By C.S. DENTON
Here, seventy five succinct essays conceal ecu royalty from the final king of Rome to Tsar Nicholas II. there's an everlasting public curiosity in royalty and dictatorial rulers: this booklet covers them all comprehensively. way over simply sensational money owed, the e-book makes a real try and comprehend what drove them to their excesses. an off-the-cuff, readable type produces a powerful turn-page impression. In our time, while eu monarchies look little greater than vacationer curiosities and democracy is taken with no consideration, you possibly can omit how a lot energy pre-democratic rulers may perhaps as soon as wield. The rulers and holders of political strength during this booklet fall into 4 different types: these villainized by means of propaganda; people with severe psychological problems; these concurrently respected and reviled; and those that actually have been the epitome of evil. 'Absolute strength' exhibits how they have been all over excited by means of their exalted prestige or maybe crushed by way of it, whereas a number of have been pushed over the sting into insanity.
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Extra info for Absolute Power. The Real Lives of Europe's Most Infamous Rulers
As with all show trials throughout history, the case against the accused in Piso and Placina's trial was less than convincing, relying mainly on 'evidence' that Piso and his wife dabbled in sorcery. Even with his friend's life and reputation on the line, Tiberius acted in the trial with professional impartiality, declining to speak decisively for or against his friend, while out on the streets a crowd waited to tear Piso to shreds on the off chance he was found innocent. Livia did agree to help protect Plancina, but only if she was willing to leave her husband to his fate, to which she consented.
Things were made so tense that once, when Tiberius had invited Agrippina to dinner, she feigned illness and refused to eat anything, even an apple that Tiberius offered her with his own hand. Tiberius was enraged by Agrippina's lack of trust, although he seems to have feared being poisoned by Agrippina as well. As his terror of Agrippina's faction and a disloyal populace shaped his domestic policy and forced his boot down on dissenters, Tiberius began to acquire the reputation of a tyrant. Treason trials, almost always ending in the accused's degradation and death, had become a common occurrence.
Augustus may have considered instating Gaius's and Lucius's younger brother Agrippa Postumus as his heir, only to end up banishing him, like his mother. Tacitus once again blames Livia for Augustus's actions, arguing it was because of her growing influence on an increasingly senile Augustus. Suetonius, meanwhile, implies that Agrippa was not entirely sane or at least had a very nasty personality. Most likely Suetonius was closer to the mark, but Tacitus' theory does make for more interesting reading.
Absolute Power. The Real Lives of Europe's Most Infamous Rulers by C.S. DENTON