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    69 AD: The Year of Four Emperors (Paperback) By (author) Gwyn Morgan

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    DescriptionThe Year of Four Emperors, so the ancient sources assure us, was one of the most chaotic, violent and frightening periods in all Roman history: a time of assassinations and civil wars, of armies so out of control that they had no qualms about occupying the city of Rome, and of ambitious men who seized power only to lose it, one after another. In 69 AD, Gwyn Morgan offers a fresh look at this period, based on two considerations to which insufficient attention has been paid in the past. First, that we need to unravel rather than cherry-pick between the conflicting accounts of Tacitus, Plutarch and Suetonius, our three main sources of information. And second, that the role of the armies, as distinct from that of their commanders, has too often been exaggerated. The result is a remarkably accurate and insightful narrative history, filled with colorful portraits of the leading participants and new insights into the nature of the Roman military Morgan ranges from the suicide of Nero in June 68 to the triumph of Vespasian in December 69. In between, three other emperors hold power. We meet Galba, old, tightfisted and conservative, who was declared emperor in June 68 and assassinated in January 69. Otho, once Nero's boon companion, who was responsible for murdering Galba, seized power in a coup in Rome in January 69 and, to everybody's surprise, committed suicide three months later in a vain attempt to end the civil wars. Vitellius, as indolent as he was extravagant, who was put forward by two ambitious lieutenants, recognized by the senate in Rome once they heard of Otho's death in April, and cut down by Vespasian's partisans in the last days of December. And then there is Vespasian, the candidate who looked least likely to succeed, but (according to Tacitus) was still the first to be improved by becoming emperor. A strikingly vivid account of ancient Rome, 69 AD is an original and compelling account of one of the best known but perhaps least understood periods in all Roman history.


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  • Full bibliographic data for 69 AD

    Title
    69 AD
    Subtitle
    The Year of Four Emperors
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Gwyn Morgan
    Physical properties
    Format: Paperback
    Number of pages: 336
    Width: 155 mm
    Height: 234 mm
    Thickness: 25 mm
    Weight: 454 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780195315899
    ISBN 10: 0195315898
    Classifications

    BIC subject category V2: HBG
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBLA
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.0
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1QDAR
    Libri: I-HP
    Ingram Theme: CULT/ITALY
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15520
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002020
    DC22: 937.05, 937.07
    BIC subject category V2: 1QDAR
    Thema V1.0: NHB, NHC
    Illustrations note
    4 maps
    Publisher
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Imprint name
    Oxford University Press Inc
    Publication date
    22 March 2007
    Publication City/Country
    New York
    Author Information
    Gwyn Morgan is Professor of Classics and History at the University of Texas at Austin.
    Review quote
    Morgan's book is a fresh and accessible look at a period that has been discussed, with sometimes horrible fascination, since antiquity itself. Martin Empson, Times Literary Supplement This is a magisterial performance. Given the solid scholarship that underlies the performance - and Morgan's articles are models of their kind - one realizes that the presentation is meant to clarify, not evade. Cynthia Damon, Classical Journal