Claudius the God



In The Sequel To I, Claudius A Republican Roman Emperor Writes The Story Of His ReignMen Classed Claudius As A Pitiful Fool But The Reign He Describes Is Far From Folly Reluctantly Launched Into The Purple, He Emerges As A Man Who Erred On The Side Of Good And Credulity It Is The Common People And The Common Soldiers Who Sustain Him In His Efforts To Repair The Damage Of Caligula S Reign, In His Relations With The Jewish King, Herod Agrippa, His Conquest Of Britain, And His Final Reckoning With His Promiscuous Wife, MessalinaIn One Of The Finest Historical Reconstructions Of The Century Robert Graves Has Created A Character To Compare With Dostoyevsky S Prince MyshkinCover Illustration Brian PikeClaudius the God

Robert von Ranke Graves, born in Wimbledon, received his early education at King s College School and Copthorne Prep School, Wimbledon Charterhouse School and won a scholarship to St John s College, Oxford While at Charterhouse in 1912, he fell in love with G.H Johnstone, a boy of fourteen Dick in Goodbye to All That When challenged by the headmaster he defended himself by citing Plato, Greek poets, Michelangelo Shakespeare, who had felt as I did.At the outbreak of WWI, Graves enlisted almost immediately, taking a commission in the Royal Welch Fusiliers He published his first volume of poems, Over the Brazier, in 1916 He developed an early reputation as a war poet and was one of the first to write realistic poems about his experience of front line conflict In later years he omitted war poems from his collections, on the grounds that they were too obviously part of the war poetry boom At the Battle of the Somme he was so badly wounded by a shell fragment through the lung that he was expected to die, and indeed was officially reported as died of wounds He gradually recovered Apart from a brief spell back in France, he spent the rest of the war in England.One of Graves s closest friends at this time was the poet Siegfried Sassoon, who was also an officer in the RWF In 1917 Sassoon tried to rebel against the war by making a public anti war statement Graves, who feared Sassoon could face a court martial, intervened with the military authorities and persuaded them that he was suffering from shell shock, and to treat him accordingly Graves also suffered from shell shock, or neurasthenia as it is sometimes called, although he was never hospitalised for it.Biographers document the story well It is fictionalised in Pat Barker s novel Regeneration The intensity of their early relationship is nowhere demonstratedclearly than in Graves s collection Fairies Fusiliers 1917 , which contains a plethora of poems celebrating their friendship Through Sassoon, he also became friends with Wilfred Owen, whose talent he recognised Owen attended Graves s wedding to Nancy Nicholson in 1918, presenting him with, as Graves recalled, a set of 12 Apostle spoons.Following his marriage and the end of the war, Graves belatedly took up his place at St John s College, Oxford He later attempted to make a living by running a small shop, but the business failed In 1926 he took up a post at Cairo University, accompanied by his wife, their children and the poet Laura Riding He returned to London briefly, where he split with his wife under highly emotional circumstances before leaving to live with Riding in Dei , Majorca There they continued to publish letterpress books under the rubric of the Seizin Press, founded and edited the literary journal Epilogue, and wrote two successful academic books together A Survey of Modernist Poetry 1927 and A Pamphlet Against Anthologies 1928.In 1927, he published Lawrence and the Arabs, a commercially successful biography of T.E Lawrence Good bye to All That 1929, revised and republished in 1957 proved a success but cost him many of his friends, notably Sassoon In 1934 he published his most commercially successful work,I, Claudius Using classical sources he constructed a complexly compelling tale of the life of the Roman emperor Claudius, a tale extended in Claudius the God 1935 Another historical novel by Graves, Count Belisarius 1938 , recounts the career of the Byzantine general Belisarius.During the early 1970s Graves began to suffer from increasingly severe memory loss, and by his eightieth birthday in 1975 he had come to the end of his working life By 1975 he had publishedthan 140 works He survived for tenyears in an increasingly dependent condition until he died from heart failure.

