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United States: Essays 1952-1992 Chapter Summary & Analysis - "The Twelve Caesars" (1952) Summary

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"The Twelve Caesars" (1952) Summary and Analysis

Since the Great Goddess was banished by Judeo-Christian patriarchy, male energy and dominance has taken charge of western political states, and the Roman Caesars are an excellent example of what that change has produced. Vidal discusses the implications of absolute power, as seen through the eyes of contemporary historian Suetonius and presented to modern readers in translation by the poet Robert Graves. The kind of unlimited power granted to the 12 Caesars who rules the Roman empire from 49 B.C. to A.D. 96 is the story of "twelve men wielding absolute power," Vidal says, with the result every kind of bestiality, perversion, sadism, violence and insanity imaginable—and unimaginable.

The progression from pulling the wings off flies to public executions and torture was swift for many of these emperors. "Caligula was certifiably mad,"...

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This section contains 349 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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United States: Essays 1952-1992 from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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