The Twelve Caesars
Literally thousands of books have been written about the various Caesars who reigned over the Roman Empire. From Gaius Julius to Domitian, their successes and failures, their strengths and their many flaws, all have been documented time and again. So, do we really need yet another book on the Caesars? If it’s Matthew Dennison’s The Twelve Caesars, the answer can only be “Yes!” All you need to do is read the first sentence in his profile of Gaius Julius Caesar – “Isolated by eminence, ‘the bald whoremonger’ Gaius Julius Caesar conceals from us the innermost workings of heart and mind.”
Dennison pulls absolutely no punches, and delivers a frank, unadulterated, refreshing portrait of each of the Caesars. Whether he is talking about Gaius Julius’s homosexual dalliance with old King Nicomedes of Bythnia or Caligula’s habit of bedding the wives of his dinner guests in an adjoining room and then returning to the table to give an assessment of their performance, Dennison leaves no stone unturned in presenting a clear and colorful view of the men who ruled most of the civilized world.
If you have an interest in the Caesars, and you like your history unvarnished and frank, then Dennison’s The Twelve Caesars will intrigue and enrich your knowledge of that powerful and eccentric clan. Highly recommended.