, Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina


I, Claudius and Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina are two of the greatest novels of historical fiction EVER. Probably the only writers who come close to Grave's mastery of history and literature are (in no particular order):
Mar 26, 2013 ``Laurie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've given the sequel to I, Claudius five stars as well and had a good time reading both of these brilliant novels by one of the greatest authors I've ever read, Robert Graves; with
his brilliance showing on each page that I eagerly kept turning.

How in the world did he manage to make the Rome of Augustus so spellbinding I don't know, but his sense of time and place had me experiencing the whole story as if I were there in person observing everything as it happened.
This is the sort of Historica
I loved the chance to hear the actor Derek Jacobi from the TV production of “I, Claudius” do the reading of this sequel. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize the audiobook was an abridged edition of the book until the end. That accounts for the disappointing compression in the narratives. Still, it was a pleasure to experience highlights in the reign of this survivor of all the murders associated with the succession of his uncle Calligula. He succeed by pretending to be an idiot. This presented a pro ...more
Nov 13, 2016 Sinem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
ilk kitaptan biraz daha heyecanlıydı özellikle kitabın sonuna doğru olaylar epey hareketlendi. Yazarın esprili anlatımı tarihi olayları bu kadar güzel ve gündelik bir olaymış gibi anlatması ve hala geçerliliğini koruyan tespitleri harika.
(review in English below)

Muito bom!

Apesar das contrariedades derivadas de falhas na tradução e/ou na revisão (alguns exemplos nos updates), a fantástica qualidade desta narrativa não se perdeu.

Agradou-me imenso o modo como Robert Graves conseguiu incorporar algum humor na sua escrita, sem perder a credibilidade histórica.


So good!

In spite of the annoyance caused by the several mistakes in the translation and proofreading, the amazing quality of this narrative didn't get lost.

I imme
Koliko god da mi se dopada gomiletina istorijskih događaja koje je Grejvs sjajno posložio u pregledan timeline, toliko mi nije jasna njegova potreba da u neku ruku amnestira Klaudija, predstavi ga kao sveca, previše bolećivog na svoje žene, sluge, prijatelje... tolika povodljivost, bezvoljnost, naivnost i beskičmenjaštvo nekako ne idu ruku pod ruku sa britkom inteligencijom, idejama i učenošću kakvu je Grejvs dodelio Klaudiju u svojim knjigama.

A i moram da priznam da bez Kaligule nema zabave. :D
Yes, we are all mad, we Emperors. We begin sanely, like Augustus and Tiberius and even Caligula (though he was an evil character, he was sane at first), and monarchy turns our wits.

