By C.S. DENTON
Here, seventy five succinct essays conceal ecu royalty from the final king of Rome to Tsar Nicholas II. there's a permanent public curiosity in royalty and dictatorial rulers: this ebook covers them all comprehensively. excess of simply sensational bills, the booklet makes a real try and comprehend what drove them to their excesses. an off-the-cuff, readable variety produces a robust turn-page impact. In our time, whilst eu monarchies look little greater than vacationer curiosities and democracy is taken with no consideration, you can actually overlook how a lot strength pre-democratic rulers might as soon as wield. The rulers and holders of political strength during this ebook fall into 4 different types: these villainized by means of propaganda; people with critical psychological issues; these concurrently respected and reviled; and those that really have been the epitome of evil. 'Absolute energy' 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 resources for Absolute Power. The Real Lives of Europe's Most Infamous Rulers
Certainly, even a man as clever as Sejanus could not do everything to protect himself from Tiberius's pathologically suspicious eyes, nor should we think that Tiberius was completely blind to his subordinate's ambition, especially after he showed an interest in marrying into the imperial family. It is also very likely that, given Tiberius's nature, he would not long tolerate someone with Sejanus's popularity amongst the Roman people. One very dramatic explanation is handed to us in the story that Antonia, Livilla's mother, wrote a letter denouncing Sejanus, accusing him of the murder of Drusus and putting forward evidence that he was plotting to kill Germanicus's youngest son, Gaius 'Caligula'.
A year after his brother's death, Tiberius gave up his political career (by this point he had been twice elected Consul, a senior post in Roman government) to retire in the prime of his life to the island of Rhodes. The tragedies of the past few years and the smoldering resentment he must have felt toward his mother and stepfather inspired this drastic move, but the excuse he gave was that he did not want to look like a rival to Lucius and Gaius, who were still Augustus's heirs and just beginning their own careers.
Afterwards Sextus pretended to sneak out of Rome and went crying to the Galbi chieftains, claiming to be willing to defect to his father's enemies for the sake of revenge. Sextus rose to prominence as a general for the enemy, even leading them on devastating raids against Roman territory, but after receiving a secret sign from his father, Sextus used the trust and fame he had gained to assassinate the enemy leaders or turn them against each other. Lucius's intelligence or lack thereof is also the topic of a well-known anecdote.
Absolute Power. The Real Lives of Europe's Most Infamous Rulers by C.S. DENTON