Augustus: Introduction to the Life of an Emperor

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Overview

Augustus, Rome's first emperor, is one of the great figures of world history and one of the most fascinating. In this lively and concise biography Karl Galinsky examines Augustus' life from childhood to deification. He chronicles the mosaic of vicissitudes, challenges, setbacks, and successes that shaped Augustus' life, both public and private. How did he use his power? How did he manage to keep reinventing himself? What kind of man was he? A transformative leader, Augustus engineered profound change in Rome and throughout the Mediterranean world. No one would have expected such vast achievements from the frail and little-known eighteen-year-old who became Caesar's heir amid turmoil and crisis. A mere thirteen years later, after defeating Antony and Cleopatra, he had, in his words, “power over all things.”
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Drawing on a lifetime’s research, Galinsky has produced a magisterial summation of Augustus’s life, combining precision and clarity with the readability of a best-selling biography.” – Carin Green, Professor and Chair of Classics, University of Iowa

“Galinsky’s study is the best succinct introduction to the age of Augustus in English. His insightful synthesis of the whole range of evidence (prose and verse texts, monuments, coins, and objects of art) provides an excellent account of Augustus’s personal story within the larger context of the political and social conditions of his day.” – Harriet I. Flower, Professor of Classics, Princeton University

“Galinsky’s mastery of the material is on display on every page of this new biography of Augustus. Generously illustrated and enhanced by many tools to help the beginner, this will surely become the standard introduction to the life and times of Rome’s first emperor.” – Carlos Noreña, Associate Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley

“Of all the great men of the ancient world, Augustus is the most elusive. Doing equal justice to his ruthlessness and his statesmanship is a difficult task, but Karl Galinsky manages it with clarity, sympathy, and good sense. Learned but readable, this portrait of the first of the Roman emperors is a brilliant achievement.” – T. P. Wiseman, Emeritus Professor of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter

"...handsomely produced... this is an excellent book, packed with information. Galinsky has done it again, offering a superbly useful volume for a new generation of readers hungering for knowledge about the Augustan milieu and the life of Augustus." --Classical Journal Online

"...not only a more rounded picture of Augustus in his milieu, but a good introduction to Roman civilization, made all the more effective because it focuses on a single fascinating personality and a single period of momentous change. The bibliography is judicious and up to date, and the text well-edited and attractively presented. In its undogmatic willingness to canvass other views, and its readable and at times humorous style, it is ideal for college and university courses, and a model of how to combine political and cultural history for a contemporary audience." --BMCR

"..Galinsky's narrative focuses more on Augustus himself, his visions and his actions, good and bad, his motivations for them, and their results."
-- R. I. Curtis, Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521744423
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/30/2012
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 220
  • Sales rank: 962,052
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Karl Galinsky is the Cailloux Centennial Professor of Classics at the University of Texas, Austin. The author and editor of several books, including Augustan Culture and The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Augustus, he has received awards for his teaching and research, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Max-Planck Society.
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Table of Contents

1. From Velitrae to Caesar's heir; 2. Power struggles and civil war; 3. The experiment of the principate; 4. The challenge of pax Augusta; 5. Augustus at home: friends and family; 6. Cultural vitality; 7. The Augustan empire: unity and diversity; 8. The final days and an assessment.
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