[Ebook] ↠ Claudius the God Author Robert Graves – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 443 pages
  • Claudius the God
  • Robert Graves
  • English
  • 06 July 2019
  • 0140004211

10 thoughts on “Claudius the God

  1. says:

    Miracles do happen ask Claudius the unread historian the idiot, the clown, as his family perceives him, the people also yet becomes Emperor one of the best too of the Roman Empire These events unfold with the assassination of his mad nephew Caligula, the Praetorian Guard needs a ruler or else they become obsolete, no monarch to keep from harm and will go back to the intolerable barracks Claudius, is found behind a curtain in the palace shakingthan the curtain scared to death, to Miracles do happen ask Claudius the unread historian the idiot, the clown, as his family perceives him, the people also yet becomes Emperor one of the best too of the Roman Empire These events unfold with the assassination of his mad nephew Caligula, the Praetorian Guard needs a ruler or else they become obsolete, no monarch to keep from harm and will go back to the intolerable barracks Claudius, is found behind a curtain in the palace shakingthan the curtain scared to death, to state it mildly, expects the rampaging soldiers seeking revenge on the escaped assassins to kill him like so many others, in the aftermath of the butchering of his predecessor At first he refuses the dubious honor, but there is nobody left and he wants to live, all other obvious candidates have died mostly violently and plainly unwillingly, but he is from the Imperial family the poor, pathetic creature the soldiers hoist him on their shoulders, a parade ensues showing Claudius, to the happy citizens and proclaim him Caesar The reluctant, amazed Roman Senate not known for bravery, scatters in panic so does his terrified rivals, the few still inside the building confirms his status His first act, ordering the killers to be liquidated Claudius hated the brutal Caligula, still these men were a threat to him, they must be severely punished or another person might get the same bad idea, on the new Emperor Messalina his intelligent devious third wife is delighted at the rise of her old husband, to absolute power in Rome who would have been silly enough, to forecast it Married when just 15, the very pretty girl to a decrepit, ugly , stupid man of 50 with no future and often no money either but the always promiscuous woman, had compensations A member of the elite of the elites, not anybody higher than her new family and now she is a rich, powerful, celebrity, people noticed her talked about and the scandalous rumors flowed to the ends of the Empire, everyone knew about the debaucheries except the loving husband, who would have the courage to tell himHis close friend the future Jewish king thanks to the Emperor charismatic, extremely amusing and able Herod Agrippa, advises Claudius at the beginning of his reign both were students together when children, he says to the monarch never trust anyone and proves it later Claudius had a new, expensive port for the city of Rome built in Ostia, new aqueducts for the quickly expanding thirsty capital, a large lake drained for farmlands or tried to desperately needed, but his most famous lasting accomplishment was the conquest of Britain after a tough, long struggle but popularity is fleeting a crop failure can cost a ruler the throne, and his enemies are everywhere ready to strike Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown Shakespeare knew the public well A sequel that is almost as good as the original, the fantastic stories of ancient Rome at its most hedonistic This is pure joy for people interested in the ancient metropolis , the eternal city

  2. says:

    Most men it is my experience are neither virtuous nor scoundrels, good hearted nor bad hearted They are a little of one thing and a little of the other and nothing for any length of time ignoble mediocritiesRobert Graves, Claudius the God and His Wife MessalinaI, Claudius and Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina are two of the greatest novels of historical fiction EVER Probably the only writers who come close to Grave s mastery of history and literature are in no particular orderMost men it is my experience are neither virtuous nor scoundrels, good hearted nor bad hearted They are a little of one thing and a little of the other and nothing for any length of time ignoble mediocritiesRobert Graves, Claudius the God and His Wife MessalinaI, Claudius and Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina are two of the greatest novels of historical fiction EVER Probably the only writers who come close to Grave s mastery of history and literature are in no particular order Gore Vidal Lincoln, Burr, etc , Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall, Bring Up the Bodies and Norman Mailer The Executioner s Song, Harlot s Ghost , John Williams Augustus.Obviously, Shakespeare is the master of historical fiction drama but he is so obviously the deified king of historical fiction that the Shakespearian sun needs no inscription to distinguish him from darkness.Grave s duology must be intimidating to a historian of Imperial Rome The personality of Claudius has been so deeply set by Graves that I m not sure any tweaking by modern historians will be able to fool with Grave s fool The Genius of I, Claudius and Glaudius the God is derived from Graves ability to create such an amazingly rich and deep literary character The closest I ve come across in recent times is Hilary Mantel s Thomas Cromwell Historical fiction like this are rare and seem to growamazing with each year I rarely reread novels, and these Claudius novels might prove to be two exceptions to that rule