This book is much more tragic than the last. Claudius becomes the divine emperor of Rome - against all odds - and rules for thirteen years. While the first book has no real narrative arc, this one is framed by two factors: Claudius's love for his young wife, Messalina, and his desire for Rome to return to republican
Since my college days I didn’t know Robert Graves and told myself I wouldn’t read him at all due to his formidable writing style as a Greek scholar till I finally decided to try reading his amazing memoir “Goodbye to All That” from which I regarded as my first step toward his other works. Surprisingly, the more I read him, the more I found his narration informative, rewarding and sometime humorous. However, if you’re interested in reading this historical novel, you should read his “I, Claudius” ...more
Oct 29, 2007 cheeseblab rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As much as I enjoyed I, Claudius, this is like The Godfather, Part II to the earlier book's Godfather. In other words, a much more ambitious work, with a broader canvas and more spectacular success. Perhaps the best example is the treatment of Claudius's friend Herod Agrippa, who is scarcely mentioned in the first novel but who is essentially the co-lead for the first two-thirds or so of this book. (This Herod was the grandson of Herod the Great, notorious for the Slaughter of the Innocents in M ...more
Jun 04, 2017 Mikos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After finishing Claudius the God and his wife Messalina I was a bit disappointed, I absolutely loved I, Claudius so my expectations were high (almost never a good thing). I was expecting the same amount of plotting and betrayal which was just stupid on my part, given the fact that almost the entire royal family had been wiped out in book 1. There are simply not enough people to keep up the same rate of plotting. Letting it stew for a few days I decided to give this book 4 stars, just like in I, ...more
Jun 05, 2008 Maureen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: history, novel
Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus ascends the Roman throne in the second half of Robert Graves' life of Claudius. After the debacle of the reign of his three relatives, Augustus, Tiberius and Caligula, Claudius is left with Roman society in ruins, and his dreams of re-establishing the Republic fade. In an effort to bring Rome back from the brink of disaster, Claudius institutes many governmental reforms. Although he is somewhat successful, during his thirteen year reign, his heroic effort ...more
Jul 18, 2016 Yanper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This second book was not quite as good as the first, "I, Claudius." The first book created a fuller picture of the times and also it was written in a more light style and with a wittier tongue. There is a long section early in the novel that tells the story of Claudius' friend Herod Agrippa, which I think was not necessary. It made the book slow and at times boring. Bottom line, I didn't enjoy it quite as much as "I, Claudius," but still I recommend the book to people who like to read historical ...more
May 28, 2016 Laysee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
His name is Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Caesar Augustus Germanicus Brittanicus, Emperor of Rome. I had much affection for the intelligent, bumbling, self-deprecating, and humorous historian-writer he was portrayed in Robert Graves’s book “I, Claudius”. The year was A.D. 41. In this sequel, Graves picked up the story from the point where Claudius, the 51-year-old crippled historian who had infantile paralysis and aphasia, was acclaimed Emperor of Rome against his own desire. How would he, whom ...more
Jan 18, 2008 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This second book, while not quite as good as the first, is a very fitting successor. In I, Claudius, Claudius's role is primarily as an observer, sitting on the sidelines and watching his relatives destroy themselves while remaining relatively safe by virtue of their assumption that he is no threat to take the throne. In this book, Claudius ascends simply because he's the last man standing, and in seeing how he administers Rome he scuffs himself up a bit. In actually wielding a power he had neve ...more
Oct 27, 2014 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend the book to people who like to read historical novels. I gave it three solid stars because the book is an important piece of history. I took away the fourth star because the book was much too long thereby diminishing this historical account of Claudius' reign over the Roman empire.

The book, the main character, and the author remain enigmas to me. I read this book thinking I would find at least one redeeming quality in Claudius, but I read in vain. Still, I liked Claudius. To be so in
Víctor Galán
Apr 23, 2015 Víctor Galán rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Estamos sin ninguna duda ante una de las mejores novelas históricas de la Historia y ante una de las obras cumbre del siglo XX y de la literatura inglesa. Casi todo en esta novela es perfecta con un ritmo ágil, una trama interesante y unos personajes, casi todos ellos carismáticos. La épica historia de la familia Julio-Claudia es narrada aquí con todo el esplendor que se merece. Solo un decepcionante final, en el que la personalidad de Claudio cambia abruptamente y el ritmo se vuelve excesivamen ...more
Dec 17, 2007 Jennie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classical-lit
It's a shame that Messalina is such a pretty name, because she was such a vile person. Sometimes I wonder if this book is rampantly misogynist on purpose, or if that just a reflection of the source material Robert Graves had to work with. And then I wonder if the source material is full of such horrible women because there really was such a crop of scheming imperial jezebels, or if the historians were merely reflecting the deeply-entrenched anti-woman sentiments of their time.

And then I remember
Claudius The God, a novel by Robert Graves, is the sequel to" I, Claudius", and it takes up the story from the point when Claudius was acclaimed as emperor. Where the first novel covered the reign of Caesar Augustus as well as those of Tiberius and Caligula, the sequel is longer but mostly restricts itself to the thirteen-year reign of Claudius, the narrator.
There is a rather long section early in the novel that tells the story of Claudius' friend Herod Agrippa, who helps and encourages Claudius
Mar 31, 2012 Kynan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audio, historical
Great, now I have to go and read some actual (ie non-fiction) Roman history to find out if I just learned something or if I just read through two books worth of Days or Our Lives, circa 41 AD.

