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Claudius the God by Robert Graves
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Claudius the God (original 1934; edition 1977)

by Robert Graves

Series: Claudius (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,859292,027 (4.11)85
Member:cshalizi
Title:Claudius the God
Authors:Robert Graves
Info:Vintage (1977), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:historical fiction, ancient Rome, returned, read as a boy

Work details

Claudius the God by Robert Graves (1934)

  1. 50
    History of the Twelve Caesars by Suetonius (sidewaysstation)
  2. 40
    The First Man in Rome by Colleen McCullough (Torikton)
    Torikton: Similar style historical novel also based in ancient Rome.
  3. 20
    Julian by Gore Vidal (Torikton)
    Torikton: Similar style historical novel also based in ancient Rome.
  4. 10
    The Devils of Loudun by Aldous Huxley (John_Vaughan)
  5. 10
    Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar (sidewaysstation)
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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
"Claudius, the God" continues Robert Graves' story of the Emperor Claudius beginning just after he is crowned emperor and continues to his death. It is, like the prior book "I, Claudius", a first-person narrative. The fascinating story continues and though not quite as exciting as the first novel (Claudius was not as wild and depraved as Tiberius or Caligula), the story keeps moving, the conspiracies keep mounting and his end, though not unexpected, was presented with a twist that catches our breath. Claudius' friendship with Herod Agrippa who was the King Herod in the Acts of the Apostles, grandson of Herod the Great and nephew of Herod Antipas who had John the Baptist beheaded, is a truly wonderful tale. I knew nothing about this Herod and the history of Judea and the surrounding kingdoms during the Roman empire, but I want to know more now. Though this is a book of fiction (Claudius did not write this autobiography), Graves tells us in the introduction that none of the characters or events are made up, only his interpretation of the events are speculative. Amazing!! ( )
  Marse | Aug 24, 2014 |
Fantastic read but not as good as I, Claudius. ( )
  pcollins | Jul 27, 2014 |
Continues where I, Claudius left off. Brilliant. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
there were parts of this book that dragged for me more than in the previous book (i, claudius) but overall it was still pretty interesting. it was a nice look into what power does to someone, how a person who (it seemed, anyway) is good can rationalize terrible behavior. makes me wonder if the truly evil people in the history described in the earlier book were doing the same thing or not. this book had a lot of quoting of documents, which sometimes detracted and sometimes added to the story. mostly it was an interesting history and it was nice that the reliability of the narrator was called into question, which throws not just this book but the earlier one in a different light. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Oct 14, 2013 |
I have to echo the LibraryThing reviewer who said that if this sequel to I, Claudius is less impressive than the first book, it's because it's narrower in scope. I, Claudius isn't just this faux autobiography, it gave a run through of the members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty prior to Claudius--Livia, Augustus and Germanicus made quite the impression in that first book, which ended with Claudius being raised to Emperor of Rome. The focus in this book is his short reign of little more than a decade. And while the first book allows us to think of Claudius as crafty and only pretending to be an idiot (at least if you've never read Graves' source, Suetonius' Twelve Caesars), that's a lot harder here where he comes across as so, so clueless, at least in his personal life.

That said, this book is still an engaging read, and among the richest, best written works of historical fiction I've ever read. I've read Graves felt he was slumming it in his Claudius books, but it certainly doesn't come through. The picture he paints of early Christianity and Roman-era Britain is particularly fascinating. I only regret it's so hard to find more of Graves historical fiction in print. I loved his King Jesus, a story of a historical Jesus--married to Mary Magdalene--and published in 1946. Way, way before that travesty of a novel, The Da Vinci Code. But he also wrote other novels about the ancient world, such as Count Belisarius and Hercules, My Shipmate and Homer's Daughter I'd love to read. The Claudius books are his most famous though, and definitely where to start. ( )
2 vote LisaMaria_C | Aug 25, 2013 |
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Epigraph
THE TROUBLESOME REIGN OF TIBERIUS CLAUDIUS
CAESAR, EMPEROR OF THE ROMANS
(BORN 10 B.C., DIED A. D. 54),
AS DESCRIBED BY HIMSELF;
ALSO HIS MURDER AT THE HANDS OF THE
NOTORIOUS AGRIPPINA
(MOTHER OF THE EMPEROR NERO)
AND HIS SUBSEQUENT DEIFICATION,
AS DESCRIBED BY
OTHERS
Dedication
First words
Two years have gone by since I finished writing the long story of how I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus, the cripple, the stammerer, the fool of the family, whom none of his ambitious and bloody-minded relatives considered worth the trouble of executing, poisoning, forcing to suicide, banishing to a desert island or starving to death—which was how they one by one got rid of each other—how I survived them all, even my insane nephew Gaius Caligula, and was one day unexpectedly acclaimed Emperor by the corporals and sergeants of the Palace Guard.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679725733, Paperback)

Picking up where the extraordinarily interesting I, Claudius ends, Claudius the God tells the tale of Claudius' 13-year reign as Emperor of Rome. Naturally, it ends when Claudius is murdered--believe me, it's not giving anything away to say this; the surprise is when someone doesn't get poisoned. While Claudius spends most of his time before becoming emperor tending to his books and his writings and trying to stay out of the general line of corruption and killings, his life on the throne puts him into the center of the political maelstrom.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:00 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Depicts the turbulent life of a Roman emperor, reconstructing the decadence of the Roman world

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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