Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Claudius the God” as Want to Read:
Claudius the God
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Claudius the God (Claudius #2)

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  7,497 ratings  ·  278 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)
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 Claudius the God, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Claudius the God

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
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): Gore Vidal (Lincoln, Burr, etc), Hilary Mantel (Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies) and Norman Mailer (The Executioner's Song, Harlot's Ghost).

Obviously, Shakespeare is the master of historical fiction/drama but he is so obviously the deified king of historical fiction th
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
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
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
Jun 05, 2008 Maureen rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
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
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
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
Mike Robbins
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?
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
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
After giving "I, Claudius" a less-than-perfect review, I'm doing an about-face and stating that I adored this sequel and wish Robert Graves had written an entire series about the personalities of the Roman Empire. While Claudius definitely wasn't infallible (and there were times he was downright stupid), he ultimately proved himself to be brilliant and brave. I thought it was unfortunate that the book ended with Seneca The Younger's satirical poem/essay about Claudius, "The Pumpkinification of C ...more
Luke Peterson
Feb 20, 2007 Luke Peterson rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: political nerds, business managers, leaders
Sequel to I, Claudius, this book is essentially the required descent of the pair (assuming its predecessor ended in the climax). It stands on its own as a good read, but a bit tedious and disappointing when viewed in the shadow of its older sibling.

It opens with the newly-minted Emperor Claudius standing in the blood of his nephew, ex-Emperor Caligula. Given how highly Graves built up Claudius as a hero in I, Claudius, this book is Graves' attempt to explain away the historically-documented fail
Published just after the wildly popular I, Claudius, this lazily pandering sequel has the look of a transparent attempt to cash in on the previous novel's success. Having endeared the nervous, trodden-on Claudius to readers in the earlier volume, Graves now jumps the shark by not only making his likable narrator into the Emperor of Rome (in defiance of all plausibility), but by transforming Claudius into an exceptionally capable ruler and even a brilliant military strategist. Claudius's adventur ...more
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
See also review of I, Claudius. Weaker than its predecessor in both scope and subject matter, but still fantastic. Perhaps the only part that really reaches the realm of greatness is the fictionalized nihilistic plot of Claudius in the novel's climax, achieving the nearly impossible task of making the reader hate Claudius as much as the rest of Rome did when for the second time they embraced a mad Caesar. Unfortunately, all this novel's principals are weaker than those of I, Claudius, with King ...more
Vicki Cline
This is the sequel to I, Claudius and covers Claudius' own reign as emperor, which lasted 13 years. He was a pretty good one, doing a lot of building and presiding over the start of the conquest of England, although he wasn't a military man himself. The book is written as an autobiography, thus there isn't a lot of dialog, which is a bit disconcerting if you're expecting it to match the TV series. We don't get to see the true character of his last two wives, Messalina and Agrippina until late in ...more
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
Susana Pereira
I found this reading a bit more difficult to follow than the first volume's, but it was nevertheless likewise fascinating.
I particularly enjoyed the story of Herodes Agrippa, which I didn't know intertwined so closely the story of Claudius himself, and of the conquest of Britain (although it might be considered a low trick to use elephants and camels to fight for you... :)), and the convoluted politics of the Asian part of the empire...

The fact is that I learned a lot from this book and I just L
Jeffrey Bumiller
I want to be Robert Graves when I grow up. I loved this book so much that I answered a GoodReads quiz question about the book and I got it right! I retained information! Amazing!

This is a life affirming book, a book that opened so many door for me. I want to study ancient history for the rest of my life, I want to travel, I want to read everything I can get my hands on, I want to write as beautifully as Robert Graves (never gonna happen), I want to watch BBC series from the 70's and I want to l
Sıla Önder
This book should have been named "Claudius the God and His Conquest of Britain" instead of "Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina". It was mostly focused on the emperor's success on the foggy island instead of what was going on in the court. I enjoyed reading about Claudius' military campaign but I'd expected more "drama", as there was a lot of it in the first book, if I'm not mistaken.
When I picked the book up to read, I'd almost entirely forgotten everything about Claudius and his reign. Mo
Claudius the God, by Robert Graves, is a book about a man named Claudius, the great nephew of Julius Caesar. Claudius became the emperor of Rome after the assassination of Caligula, his cousin. Claudius was actually a devoted Republican, someone who wanted the republic back. However, the imperial guards didn't want the republic back because they would be out of a job and they wouldn't let Claudius restore the republic. After he was announced emperor, he ruled wisely and justly for 25 years. His ...more
Recently I read and reviewed I, Claudius, which I found much more interesting than its sequel, Claudius the God. The problem with this novel is that it defers too much to the pedantic character of Claudius himself, spending excessive time recounting battles in Germany and Britain. You would have to have a great interest in Roman history to enjoy these disquisitions, and even then, there are original sources to turn to that Graves excavated with excruciating accuracy. Claudius as emperor is a sen ...more
Carrie Slager
To be perfectly honest, until I finished I, Claudius I had no idea there actually was a sequel. The first book has definitely overshadowed its own sequel, which does tend to happen to classic books. I was lucky to even find a copy in the bookstore, which I took despite absolutely hating the cover. Whoever designed it goes by the maxim ‘sex sells’, you can be sure of that. But I digress.

In some ways I enjoyed Claudius the God more than I, Claudius. One thing I really did like was that poor Claudi
Ned Hanlon
Claudius the God was a bit of a disappointment, particularly considering how much I loved I, Claudius. Robert Graves never really decided what story he wanted to tell. From a purely narrative perspective the novel is all of the place. We start with a longish biography of Herod Agrippa before spending any time with the titular character. Herod remains important until he disappears somewhat ignominiously about two thirds of the way through with some (but only some) ramifications for Claudius.

Muito bom! Apesar das contrariedades derivadas de falhas na tradução e/ou na revisão, a fantástica qualidade desta narrativa não se perdeu. Agradou-me imenso o modo como Robert Graves conseguiu incorporar algum humor, sem perder a credibilidade histórica. Imperdível!
[Novela histórica] Continuación de Yo, Claudio. No mantiene el nivel (era muy difícil) y se pierde en tramas judaicas durante buena parte del libro. En cualquier caso, la parte en la que aparece Mesalina es increíblemente buena.
Dylan Quarles
A less potent follow-up to the eccentric and classic I, Claudius.
At times lapsing into absurdity, Claudius the God is still mostly good.

I think it's important to note that I, Claudius AND Claudius the God were both written in the 1930's!!! This in and of itself merits respect as both read like modern works (save for a few odd turns of phrase).

Though less historically meticulous than it's predecessor, Claudius the God still deals a fair amount of history into it's numbered pages. Following Empe
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Julian
  • The Grass Crown (Masters of Rome, #2)
  • The Mask of Apollo
  • The House of the Vestals (Roma Sub Rosa, #6)
  • The Ides of March
  • Augustus
  • Across the Nightingale Floor: Episode 1 The Sword of the Warrior
  • Eagle in the Snow
  • The Roman
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)
I, Claudius (Claudius, #1) Goodbye to All That The Greek Myths The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth I, Claudius/Claudius the God

Share This Book

“You mean that people who continue virtuous in an old-fashioned way must inevitably suffer in times like these?” 11 likes
“You know how it is when one talks of liberty. Everything seems beautifully simple. One expects every gate to open and every wall to fall flat.” 4 likes
More quotes…