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The Emperors of Rome: The Story of Imperial Rome from Julius Caesar to the Last Emperor

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  267 ratings  ·  32 reviews
The Emperors of Rome The Emperors of Rome charts the rise and fall of the Roman Empire through profiles of the greatest and most notorious of the emperors. Full description
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Quercus Publishing (first published September 6th 2007)
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 ·  267 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Start your review of The Emperors of Rome: The Story of Imperial Rome from Julius Caesar to the Last Emperor
A decent overview, although you get the feeling it is very much meant as an introductory book, with the idea that readers will want to use other books/sources to research into the lives of those featured. Some emperors literally only get a line or two of explanation - partly because in some cases, they only ruled for a couple of months or perhaps because of a lack of definite information about them.

Some maps would have been useful to illustrate the various changes in imperial boundaries and adm
Harry B
Mar 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic book, providing what first time readers of the Roman Empire would need to know about its 500-ish years of history. It is of course a mere outline, but one which is smooth and action packed, with the unavoidable intrigues at court and in campaign. Potter did an excellent job at providing the most important points of how the emperors acted within government, how governance evolved from the Princeps system to the Dominate, and ultimately the Kingmaker governance during the last decades ...more
As other reviewers have said, this is a good overview of each of the emperors of Ancient Rome. I, however, did not find it to be an excellent reference book.

When read chronologically, the book provides fascinating facts and insights into each emperor and also into how each relates both to his predecessor and to his successor. Also helpful were the fact summarizers on the sides of the pages introducing each new emperor.

When I tried to go back and pull out information on a specific emperor to sha
Miles Watson
I enjoyed this book, which is a concise and largely easy read that is also highly informative. Author David Potter manages to alternate biographies of the all the Caesars with asides on Roman history, politics, economics, and culture, much of which I was unfamiliar with. I particularly appreciated his view of history not merely as battles and coronations, but as an ebb and flow of political ideas and economic systems -- he explains at the end of the book that the Roman Empire died not so much fr ...more
Bryan Whitehead
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This is one of those “coffee table” books that probably aren’t really intended to be read. It’s full of a lot of pictures from Corbis and typesetting that’s more attractive than functional (especially the sidebars set atop faux marble that renders them almost completely unreadable). Nonetheless, it’s a reasonably good summary of 500 years of Roman history. To be sure, the text frequently loses itself in long catalogs of “Then Licentious Maximus died and was replaced by Snoozius Longboringus,” pr ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: historia-italia
To cover around 450 years of roman imperial history in such a small book is not an easy task, and although the author clearly tries to avoid excessive telling of unimportant facts, so much names (which are so similar) in such less periods of time in some periods give the reader a hard time by understanding what was going on on each event.

I would give it a 3.5, is a good introduction book to imperial Rome and also tries to explain the life, the culture, the political and the economic roman syste
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed, history
I have read many books about the Roman Empire and this one has the advantage of summarising very eloquently the reigns of all Roman emperors in less than 250 pages, but also to provide several chapters explaining very clearly about the evolution of Roman society, culture and religious beliefs across the centuries. A highly recommended book!
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and well written book. Always good to be reminded of past empires and how they ended. The only thing I would have liked would be a list of all the emperors and their dates in an appendix.
Bob Lundquist
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An OK summary of the emperors as far as I can tell. Gives a good history of how the republic became the empire.
Saksham Vaidya
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Just realised they didn't bother to name drop the last emperor in the subtitle because no one knows who that is." - Romulus Augustus ...more
J.P. Lantern
Jul 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So, I picked this up from Half-Price Books after listening to a ton of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast. Carlin does a fantastic job of giving listeners overviews of the Punic Wars, Rome's first major conflict, and the Fall of the Roman Republic when Julius Caesar came to power.
But, I was still fascinated with what happened with Rome, as like a lot of people who took an American high school ancient history class, more or less what I learned was that Rome fell sometime in the 1st millenia A
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book on sale at B&N because I really just wanted something simple to get all the Roman Emperors straight - from Julius as Dictator onward. This book is that kind of overview. It's not for a deep historian. However, it really does cover all the basics for each and every Emperor, and has wonderful moments of drama, skeptical analysis and even moments of humor - without being salacious - to make it a very enjoyable read. If you use it as I did, as an overview start to this enormous ...more
Mar 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't think I've read anything by this author, but the book looked like a relatively quick read and was. Good for a refresh on the topic. I'm more interested in going to the ancient or other sources for detail.

