'The dark, unrelenting Tiberius, the furious Caligula, the feeble Claudius, the profligate and cruel Nero..are condemned to everlasting Infamy' wrote Gibbon. This 'infamy' has inspired the work of historians and novelists from Roman times to the present.
This book summarises political events during the reigns of Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero, and the civil wars of the 'year of four emperors'. It considers too the extent to which social factors influenced the imperial household.
Assuming no knowledge of Latin and drawing on material including inscriptions and coins, literary history and the latest historical interpretations, the author presents a coherent account of the often apparently erratic actions of these emperors.