I, Claudius by Robert Graves

04 Dec 2014

I listened to the Blackstone Audio version of the audibook.

This book was incredible in that it seemed so authentic. When I later read that there was no autobiography, I was disappointed, but not very suprised. The writing is just so good, that I questioned several times whether this was really a translation of Claudius’ autobiography. This was especially the case after listening to a reading of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, which I found to be boring.

The tale of Claudius, who became an unlikely emperor of Rome, is one of tragedy and hope. Born lame, he survives many members of the Julian and Claudian dynasty to assume the thrown. Graves takes real events and waves together the threads into a plausible and entertaining tapestry of the life of Claudius and the politics of Rome.

In addition to both being authentic, and entertaining, there are some really humorous parts that you might not expect given all the bloodshed and violence. I highly recommend this book for people who are interested in ancient Rome, political intrigue, monarchies, and history, in general.

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