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Claudius the God (1934)

by Robert Graves

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Claudius (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,935412,527 (4.11)140
This second part of Robert Graves' fictionalized biography of Claudius brings to life some of the most scandalous and violent times in history. With the same brilliance that characterized his classic I, Claudius, Robert Graves continues the tumultuous life of the Roman who became emperor in spite of himself and his handicaps. Claudius the God reveals the splendor, vitality, and decadence of the Roman Empire through the eyes of the wry and bemused Claudius who reigns as emperor for thirteen years. The crippled Claudius describes himself as the fool of the royal family, whom none of his ambitious and blood-thirsty relatives considered worth the trouble of killing. Once on the throne, however, he finds himself at last at the center of the political maelstrom.… (more)
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English (36)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (41)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
3.5, rounded down.

Perhaps I would have loved this more if I had not already known the details of the story. This did not move as fast or fluid as [b:I, Claudius|18765|I, Claudius (Claudius, #1)|Robert Graves|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1388185810s/18765.jpg|4232388] and Graves got a bit bogged down in several sections with details of Roman wars. Particularly difficult was the section regarding the conquering of Britain, with the strategy of the battle taking up chapter upon chapter. He did much the same thing with his accounts of events in the East and the life of Herod Agrippa.

I highly, highly recommend seeing the Masterpiece Theater series adapted from these novels. This is one of the few times when the movie far outstrips the novels it was based upon. My hat is off to the writers who adapted these novels so perfectly. Of course, also off to Robert Graves, who saw in Claudius the Stammerer more than just a tidbit of history and found in him a remarkable survivor. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
I picked up I Claudius and Claudius the God, because I remembered really liking the BBC Series, which we watched in Latin Class. I approached the first book with some caution, not sure if they would live up to the TV series, after all, these books were written almost 80 years ago. I was not disappointed. They're great. Really great. It is written in a manner that projects a lot of authenticity, yet very pleasant to read.

'I Claudius' deals with Claudius' childhood up until Caligula's assassination, in the form of an autobiography. 'Claudius the God' describes Claudius' life as emperor of Rome until his death.

It's obvious that Graves knows his stuff and that he has done a lot of research. Granted, he does portray some of the wild stories that Suetonius and the like wrote about as being true, and most historians will tell you to take this with a pinch of salt. But hey, I remember loving those stories in my Latin classes, the crazier the better. I adored Caligula, he was just awesome. Horse elected senator, war against Neptune, oh man. Good stuff.

So many times while reading these, I came upon facts, or names or whatever and I would have an 'ohhhh yeah!' moment and remember things that I'd been taught years ago. These two books are a must-read for people who are interested in Roman stuff. Graves does tend to go into a lot of detail, so make sure you're a total geek before you start. Myself, nine times out of ten, I was very interested. And there's always epic battles, murder, deceit, banishment and adultery to mix things up.

Personally, I enjoyed the first book a little more than the second one, but that might be because the first one has historical V.I.P.'s such as Caligula and Augustus (who is, by the way, probably a little slower and a little more pussywhipped than the real Augustus was), but they are both still very much recommended. By me.

( )
  superpeer | Feb 1, 2021 |
Historical fiction disguised as a memoir. Claudius is not a difficult read - it's actually most entertaining.
  Teresa1966 | Dec 22, 2020 |
Claudius continues his autobiography, tracing the dark prophecy of the Caesars to it's conclusion in Nero. He never wanted to be emperor - in fact, he was a staunch republican. However, when fate intervened and an army offered him the choice of ruling or death, he made an unlikely decision. After becoming Roman Emperor, he often planned to return the government to the people, but political matters continued to complicate these plans. Either he was in the middle of a difficult problem, or there seemed to be a number of idiots waiting in line to take over.

Eventually, he becomes resigned to the prophecy which predicted his rule and which also predicts his successor. After his wife, Mesalina, betrays him, he becomes even more apathetic and cynical. He has vague hopes that his son will be able to rescue Rome from Nero, but ultimately even these hopes are dashed. I thought the outside accounts of Claudius' death were very interesting. They gave a different perspective about how he might have been viewed by his enemies and contemporaries. A complex, if occasionally dry recounting of an unusual life. ( )
  Juva | Jun 7, 2019 |
This and I,Claudius are historical fiction at its finest. Claudius The God is much longer and slower in some places, but I think it's a more nuance look at the times than it's predecessor. Highly recommended. ( )
1 vote Mitchell_Bergeson_Jr | Aug 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Tartamudo, tullido, despreciado por sus sanguinarios parientes (como su sobrino Calígula), Claudio, sin embargo, los sobrevive a todos, acompañado por su lasciva esposa, hasta caer asesinado a manos de Agripina, la madre del emperador Nerón.
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Graves, Robertprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baker, DenysIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobi, Sir DerekReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mortimer, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Packer, NeilForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pike, BrianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Unsworth, BarryIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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Wikipedia in English (1)

This second part of Robert Graves' fictionalized biography of Claudius brings to life some of the most scandalous and violent times in history. With the same brilliance that characterized his classic I, Claudius, Robert Graves continues the tumultuous life of the Roman who became emperor in spite of himself and his handicaps. Claudius the God reveals the splendor, vitality, and decadence of the Roman Empire through the eyes of the wry and bemused Claudius who reigns as emperor for thirteen years. The crippled Claudius describes himself as the fool of the royal family, whom none of his ambitious and blood-thirsty relatives considered worth the trouble of killing. Once on the throne, however, he finds himself at last at the center of the political maelstrom.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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