I, Claudius Historical Context

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I, Claudius was written from the Spanish island of Mallorca in 1934. Within two years, the Spanish Civil War would force Graves and his partner, the poet Laura Riding, to flee for America. Meanwhile, the Italian fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, Spain's right-wing General Francisco Franco, and the German National Socialists, under the leadership of Adolph Hitler, were gaining power in their respective countries and threatening greater Europe.

To understand how the convergence of these historical and political events affected the reception of I, Claudius, it is necessary to understand the historical background of the book's story. Although a work of fiction that relies on the author's imagination to fill in some historical voids, the book itself is generally accepted by critics as a historically accurate reflection of the Roman Empire.

In 23 B.C., the Roman Senate granted Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Octavianus, the grandnephew of Julius Caesar and more...

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This section contains 991 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the I, Claudius Study Guide
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