Claudius Caesar: Image and Power in the Early Roman Empire

Claudius Caesar: Image and Power in the Early Roman Empire


By (author) Josiah Osgood

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Hardback $89.99
  • Format: Paperback | 374 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 226mm x 20mm | 581g
  • Publication date: 27 January 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521708257
  • ISBN 13: 9780521708258
  • Illustrations note: 82 b/w illus. 5 maps
  • Sales rank: 277,554

Product description

The story of Claudius has often been told before. Ancient writers saw the emperor as the dupe of his wives and palace insiders; Robert Graves tried to rehabilitate him as a far shrewder, if still frustrated, politician. In this book, Josiah Osgood shifts the focus off the personality of Claudius and on to what his tumultuous years in power reveal about the developing political culture of the early Roman Empire. What precedents set by Augustus were followed? What had to be abandoned? How could a new emperor win the support of key elements of Roman society? This richly illustrated discussion draws on a range of newly discovered documents, exploring events that move far beyond the city of Rome and Italy to Egypt and Judea, Morocco and Britain. Claudius Caesar provides a new perspective not just on Claudius himself, but on all Roman emperors, the Roman Empire, and the nature of empires more generally.

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Author information

Josiah Osgood is Associate Professor of Classics at Georgetown University. His teaching and research touch many areas of Roman history and Latin literature, but focus especially on the late Roman Republic and early Empire. His first book, Caesar's Legacy: Civil War and the Emergence of the Roman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2006), examined the period after the assassination of Julius Caesar. Osgood has more recently published several articles on Caesar, as well as aspects of Roman family life and education. He is currently finishing a Latin textbook for intermediate and advanced students, A Suetonius Reader, and is also co-editing with Susanna Braund A Companion to Persius and Juvenal.

Review quote

"Claudius Caesar is an altogether exemplary biography." --BMCR "...the book reads well, perhaps because of the character that Osgood puts into his writing. ...Osgood creates what might be termed a political biography and, as a result, has made a very useful contribution to our understanding of both Claudius and the early principate." --Ancient History Bulletin Online Review

Table of contents

Prologue: the Roman Empire in 41 AD; Introduction: the problem of Claudius; 1. Claudius Caesar; 2. A statue in silver; 3. Imperial favors; 4. Subduing the ocean; 5. Lists of peoples and places; 6. Caesar-lovers; 7. The eight hundredth year of Rome; 8. Practical pyramids; 9. The burden of government; 10. The judgment of Pallas; 11. Signaling retreat?; 12. The golden predicament.