Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

I, Claudius: from the autobiography of…

I, Claudius: from the autobiography of Tiberius Claudius (original 1934; edition 1953)

by Robert Graves

Series: Claudius (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,550117580 (4.27)315
Title:I, Claudius: from the autobiography of Tiberius Claudius
Authors:Robert Graves
Info:Penguin Books (1953), Paperback, 395 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

I, Claudius by Robert Graves (1934)

  1. 90
    Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar (bertilak)
  2. 50
    Julian by Gore Vidal (CurrerBell)
    CurrerBell: Both classical Roman subjects, and they share the style of an "autobiographical novel."
  3. 20
    Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz (sirparsifal)
  4. 20
    Augustus: First Emperor of Rome by Adrian Goldsworthy (CurrerBell)
    CurrerBell: I, Claudius can be at times be a bit weird (maybe "overly romanticized" would be a better description). Goldsworthy's biography can be a good corrective, at least for the first half of I, Claudius (the portion dealing with the lifetime of Augustus), and definitely presents a different (and probably much more balanced) image of Livia, the long-time wife of Augustus.… (more)
  5. 20
    Homer's Daughter by Robert Graves (longway)
  6. 10
    The Egyptian by Mika Waltari (mcenroeucsb)
  7. 11
    Salammbô by Gustave Flaubert (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Historical fiction set in the Classical Mediterranean
  8. 11
    Pride of Carthage: A Novel of Hannibal by David Anthony Durham (mcenroeucsb)
  9. 11
    Tiberius by Allan Massie (celtic)
  10. 11
    An Imperial Possession: Britain in the Roman Empire, 54 BC - AD 409 by David Mattingly (John_Vaughan)
  11. 34
    I, Claudius [1976 TV miniseries] by Herbert Wise (longway)
  12. 12
    Empire by Steven Saylor (JGolomb)
    JGolomb: "I, Claudius" is the standard bearer for Imperial Roman fiction. It's more richly detailed and emotional than Saylor, but comparable it's broad historical scope.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 315 mentions

English (102)  Spanish (6)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (2)  Italian (2)  All (1)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (117)
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
This was fun, but not particularly subtle. Nor did I gain insights into the Roman Empire by reading it. I did just finish reading a couple of non-fiction works on the Roman Empire, so I may have been a little more knowledgeable than the average reader. But the intrigue and violence did keep my attention. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
I've been going through my library and reclassifying my collection... In the process I realized that I hadn't reviewed this book. This was a grave mistake on my part (pun intended)!

I am an avid reader and am always hesitant to call any book my "favorite", but if someone held me at gunpoint and forced me to make a choice, it would be I, Claudius.

Not only is the narration fantastic, but so is the narrator himself (the soon to be Emperor Claudius), the language, the interpretation of history... I could go on and on, but you'll never know until you read it for yourself.

Please, do yourself a favor and pick this one up! But, be warned! It may lead to a lifelong obsession with Rome, Romans, and Masterpiece Theatre... And a desperate longing for Robert Graves works that don't exist. ( )
  SnowcatCradle | Jan 2, 2017 |
I always liked the TV series "I, Claudius" and the book is one of the best I've read in historical fiction.

