Eileen Souza's Reviews > I, Claudius

I, Claudius by Robert Graves
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Oct 12, 2010

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bookshelves: europe, bookclub, historical-fiction
Read on October 12, 2010

Book club book for October.

I'll admit that I dreaded reading this book for a full 30 days before I picked it up. I have never done well with Greek or Roman history or pantheon of Gods. There's too many names three worded names that all end in -ius, too many uncle's brother's cousin's sons, two names for every God (one greek, one roman) - it just all seems overwhelming.

This book was surprisingly not overwhelming, though I did Wiki a lot and had a Julio Claudian family tree handy. However, I thought it was was written in easy prose, lots of court intrigue, and pretty easy to follow.

My big takeaway is that Livia Augustus is one of the most evil people in history - yet we know nothing about her in modern culture and certainly not that she killed both her husbands four of her children, six of her grandchildren and 1 of her great-grand children. Of course she was deified. I'd look up to her too.

If you're interested in Roman history, specifically the time of Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula (another monster) and Claudius, then I recommend this book as an easy entry into the field.

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