  3. says:

    I ve given the sequel to I, Claudius five stars as well and had a good time reading both of these brilliant novels by one of the greatest authors I ve ever read, Robert Graves His brilliance was apparent on each page that I eagerly kept turning How in the world did he manage to make the Rome of Augustus so spellbinding I don t know, but his sense of time and place had me experiencing the whole story as if I were there in person observing everything as it happened.This is the sort of Historical I ve given the sequel to I, Claudius five stars as well and had a good time reading both of these brilliant novels by one of the greatest authors I ve ever read, Robert Graves His brilliance was apparent on each page that I eagerly kept turning How in the world did he manage to make the Rome of Augustus so spellbinding I don t know, but his sense of time and place had me experiencing the whole story as if I were there in person observing everything as it happened.This is the sort of Historical Fiction that I yearn for but is so difficult to find Meet Claudius, the grandson of the murderous psychopath Livia, one of the most evil, historical characters I ve yet to meet Livia is the second wife of Caesar Augustus, who isn t even aware that Livia is the one running the show in ancient Rome Livia doesn t miss a beat when it comes to power Even Cercei in the Game of Thrones series isn t this evil although she runs a close second I admit.Claudius doesn t realize when younger that he s so very lucky to have suffered injuries during his premature birth that make him lame, a stutterer and prone to drooling whilst his head shakes continuously His own mother Antonia was embarrassed by him and wanted nothing to do with her youngest son.SPOILERS AHEAD But Claudius is indeed lucky to be afflicted in such a manner and he soon learns to take advantage of his afflictions in order to stay alive whilst Grandma Livia is busy killing everybody that stands in the way of her son by her first husband, Tiberius, from inheriting the throne from his stepfather Augustus It s hard work for Livia when it comes to killing Augustus s only child Julia, and all her children, but what s a mother to do when they stand in the way of her son Tiberius Claudius is the original Columbo if you remember this great detective series popular during the 70 s and 80 s Columbo plays dumb to the arrogant killers that he seeks to bring to justice while said killers consider him too worthless to fear Then they get sloppy and Columbo in his wrinkled raincoat is ready to pounce.As we say in the south, Columbo and Claudius were playing possum.Claudius is rejected and unloved but soon finds kindred spirits as he hangs out at the Roman library indulging his love of history He even writes a couple of history books in his spare time although everyone still considers him an idiot He does manage to make a few loyal friends in his lifetime.Tiberius is Claudius s uncle, the only brother of Claudius s heroic father, who had found military glory Cruel Livia decided to kill her son Germanicus, when he wouldn t do what his mama wanted any.Once he s gone Livia sets to work killing off Claudius s older brother and any other capable male child in the family that stands in her way Claudius just keeps drooling and shaking his head in order to stay alive There was a family tree of the Julian family at the front of the book which was a big help keeping all the characters straight since a lot of them had the same name.I looked at the family tree again after finishing the book and realized that Claudius and his evil niece are the last 2 standing everyone else had been murdered.This was The Wars of the Roses on steroids Claudius continues to act stupid and somehow manages to survive when his Uncle Tiberius takes the throne as Rome s new Caesar Tiberius wisely lets Livia rule Rome while he enjoys life to the fullest and constantly seeks new and disgusting ways to find pleasure After 10 years Tiberius dies and his nephew Caligula, the son of Claudius s older brother Germanicus, is proclaimed Caesar Caligula doesn t seem to be an evil person at first but uses his charm to gain friends and supporters He even managed to charm and survive his great grandma s killing spree Somewhere along the way Caligula goes absolutely nuts and starts killing everybody, left and right due to his cowardly, paranoid fear that someone is out to get him.After a few years everybody is indeed out to get him as he murders the rich Roman citizens that have been coerced into re making their wills, proclaiming Caligula their new heir This way they can at least save their family from him better poor than dead I suppose.In order to survive, Claudius gives his nightmare nephew all of his money before being asked The newly indigent Claudius has to live at the palace with his psycho nephew and wisely embraces his role as the butt of Caligula s jokes After subjecting his household guards to extremely cruel treatment, they depose and murder Caligula while looking kindly upon the cowering Claudius when he is discovered hiding in the palace They then decide to make him their new Caesar with Claudius offering generous gifts of gold to keep them happy Just shows that it pays to be nice to people all people It wasn t a minute too soon either as Claudius discovers Caligula s papers showing that Claudius was the next to be murdered Makes me wonder if the real Claudius was aware of his dire situation and was behind the household guards revolt.Claudius has carefully avoided making enemies during his chaotic life and soon brings peace and financial solvency to his realm as it slowly recovers from the demon possessed Caligula s reign of madness The rest of the book details Claudius s private life, marriages and his political ability as Caesar Claudius s ability to survive such perilous times made for fascinating reading A true survival story with an unlikely hero I ve never been that interested in Roman times but this book is a must read for anyone interested in learning the basics of Roman history