"Caligula (…) had just scattered largesse from the Palace roof. So a glad shout went up, “More bread, less taxes, Caesar! More bread, less taxes!” Caligula was very angry. He sent a platoon of Germans along the benches and a hundred heads were chopped off. (…) it was a reminder of (…) the marvellous devotion that they paid Caligula. (…) to these Germans he was the most glorious hero the world had ever known. And if he dressed as a woman; or galloped suddenly away from his army on the march (…) or burned down his most beautiful villa (…) this inexplicable sort of behavior only made him the more worthy of their worship as a divine being. They used to nod wisely to each other and say, “Yes, the Gods are like that. You can’t tell what they are going to do next.” (422–423) ( )
  Carlelis | Sep 30, 2016 |
I read this for a group read of a Historical Fiction group on Leafmarks, and I gotta say, it's got me beat. I figured it would take 2 months instead of the scheduled one month to read it, but it just. kept. going. on. And I kept trying to keep up with the characters, who was married to whom, who was killed by Augustus' wife Livia, how they were all related, but really, after a while, I just stopped caring. I bought it in the early 90's and made it most of the way through it, but this time, I'm sending it off through BookCrossing to find another home. ( )
  threadnsong | Jul 4, 2016 |
Superb fictional history of the first four Roman Emperors, as told by the fourth, Claudius, who was long thought to be a half-wit. The basis for the first part of the Masterpiece Theater series starring Derek Jacobi. Followed by the sequel, Claudius The God. ( )
  unclebob53703 | May 28, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
Supuesta "autobiografía" de Claudio, singular emperador romano predestinado a serlo a pesar de que sus deseos fueran por otros caminos. Graves dibuja sin concesiones un espeluznante retrato sobre la depravación, las sangrientas purgas y las intrigas cainitas llevadas hasta el crimen durante los reinados de Augusto y Tiberio. Pero Yo, Claudio es también Calígula y su etapa sádica, Mesalina, Livia y, cómo no, Roma, un decorado único para esta trama argumental apasionante que se llevó a la pequeña pantalla con rotundo éxito.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia

» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Graves, Robertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cohen, Mark J.Designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martinez, JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mazía, FlorealTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mitchell, SusanArt directorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
. . . A story that was the subject of every variety of misrepresentation, not only by those who then lived but likewise in succeeding times: so true is it that all transactions of pre-eminent importance are wrapt in doubt and obscurity; while some hold for certain facts the most precarious hearsays, others turn facts into falsehood; and both are exaggerated by posterity.

First words
I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as "Claudius the Idiot", or "That Claudius", or "Claudius the Stammerer", or "Clau-Clau-Claudius" or at best as "Poor Uncle Claudius", am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the "golden predicament" from which I have never since become disentangled.
You refuse to see that one can no more reintroduce republican government at this stage than one can reimpose primitive feelings of chastity on modern wives and husbands. It's like trying to turn the shadow back on a sundial: it can't be done.
Tiberius will make him his successor. No question of it. Why? Because Tiberius is like that. He has the same vanity as poor Augustus had: he can't bear the idea of a successor who will be more popular than himself. But at the same time he does all he can to make himself hated and feared. So, when he feels that his time's nearly up, he'll search for someone just a little worse than himself to succeed him. And he'll find Caligula.
Germanicus has told me about you. He says that you are loyal to three things—to your friends, to Rome, and to the truth. I would be very proud if Germanicus thought the same of me.
To recommend a monarchy on account of the prosperity it gives the provinces seems to me like recommending that a man should have liberty to treat his children as slaves, if at the same time he treats his slaves with reasonable consideration.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary
Becomes emperor
with death of Caligula.
Where have good times gone?

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067972477X, Paperback)

Having never seen the famous 1970s television series based on Graves' historical novel of ancient Rome and being generally uneducated about matters both ancient and Roman, I wasn't prepared for such an engaging book. But it's a ripping good read, this fictional autobiography set in the Roman Empire's days of glory and decadence. As a history lesson, it's fabulous; as a novel it's also wonderful. Best is Claudius himself, the stutterer who let everyone think he was an idiot (to avoid getting poisoned) but who reveals himself in the narrative to be a wry and likable observer. His story continues in Claudius the God.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:29 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

The emperor Claudius tells of his life during the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and Caligula and the events that led to his rise to power in a classic novel reconstructing ancient Rome.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

Legacy Library: Robert Graves

Robert Graves has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Robert Graves's legacy profile.

See Robert Graves's author page.

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
7 avail.
103 wanted
4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.27)
1 7
1.5 4
2 22
2.5 16
3 136
3.5 59
4 518
4.5 100
5 620

Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141188596, 0143566393


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 114,409,290 books! | Top bar: Always visible