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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Claudius by Barbara Levick. Claudius by Barbara Levick. In the first book on Claudius written in English in over fifty years, Barbara Levick provides a major reassessment of the man and his reign.
Drawing on recent research, Levick offers a provocative reconsideration of Claudius's political objectives and activities within the constitutional, political, social, and economic development of Rome.
A history of political and domes In the first book on Claudius written in English in over fifty years, Barbara Levick provides a major reassessment of the man and his reign.
A history of political and domestic intrigue as well as an investigation into the limits of a Roman emperor's power, her book will be essential reading for historians of the Roman Empire.
His reign was the turning point in the establishment of the permanent monarchy, and Levick is excellent in showing how Claudius worked throughout his reign to secure his position. This stimulating book is the best we have on Claudius and among the best current treatments of any Roman emperor. Kyle, Classical World "[In this] authoritative but highly readable book the defects and achievements of the.
Emperor are assessed critically and with full exploitation of the nonliterary sources-epigraphical, archaeological, and, especially important, numismatic-that often throw light on or raise doubts about the evidence provided by the ancient writers.
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Start your review of Claudius. This was a better bio then the Caligula one I just read. It was more linear. Still a little dry at times, but Levick seemed to make this less scholarly. Mar 23, Joe rated it really liked it. Claudius - Born too late for bountiful booty In this book, Barbara Levick offers a revisionist view of who Claudius was, moving away from the malicious words of Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio, instead relying on less biased evidence.
The ancient view of Claudius depicts him as stupid, with his mother, according to Suetonius, calling him a 'monstrosity of a human being, one that Nature began and never finished'. Furthermore, he likely suffered from cerebral palsy, which affected his ability t Claudius - Born too late for bountiful booty In this book, Barbara Levick offers a revisionist view of who Claudius was, moving away from the malicious words of Tacitus, Suetonius and Cassius Dio, instead relying on less biased evidence.
Furthermore, he likely suffered from cerebral palsy, which affected his ability to speak. Seneca states that 'he had a cracked and hardly intelligible voice; it belonged to no land-animal, but the voice a sea-creature had', whilst Dio talks of an 'uncontrollable laughter', something which is associated with palsy. This speech impediment was made worse by the need for aristocracy to perform in public; 'Claudius used to give his speeches in the senate to his quaestor to read'.
Claudius was not mentally backwards. He studied literature, rhetoric, music, mathematics, and jurisprudence, later writing twenty books on Etruscan history and eight on Carthaginian in Greek. Nonetheless, Claudius' disability made it difficult for him to be seen as part of the family: 'Claudius finds a position here as a member of the family - a humiliating one between Germanicus' sister and children'.
Coupled with the weak position of Emperor, and the need to relate oneself to Augustus, Claudius lacked the credibility and presentation to be seen as more than an necessary choice, which ultimately led to his assassination. Aug 22, Windsor rated it it was amazing Shelves: ancient. Love this book probably the most out of the series.
Everitt does an amazing job of showing how a child who was limp, deaf, and had a speech impediment brought the army and Rome to love him through his knowledge of philosophy, oration, and politics. Definitely would recommend this book to fellow students who brush over Claudius to focus on the more famous Nero. Jul 01, Andrew Dockrill rated it it was ok. I really wanted to like this book but I found it very awkward to read.
I mistakenly assumed that it would take on the approach of a chronological biography and as a result i was a bit let down as the biography is structured in categories rather than chronology.
Also the writing style of Barbara did not really suit me. I had previously came off reading Augustus by Goldsworthy, Tiberius and Caligula and I could not put them down, I buzzed right through them. It could simply be that there is not an abundance of information about Claudius as he was not remembered as one of the more popular Roman emperors, wrongly considered a dunce by many. Within the first 70 pages Claudius had died by mushrooms and then a poisoned feather at the supposed hands of Agrippina along with Britannicus his son who died at a party.
This timing through me off a little and then it jumped right into his politics. For me this approach was a bit jarring and it does not really gel with my reading style. I doubt i'll read it again soon which is a shame because I wanted so much to really like it and also there is so little available on Claudius out there to be read.
Me parece meritorio el intento de separar el grano de la paja en la imagen proyectada por las fuentes primarias. La lectura es todo lo entretenida que permite un ensayo de este tipo. Feb 05, Brock Tarlton rated it really liked it. One book, one 6-page book review, and one very long day later Wonderful source for those looking to study the emperor Claudius.
Goes through all the major primary sources that discuss him. I think she is about to release an updated version though if its not already out , so I would look into that one. Barbara Levick's book can always be expected to be full of detail and interest. Her Claudius volume is,no exception, which is why 25 years after the initial publication it is still a great read.
It is beginning to show its age, if only through the fact that many new inscriptions and discoveries are not covered. Larche Osborne-simmons rated it it was amazing Oct 14, Jack rated it liked it Jan 18, Roger rated it really liked it Dec 14, Linda Proud rated it liked it Jul 05, Mat Rhoades rated it it was amazing Dec 02, Gaygeek rated it it was ok Feb 01, Mark Kenderdine rated it liked it Aug 07, Jamie Collins rated it it was ok Apr 14, Ian rated it really liked it Jul 15, Jake Gonnella rated it liked it Feb 28, Stuart Hastings rated it liked it Dec 15, Ame rated it it was amazing Jun 07, Carlos Eliseo Ortiz rated it really liked it Apr 22, Amy rated it really liked it Mar 08, Jennifer Sims rated it liked it Nov 16, Ozymandias rated it liked it Sep 02, Jeff rated it did not like it Nov 27, Stephen Maxwell rated it it was amazing Jul 12, Garry rated it liked it Jan 21, Sven Gyseghem rated it liked it Jan 08, Marv rated it really liked it Jun 01, D Hermann rated it liked it Apr 22, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
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Bryn Mawr Classical Review
In her preface to this second edition, Levick lists the many works pertaining to Claudius and the theoretical advances that have appeared since the publication of the first edition in , pledging to incorporate them into this updated work. Although much seems to remain unchanged, the attentive reader can find the more recent scholarship sprinkled throughout as promised. Many additions are relegated to the footnotes, but some significant changes can be observed in the text as well. The principate was nearly seventy years old when Claudius came to power. Chapter 1 examines this stretch of time and sets the stage for Claudius by discussing the nature of the principate in general, from its very beginnings in the Republic through the reigns of Augustus, Tiberius, and Gaius. Messalina and Agrippina are given special attention in these chapters. Levick also tackles the argument that Claudius adopted a policy of centralization during his principate.
Barbara M. Levick born 21 June  is a British historian and epigrapher, focusing particularly on the early Roman Republic and late Empire. She is recognised within her field as one of the leading Roman historians of her generation. Levick was educated at St Hugh's College, Oxford.