Packed full of info, fascinating stories and some very amusing ones about these band of merry emperors, this highly readable book is good, but short. If looking for more information on each emperor, look elsewhere. The text can get a bit confusing at times. When trying to cross check, loo
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a growing love for history, I would definitely recommend this book to those with a military-political fascination. This book was fun for me to read as it gave a lot of background information about the rise of the many Roman Emperors such as Augustus, Nero, Claudius, and such. Books like these are what make good tales. They explain the political and military philosophy, such as how Julius Caesar would never deploy some of his same war tactics twice to prevent spies from making connections wit ...more
This was an okay book with an overview of the Emperors of Rome from Julius Caesar to the end. They have brief overviews of the emperors and detail the events going on in the Empire during each of their reigns. They do have lots of maps detailing the make up of the empire during the periods and they have photo's of the various monuments, baths, ampitheatres and other buildings built by the various emperors. An okay overview but many of the emperors deserve more than a few pages. ...more
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ancients, past, biography
This is my first time really researching into Roman History so I don't know if it's just me but it seemed pretty hard to follow. They kept jumping around Emperors and throwing in new developments without any introduction. A timeline with all the Emperors would have been a nice edition at the beginning. And interrupting the Emperors with a description of the set up seemed random and out of place and should have been used at the beginning. But for a first introduction it wasn't all bad. ...more
Daniel Kukwa
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A textbook-format overview of the Roman empire, through the actions of its emperors. It rises above the usual standard thanks to (1) a very clean & easy to digest layout, and (2) the use of a concise, storytelling prose style that makes the information far more than a standard info dump. It is a useful, entertaining & interesting read. However, it doesn't earn a fifth star...thanks to its obvious need -- on many occasions -- for a stronger copy editor.
Mahmoud Haggui
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
قيصر العظيم. سيد الشواهد البيضاء فى الدجى, فى عصره تم اضافة شهر الى السنة و سُمى ب يوليو تيمناً بقيصر. الديكتاتور الاشهر فى التاريخ, قتل 50 مليون شخص فى حروب الغال, وضع صورته على النقود اغتصب زوجات مؤيده و معارضيه على السواء. أراد يثبت انه الملك. حول روما من جمهورية. الى امبراطورية. 15 مارس عام 44 ق.م نصف السنة بالتقويم الرومانى القديم كان اغتيال قيصر, اخر ما لفظ به لحليفه السابق برونس "هذا مصير الطغاه" . ...more
Dan Honeywell
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew that the Roman Empire was ruled by some bad men. I didn't know how bad and I didn't know how many of them were murdered or died mysterious deaths. The sheer number of power hungry sleazy delusional characters is amazing. The story is fascinating and was an easy read from start to finish.

One thing that would make this book better is pictures of the emperors and key players and possibly a few timelines. But it is still a great book.
Holden Attradies
The book was a decent read. It was laid out in a decent and easy to read manner and the writer was rarely too thick. The last third got a little hectic and confusing, but I think that's less too do with the writer and more to do with the fact things WERE more hectic and confusing during that time period. ...more
Sean Leas
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A pretty good introduction to some of the history of the Roman hierarchy from beginning to the end of the western empire. I can never tire of reading about the antics of most of Rome's leaders. This is far too sparse to have any real depth of completeness but it doesn't really sell itself that way either. Well put together and informative. ...more
Kristina Brown
This book seems designed to act as an aide memoire rather than a study book in its own right. Although it would act as a easy to read introduction to the complicated web of Roman politics, I found it hard to keep track of everything and a slower, more detailed, book would help it sink in.
Henrik Emilsson
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
500 års historia på 300 sidor gör att bara de stora svepen kan förklaras. Men äntligen har jag fått insikt i varför Romarriket föll. Och ja, det var mest deras eget fel. De germanska stammarna bara utnyttjade Roms usla ledarskap och intriger.
Apr 04, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Try Scarre's "Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome" instead. It may have less pictures, but is much better written. I picked this book up from the bargain rack at Borders and sold it used for a dollar rather than have it decorate my bookshelf. ...more
Jun 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Gave interesting facts but not a easy to follow concise overview of other books. Not for the serious student.
Juliana Daggett
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WONDERFUL TRAGEDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
David Kamioner
Jun 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
so far, good stuff
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Accessible, if a bit sparse in details.
Jack Nieporte
Nov 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recently-read
Excellent reference book
Pavlo Illiashenko
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are going to Rome a feel that you need a history refreshment, this is a good option. Easily written and informative. However it is certainty not that detailed for a sophisticated reader.
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David Potter is the author of Constantine the Emperor and The Victor’s Crown: A History of Ancient Sport from Homer to Byzantium. He is the Francis W. Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan.

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