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I, Claudius
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April 2019: History > I, Claudius, by Robert Graves, 4 stars [Horizons Italy]

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NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 4897 comments I, Claudius by Robert Graves, 4 stars. [Horizons Italy theme]

I, Claudius is a surprisingly entertaining book about Ancient Rome and the competition for power in the ruling family. I highly recommend the audio book as the performers add a lot of humor through their voice inflections, especially those playing Claudius and Caligula.

The book takes place soon after the death of Christ in Ancient Rome, at a time when the succession of rulers follow directly from the descendants of Caesar. Claudius is lame and has a stutter, so he is assumed to be an idiot, despite the fact that he spends all his time reading and writing history. He would prefer to restore the republic rather than continue the family's tyrannical rule. A scholar notices his intelligence and advises him to play the fool, to avoid being killed by one of his family members. This turned out to be very good advice and he actually survives his vicious nephew Caligula.

This isn't the type of history that normally interests me (brutal ruling families who dispose of family members), but it was engaging enough to consider the sequel to find out what happens next.


message 2: by Joanne (new) - added it

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7127 comments This sounds good-adding to the list I should not be adding too....addiction is hard!


message 3: by Idit (last edited Apr 22, 2019 04:45PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Idit | 1028 comments What a wonderful book!
I read it many years ago but loved it. From the poisoning mom to the insane nephew. Love it!

Robert Graves is great at making ancient history lively.
I also read The Golden Fleece by him - about Jason and the Argonauts and that was very well written and fascinating too

But Claudius is a real fun book.
(The next one Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina is awaiting me on the shelve for a decade now)


NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 4897 comments Idit wrote: "What a wonderful book!
I read it many years ago but loved it. From the poisoning mom to the insane nephew. Love it!

Robert Graves is great at making ancient history lively.
I also read [book:The..."


Jason and Medea made an appearance in the book Circe too, so I've been thinking I'd like to read something about Jason and the Argonauts.


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