  4. says:

    I loved the chance to hear the actor Derek Jacobi from the TV production of I, Claudius do the reading of this sequel Unfortunately, I didn t realize the audiobook was an abridged edition of the book until the end That accounts for the disappointing compression in the narratives Still, it was a pleasure to experience highlights in the reign of this survivor of all the murders associated with the succession of his uncle Calligula He succeed by pretending to be an idiot This presented a pro I loved the chance to hear the actor Derek Jacobi from the TV production of I, Claudius do the reading of this sequel Unfortunately, I didn t realize the audiobook was an abridged edition of the book until the end That accounts for the disappointing compression in the narratives Still, it was a pleasure to experience highlights in the reign of this survivor of all the murders associated with the succession of his uncle Calligula He succeed by pretending to be an idiot This presented a problem establishing credibility and respect after he assumes leadership of the Roman Empire at its peak.Early in his tenure, we see him coming to terms with having to fight back hard against his enemies It was hard to take his choices to execute some of these adversaries, especially when we learn how gullible Claudius is to manipulation The conquering of a big chunk of tribal England was a fun part of the tale He gets a chance to prove himself as commander in chief by applying his book learning on warfare He calls for a trick of a simulated giant heron to spook sentries in their sneak attack For shock and awe, he pushes his generals to do the hard work of transporting elephants to the battle Their ability to trample through otherwise impenetrable brush allows them to flank their enemies and freak them out The book is an emulation of a history, so it misses out on some of the engagement of arealistic narrative flow, replete with lively dialog Because of foreshadowing, the events of his reign selected for focus have framing like a Greek tragedy As a child tutored by a Greek philosopher, he bonded with a boy Herrod Agrippa, who always admonished him to trust no one That message comes back to haunt him where it comes to his wife Messalina, who betrayed him in ways he could never recover from The irony of Herrod himself betraying him by seeking to carve out Egypt and the Far East from his empire was easier to accept All in all, this was a satisfying saga of the rare case of lovable and largely just supreme ruler and a meticulous and believable rendering of life at the top in the Roman Empire I can t speak of the value of all the parts missed in this abridged edition, but it was not as pleasurable as I, Claudius

  5. says:

    Yes, we are all mad, we Emperors We begin sanely, like Augustus and Tiberius and even Caligula though he was an evil character, he was sane at first , and monarchy turns our wits. This book is muchtragic than the last Claudius becomes the divine emperor of Rome against all odds and rules for thirteen years While the first book has no real narrative arc, this one is framed by two factors Claudius s love for his young wife, Messalina, and his desire for Rome to return to republic Yes, we are all mad, we Emperors We begin sanely, like Augustus and Tiberius and even Caligula though he was an evil character, he was sane at first , and monarchy turns our wits. This book is muchtragic than the last Claudius becomes the divine emperor of Rome against all odds and rules for thirteen years While the first book has no real narrative arc, this one is framed by two factors Claudius s love for his young wife, Messalina, and his desire for Rome to return to republican government I thought this was a fairly interesting reading that explains the end of Claudius s reign and the ascendance of Nero, but also wraps up the series on a bittersweet note Messalina s betrayal and Claudius s cynicism create the climax of the book, and his reign then spirals depressingly downward until he s poisoned by Agrippina.Graves does create a plausible explanation for Claudius s marriage to Agrippina, which is something I d categorize under what was Claudius thinking forever view spoiler Claudius s slow turn away from republicanism while expected, if you know anything about the history of Rome is rooted in his cynical and perhaps untrue realization that the People and Senate of Rome deserve the government that they have under the Julio Claudians He attempts through total inaction to make Nero into the worst possible ascendant Caesar, and hopes that Nero will so mistreat the populace that they will revolt Britannicus will lie in wait until that day, at which point he ll restore the Republic Alas, this is obviously not how things turn out at all This is one way to explain how Claudius could have possibly thought that marrying Agrippina and adopting Nero was a good idea, but it s a pretty depressing one I m not sure how I feel about it On one hand, it s pretty difficult to make the end of Claudius s reign anything but depressing on the other, it means that Claudius spends the last five years of his life just whiling away time, attempting to make Nero as terrible as possible by bringing Seneca back from Corsica so many shots fired hide spoiler Basically, it all boils down to ladies, amirite Can t live with em you get poisoned , can t live without em you lose the will to live It s appropriate but sad that this book ends with Seneca describing Claudius s arrival in heaven and subsequent dismissal to hell It s yet another person who hated Claudius he exiled Seneca from Rome for eight years talking up his faults, dismissing the good that he did for Rome I ve used the word depressing multiple times in this review, and I think that sums up my thoughts on the book It s well written and I enjoyed itthan the first especially Herod Agrippa what a life , but there s just no way to put a positive spin on the ending It s not that literature necessarily needs a happy ending most good literature actively steers away from that, actually but it s just so hard to read about Claudius s efforts when you know that Nero is next in line No one deserves that, least of all ClaudiusI talked liberty to many of my friends and, you know how it it is, when one talks liberty everything seems beautifully simple One expects all gates to open and all walls to fall flat and all voices to shout for joy

  6. says:

    3.5 starsSince my college days I didn t know Robert Graves and told myself I wouldn t read him at all due to his formidable writing style as a Greek scholar till I finally decided to try reading his amazing memoir Goodbye to All That from which I regarded as my first step toward his other works Surprisingly, theI read him, theI found his narration informative, rewarding and sometime humorous However, if you re interested in reading this historical novel, you should read his I, C 3.5 starsSince my college days I didn t know Robert Graves and told myself I wouldn t read him at all due to his formidable writing style as a Greek scholar till I finally decided to try reading his amazing memoir Goodbye to All That from which I regarded as my first step toward his other works Surprisingly, theI read him, theI found his narration informative, rewarding and sometime humorous However, if you re interested in reading this historical novel, you should read his I, Claudius first because this one is its sequel One of the obstacles is that this paperback Penguin, 2006 , I think, is not reader friendly due to its relatively small fonts it s a pity I can t find any information in this volume on the font size used in publishing this book, therefore, the elderly might find reading its 32 chapters, 443 pages probably tedious, invaluable and unamused However, one may wonder how he s miraculously imagined and written on something so ancient that we nowadays simply can t visualize or speak reasonably, let alone descriptively or substantially on a required topic Supported by his powerful description, this excerpt on Britain would, I think, prove his expertise as one of the admirable writers on historical fiction.BRITAIN lies in the northerly position, but the climate, though very damp, is not nearly so cold as one would expect if properly drained the country could be made extremely fruitful The aboriginal inhabitants, a small, dark haired people, were dispossessed about the time that Rome was found, by an invasion of Celts from the south east Some still maintain themselves independently in small settlements in inaccessible mountains or marshes the rest became serfs and mixed their blood with that of their conquerors p 211 Moreover, some might be eager to read on his campaign there and, for instance, this extracted part should suffice The enemy bank was defended by two strong stockades, and the Britons, who now harassed the workers with arrows and insults, were building a third one behind that Twice a day a huge tide welled up into the river mouth a commonplace in this part of the world, though never seen in the Mediterranean, except during storms and hindered Aulus s work greatly But he was counting on the tide as his ally The struggle was a fierce one, and the British detachments posted higher up the stream, to prevent our men from crossing at any point there, came charging down to take part in the fight Aulus saw what was happening, and detailed the Second under a certain Vespasian to go upstream under cover of a forest and cross over at some now unguarded bend Once over, they hurried downstream, meeting none of the enemy as they went, and an hour later suddenly appeared on the enemy s unprotected right flank They locked shields, shouted, and burst right through to the stockade, killing hundreds of British tribesmen in a single charge p 238

