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Download Augustus: First Emperor of Rome Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Augustus: First Emperor of Rome, by Derek Perkins, Adrian Goldsworthy Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Derek Perkins, Adrian Goldsworthy Narrator: Derek Perkins Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the year 44 BC, when Julius Caesar was killed, Augustus was a mere teenager who had been adopted into Caesar’s household. His reaction to Caesar’s death was to step forward and proclaim himself Caesar’s rightful successor. The Senate did not take him seriously, but over the following months he raised his own army and, after defeating Mark Antony in battle, became one of the three most powerful men in Rome. He was not yet twenty years old. Over the next ten years he consolidated his power in Rome and finally overthrew the last of his rivals in 31 BC. From that moment on, Rome became an empire and Augustus its first emperor.

This is the story of how one man rose to become the most powerful man in the world and stabilized an empire that had been racked by decades of civil war. Augustus’ achievements, and his legacy, are almost unparalleled. Like Julius Caesar, he presided over a huge expansion in wealth and territory. Like Caesar, he was honored by having a month of the year named after him. But unlike Caesar, he was able to keep hold of power for over forty years and bequeath the empire, whole, to his successors.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Impressive…Mr. Goldsworthy…moves nimbly around other important evidence about Augustus’ life…The resulting life is, in one sense, deeply unified. This is a welcome corrective to traditional presentations.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Goldsworthy’s true expertise is as a military historian, and this is what really gives his biography its strength and bite: his depiction of Augustus’ relationship with his legions is masterly.”

    London Sunday Times

  • “Like Goldsworthy’s biography of Julius Caesar, this is essential reading for anyone interested in ancient Rome.”

    Independent (London)

  • “[Goldsworthy’s] insights and inferences are superb throughout…Augustus is a first-rate popular biography by a skilled and knowing hand, a fine companion to Goldsworthy’s Caesar volume.”

    Washington Post

  • “Adrian Goldsworthy’s substantial new biography…is a fascinating study of political life in ancient Rome, and the parallels with our own political system are numerous and interesting. But the discontinuities between America and the Roman Empire are just as revealing.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • “Historian and biographer Goldsworthy showcases his deep knowledge of ancient Rome in this masterful document of a life whose themes still resonate in modern times…The overall effect that Goldsworthy generates is of meeting a man whose life seems hardly distant from the modern experience. While ancient cultural practices can often feel foreign, the political motivations and machinations, the familial relations and emotions, ring as true today as at the turn of the Common Era.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “The narrative covers Augustus’ military and political efforts (Romans would see no divergence in these roles), what we can know of his interior life, and the world in which he dominated. Never shy to admit when scholars simply do not have enough evidence and ever willing to be critical of biased ancient sources, the author is a historian at his best. And Augustus is a subject worthy of such treatment, a man of contradictions—brutal and merciful, initiator of opportunistic civil wars, and establisher of lasting civil concord—who claimed to have found Rome in ‘mud bricks’ and ‘left it in marble.’”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Goldsworthy questions why Augustus has slipped off of many historians’ lists of great leaders, which include Julius Caesar, Alexander, Hannibal, and Hadrian. He provides plenty of reasons why he should be at the top of those lists.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “For all his importance, Augustus is often an enigma behind a classical façade. Goldsworthy’s Augustus reveals all the drama and detail surrounding Rome’s first emperor. Brimming with energy, scholarship, and wisdom, it is a history book to savor.”

    Barry Strauss, author of Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar and the Genius of Leadership

  • “Goldsworthy peers like a master jeweler into the strange cold diamond at the heart of Roman history—the emperor Augustus—and reveals the whole Roman world reflected in its facets. But the book itself is warm with human sympathy, elegant writing, and the sheer joy and love of history it evokes in its reader.”

    J. E. Lendon, author of Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity

  • “Unlike fiction, the narrator of nonfiction audiobooks is not expected to dramatize, interpret, or impersonate. The narrator should clarify, pronounce correctly, and then stay out of the way. Derek Perkins does this admirably, down to using the classical Latin pronunciations for most names. But certain names, such as Caesar, are too well known in their anglicized pronunciations to restore to the originals. Perkins’s narration introduces us to a man who changed his world utterly, ending a generation of civil war and transforming the decaying and corrupt Roman Republic into the greatest empire the world had yet seen.”


  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month in Biographies and Memoirs
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