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Sick Caesars: Madness and Malady in Imperial Rome
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Sick Caesars: Madness and Malady in Imperial Rome

liked it 3.0  ·  Rating details ·  62 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
From the ascension of Augustus to the division of the eastern and western empires in 364, Sick Caesars investigates the illnesses that led to the rise and fall of the Roman emperors-and, to some extent, the Roman Empire itself. Continually plagued by plots and intrigues, the Caesars had every reason to live in fear and suspicion.

Michael Grant discusses how, aside from emot
Hardcover, 178 pages
Published February 1st 2000 by Barnes & Noble Books
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Troy Ancona
Jun 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: roman-history
I really wanted to "like" this book, and there were moments, (sections, or a chapter or two) that I did. That said, the book felt more like a school paper. Numerous quotes from other authors, which in many cases made me want to check out their works on this subject and abandon this one. Not only were there an extraordinary amounts of quotes from others, but the author often was quoting himself... Which to me seemed strange and overdone.

The book, which has 178 pages total, is actually only a litt
Apr 22, 2010 rated it liked it
Overall, interesting to read. The book reinforced the concept that the peculiarities or sicknesses of people in power have a great effect on the course of history. But the author seems to have no respect for the opinions of his readers; he scorns Roman practices and culture often. Which I personally found annoying. It even seemed like he had written several books on Roman customs and history; was he has snide in his other books? If so, I wouldn't read them.

The illnesses in the Caesars seemed to
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else fine
May 14, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: hypochondriacs
Shelves: read2007, history
I don't know why it's so satisfying to read about Augustus Caesar's migraines, or the fact that battle so unnerved him that he'd have to lie down nursing his head until the fighting was over. Maybe it's just me.

Anyway, this book gives a really fascinating medical history of the Caesars, though in many places Michael Grant is simply quoting himself from one of his other books, which felt somehow cheap. Also, he digresses into a couple of oddly vehement rants about the "disease" of believing in a
Thomas Fortenberry
Apr 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, biography
Crazy fun. Can't beat the insanity of imperial life. Also good for a lot of hmmmm moments of modern recognition.
Jul 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Very fun. Gods of men who were anything but...
Jul 21, 2007 rated it it was ok
Some accounts were good, however he contradicts himself by admitting that belief in astrology isn't a sickness (he claims probably 10-15 Caesars are sick this way).
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Michael Grant was an English classisist, numismatist, and author of numerous popular books on ancient history. His 1956 translation of Tacitus’s Annals of Imperial Rome remains a standard of the work. He once described himself as "one of the very few freelances in the field of ancient history: a rare phenomenon". As a popularizer, his hallmarks were his prolific output and his unwillingness to ove ...more
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