  7. says:

    As much as I enjoyed I, Claudius, this is like The Godfather, Part II to the earlier book s Godfather. In other words, a muchambitious work, with a broader canvas andspectacular success Perhaps the best example is the treatment of Claudius s friend Herod Agrippa, who is scarcely mentioned in the first novel but who is essentially the co lead for the first two thirds or so of this book This Herod was the grandson of Herod the Great, notorious for the Slaughter of the Innocents in M As much as I enjoyed I, Claudius, this is like The Godfather, Part II to the earlier book s Godfather. In other words, a muchambitious work, with a broader canvas andspectacular success Perhaps the best example is the treatment of Claudius s friend Herod Agrippa, who is scarcely mentioned in the first novel but who is essentially the co lead for the first two thirds or so of this book This Herod was the grandson of Herod the Great, notorious for the Slaughter of the Innocents in Matthew 2, and cousin of Herod Antipas, who demands a miracle of Jesus in Luke 23 Through Herod, Graves tells much of the story of the Jews under Roman domination, and in a book published in 1935 the account bears irresistible parallels to the subjugation of a later population of Jews one description of a pogrom in Alexandria in particular seems a stunningly prescient forecast of Kristallnacht.Speaking of prescience, consider Claudius s rationale for invading Britain I had other reasons for making war, too The one element in Northern France that was checking the orderly progress of civilization there was the Druidical cult, a magical religion which was still kept alive, in spite of all we could do to discourage or suppress it, by Druidical training colleges in Britain from where it had originally been imported The Druids therefore, though they were not warriors themselves but only priests, were always fomenting rebellion against us Change the geography, and for training colleges read madrasas and for priests imams, and you have much of the U.S rationale for invading first Afghanistan and then Iraq

  8. says:

    First, a five star hat s off to Nelson Runger, narrator for the Recorded Books versions of I, Claudius and Claudius the God, whose cheerful, sonorous timber and the unfaltering, even pace of his delivery made these two audio books a joy.Secondly, another five star hat s off to author historian Robert Graves, who brought the man Claudius to life.For me, I, Claudius was theenjoyable of the two books tracing the path that led to weak, stuttering, and all too human Claudius arising to Em First, a five star hat s off to Nelson Runger, narrator for the Recorded Books versions of I, Claudius and Claudius the God, whose cheerful, sonorous timber and the unfaltering, even pace of his delivery made these two audio books a joy.Secondly, another five star hat s off to author historian Robert Graves, who brought the man Claudius to life.For me, I, Claudius was theenjoyable of the two books tracing the path that led to weak, stuttering, and all too human Claudius arising to Emperor of his world I came to Claudius the God at a tough time of my life, and did a poor job of reading this book, rushing through it and having little recollection of chunks of the narration Still, a fun and interesting account from the human side of Claudius.Go here for my friend Darwin8u s much, much better review of these two titles SRC 2018 Spring Task 15.2, part 1 w IHFv1 and another completed series

