SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome - Chapter 10: "Fourteen Emperors" Summary & Analysis

Mary Beard
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Summary

In January 41 CE, another emperor was assassinated: Gaius. Gaius had acceded Augustus' successor Tiberius and was killed by three soldiers of the Praetorian Guard, who were charged with his protection. There may have been a personal grudge behind the murder, but there are also many stories of Gaius' villainies. Though the senate met and discussed a possible return to Republican government, the Praetorian Guard installed Gaius' successor Claudius as emperor. It is uncertain to what extent the stories of Gaius' evils are true, given that the legitimacy of his successor in part depended on the narrative that his predecessor had been "rightly eliminated" (396).

History has bequeathed us vivid characterizations of various Roman emperors. Beard asks how accurate those images are, what did the emperor's character explain, and how much difference did the personality of the individual ruler make in the Roman world...

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This section contains 1,479 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome Study Guide
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