I read Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina and I, Claudius back to back as I really wanted to follow through to the end of the prophecy with which "I, Claudius" opens. Also, both the style and content of the books was extremely compelling and I really wanted to find out what happened next! The books con
I had noticed several people had complained that the sequel was considerably worse than the first book but decided to give it a chance. Well, those reviewers were all correct. This book just dragged on and on and on. I'm not sure what made this book such a failure. It is written in a similar way to the first book. However, maybe the frist book covered the field more than people realized and there just wasn't enough original scandal left for this book. Claudius himself seems bored by this story. ...more
Oct 12, 2012 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As my review on "I, Claudius" stated, I really enjoy history, especially Roman history, and I really enjoy the Julio-Claudian dynasty.

This book essentially picks up where the last one leaves off. It is a fictional account (based on real history) of the rule of Claudius as the emperor of Rome in the form of memoirs. The last book stops when Claudius becomes emperor, and this one starts at that point and goes right to the point prior to his death. It then includes three accounts of his death by re
A disappointing follow-up to the brilliant I, Claudius. I'd heard it didn't compare, but I had to found out for myself. The technique, wit and cleverness were still there, but the approach didn't lend itself to the subject. Claudius-as-bumbling-fool-in-the-shadows worked spectactularly because he was the perfect fly on the wall. Claudius-as-increasingly-mad-emperor was all nut job and no distance.

Funny, smart, and entertaining to a degree, but unlike its predecessor, it didn't have much of anypl
One of my favorite books EVER. I simply adore Claudius; and find him lovable and charming. Graves breathes life into characters so historic and legendary, and makes the reader feel as though we are actually living in Ancient Rome. Graves does all this, while simultaneously keeping the integrity of history. It's the book that got me convinced I can read and really love historical fiction as a genre, as much as fiction. I've introduced this book to many friends, as it was introduced to me by a fri ...more
Terence Manleigh
The progress of Claudius the emperor reforming the Roman state is less irresistible than the spectacle of Claudius “the idiot” stepping up to power over the bodies of his blood-thirsty relatives, but this sequel to the brilliant “I, Claudius” has its pleasures. Claudius is still a delightful companion, and, thanks be to the gods, intrigues and depravity aren’t entirely absent from the proceedings. Required reading if you’ve read the first book.
Mike Robbins
Apr 27, 2008 Mike Robbins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Messalina reminds me of an old girlfriend. She makes for a good story...and I mean both Messalina and Lorraine. Duplicitous and conniving. In one scene Messalina goes "camping" alone with a "friend" the night before "Claudius" comes back from a long trip to "Ostia." Wait, what?
Newton Nitro
Aug 31, 2015 Newton Nitro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
CLÁUDIUS, O DEUS - Robert Graves | Como Sobreviver no Comando do Império Romano! | NITROLEITURAS #resenha

Um clássico dos romances históricos e tão revolucionário quanto EU, CLÁUDIO. Apesar de não ser tão dramático quanto o antecessor, essa sequência é também uma obra prima da ficção histórica contemporânea. Enquanto em EU,CLÁUDIO o tema unificador é a sobrevivência fora de uma posição de poder, CLÁUDIO, O DEUS é sobre a sobrevivência quando se está em uma posição de poder.
O livro descreve, em pr
Mar 29, 2017 Mike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
1 >2, ale i tak totalny must read dla szalikowców.
Ana Guardia
Mar 20, 2017 Ana Guardia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, recommended
Es un muy buen libro, que completa la historia del Emperador Claudio. Aunque no tan bueno como "Yo, Claudio", disfruté muchísimo la lectura.
Feb 03, 2012 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At the end of I, Claudius, our favorite emperor of the Julio-Claudian dynasty is hoisted on the shoulders of the Praetorian Guard and finds himself the absolute ruler of the civilized world. With Claudius the God, we get to see what happens next, though a large part is devoted to the story of Herod Agrippa.

Claudius continues with his fictional autobiography, recounting his attempts to rule benevolently following the chaos of Caligula's reign, and to create a civil society from which the Republic
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Robert Ranke Graves, born in Wimbledon, received his early education at King's College School and Copthorne Prep School, Wimbledon & Charterhouse School and won a scholarship to St John's College, Oxford. While at Charterhouse in 1912, he fell in love with G. H. Johnstone, a boy of fourteen ("Dick" in Goodbye to All That) When challenged by the headmaster he defended himself by citing Plato, G ...more
More about Robert Graves...

Other Books in the Series

Claudius (2 books)
  • I, Claudius (Claudius, #1)

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