  9. says:

    3.5, rounded down Perhaps I would have loved thisif I had not already known the details of the story This did not move as fast or fluid as I, Claudius 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 recomm 3.5, rounded down Perhaps I would have loved thisif I had not already known the details of the story This did not move as fast or fluid as I, Claudius 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 Stammererthan just a tidbit of history and found in him a remarkable survivor

  10. says:

    His name is Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Caesar Augustus Germanicus Brittanicus, Emperor of Rome I had much affection for the intelligent, bumbling, self deprecating, and humorous historian writer he was portrayed in Robert Graves s book I, Claudius The year was A.D 41 In this sequel, Graves picked up the story from the point where Claudius, the 51 year old crippled historian who had infantile paralysis and aphasia, was acclaimed Emperor of Rome against his own desire How would he, whom His name is Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Caesar Augustus Germanicus Brittanicus, Emperor of Rome I had much affection for the intelligent, bumbling, self deprecating, and humorous historian writer he was portrayed in Robert Graves s book I, Claudius The year was A.D 41 In this sequel, Graves picked up the story from the point where Claudius, the 51 year old crippled historian who had infantile paralysis and aphasia, was acclaimed Emperor of Rome against his own desire How would he, whom many had dismissed as a fool, fare and survive as Emperor when all his predecessors were either poisoned or assassinated Graves said in the Introduction that no character is invented For readers who love history, this book is so well researched it makes for fascinating and rewarding reading It is a long book 555 pages with many characters, each colorfully depicted It also records Claudius various public works, reforms, laws, decrees, and conquests I have to admit that this detailed rendering of history did not engage me as well as I, Claudius did Nevertheless, it has many merits and parts of the book kept me sufficiently intrigued What interested me most is how the New Testament in the Bible is corroborated by this piece of Roman history I learnedabout the various kings e.g., Herod, the Great and even Salome Herodias daughter who had John the Baptist s head served on a platter , as well as the religious practices and events in Jerusalem I understood why the crazy Emperor Caligula s insistence on having his statues installed in the Holy of Holies of the Temple in Jerusalem was an outrageous affront to the Jews I found out the fate of Pontius Pilate who had Jesus of Nazareth crucified and marveled at how poetic and divine justice was served There is a tongue in cheek account of the beginnings of Christianity as a Jewish cult The first four chapters present a heart warming and entertaining account of the friendship between Claudius and Herod Agrippa, the Jewish King view spoiler Herod Agrippa s history was closely bound up with that of Claudius Son of Herod the Great, Herod Agrippa was a scoundrel with a golden heart, full of theatrical excesses and perennially debt ridden He was incredibly resourceful, astute and had great diplomatic skills even though he was a shrewd and convincing liar He repeatedly warned Claudius not to trust anyone, advice which the latter sadly did not heed to his own peril Herod Agrippa was so disarmingly charming, it is impossible not to like him despite his ambitions and threat to Claudius reign hide spoiler The hero that stole this story is rightfully Claudius himself What does his report book look like view spoiler He had his heart in the right place and despite several political blunders and errors in judgment, he acted for the public good in the widest possible sense He threw himself into large scale engineering projects that improved the life of all in Rome He cleaned up the political and financial processes and abolished Caligula s self serving edicts He was a hands on Emperor and sat on the judges bench to administer justice In fact, I developed a great respect for him His downfall He loved his wife, Messalina, a lustful and power hungry woman, trusted her too much, and gave her too much power I felt sorry for Claudius who was bitterly betrayed by a woman he loved Calpurnia, his former prostitute lover, wastrue to him than Messalina ever was In this, Claudius was a fool hide spoiler Claudius the God reads like a 3 star book to me I read most of it with enthusiasm and was impatient with the factual bits that carried less human interest Still I found a great quotation I can modify for use should I ever get stuck when giving a public speech or talk Words fail me, my Lords Nothing that I might utter could possibly match the depths of my feelings in this matter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *