The Twelve Caesars

Matthew Dennison
Atlantic Books, £9.99
ISBN 978-1848876859

The legends surrounding the first 12 rulers of the Roman Empire are legion. Called capricious, murderous, even mad by (not entirely disinterested) contemporary sources, their reputations lend colour to an already dramatic period of history. But what were Julius Caesar, Caligula, and Nero really like? Dennison revisits the more outlandish episodes in their lives with gossipy glee, but beneath his irreverent tone is a wealth of scholarly research. Providing welcome critical analysis of Suetonius’ 1st-century portraits, as well as discussion of other primary and secondary sources, this is a compelling read.


This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 58. Click here to subscribe