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Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of…

Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar (original 2015; edition 2015)

by Tom Holland (Author)

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376842,593 (3.94)7
Title:Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar
Authors:Tom Holland (Author)
Info:Little, Brown (2015), 512 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Roman Empire, History

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Dynasty: The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar by Tom Holland (2015)



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Seemingly fact based account of the first five emperors. Extremely well researched. Historical personalities brought back almost as big as life ( )
  starkravingmad | Dec 15, 2017 |
From the rise of Julius Caesar to the death of Nero, five generations of the same family ruled Rome. The greatest of all was Augustus, a living God, whose machinations influenced public policy and whose belief in power meant that he manipulated his extended family to his own ends. In-fighting, murder, incest thread through the lives of the family of Augustus and in the end the family imploded. Nero, the final Emperor, was deposed and with his passing a new era dawned for Rome as a republic once more.

This book is not a doorstop, it is actually a very readable length. Holland covered a lot of history, a lot of scandal and makes many suppositions. The true story of the Caesars is shocking and quite venal and Holland does not shy away from the nasty end of happenings. My only complaint is one which is fairly common in recent history books which appeal the more populist end of the market and that is that fact and fiction tend to blur at times. There is much interpretation of actions in terms of thoughts and feelings which are not necessarily backed by contemporaneous sources and therefore should be treated as fictional interpretations rather than fact. However that is a minor quibble because the actual material Holland has to work with is so juicy and almost fictitious in its outrage that this is a great read as well as being a well-researched tome. ( )
  pluckedhighbrow | Jun 26, 2017 |
I really liked this book. I think that Holland did a great job of making this complicated part of history interesting and accessible without falling into tropes and conjecture. I particularly enjoy that he brought the women into the story. I enjoyed Livia's tale and the influence of Agrippina on her son (right down to her death). When I tired of hearing about one emperor, the next came up. The pacing was excellent.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Roman history, although it will be a little light for serious scholars.

(See my full review at The Literary Phoenix) ( )
  Morteana | Jan 4, 2017 |
Rome was a republic for its first 750 years. The switch to imperial rule took about 100 years, starting with Julius Caesar as consul in 59BCE through to the death of Nero in 68CE. This transition was driven by a single extended family, the Julio-Claudians, who supplied the first emperors of Rome - Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Claudius, Caligula and Nero.

Tom Holland gives a clear narrative history of the politics, events, military campaigns and, above all, the characters involved. This is soap opera of the highest order. A single family grasping power, fomenting and handling internal family strife and external threats to Rome, prepared to go to any lengths to get and keep what they want.

Holland writes for the general reader with clarity and drive from a deep knowledge of the subject. ( )
  pierthinker | Dec 17, 2016 |
Holland examines the strengths, flaws, and vices of the various Roman emperors through the 100-year period from Julius Caesar to Nero. This often disturbing history reminds us of how power can corrupt character. ( )
  proflinton | Sep 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
"He leaves us with insights into the reach and sweep of its empire and an appreciation of how precarious life was for slaves and freemen and soldiers."
"A vivid account of five Roman emperors, emphasizing their vices and vicious behavior with less attention to the vast empire, which continued to prosper despite them."
added by bookfitz | editKirkus Reviews (Sep 15, 2015)
"If Tom Holland’s Rubicon was the story of what it took to gain power in late republican Rome, then Dynasty, the thrilling follow-up, is the history of what happened when power was entrusted to men who never quite got over their mothers."
added by bookfitz | editEvening Standard, Daisy Dunn (Sep 10, 2015)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tom Hollandprimary authorall editionscalculated
Eloi Roca, JoanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'at simul heroum laudes et facta parentis iam legere...'
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AD 40. It is early in the year. Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus sits on a lofty platform beside the Ocean.
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"The follow-up to Rubicon picks up with the murder of Julius Caesar and vividly depicts the intrigue, murder, ambition and treachery of Emperors Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero,"--NoveList.

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