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Into the 'autobiography' of Clau Clau Claudius the pitiful stammerer who was destined to become Emperor in spite of himself Graves packs the everlasting in Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus Claudius to his embarrassed family born in Lyon in what is now France a sickly lame twitching stutterer a nonentity thought an idiot by his relatives the most prominent in ancient Rome Julius Caesar began their than century long reign as the rulers of the vast expanding Roman Empire But he Claudius survives the treacherous deadly byzantine atmosphere where killing an enemy is common all for power influence and money nothing else matters destroy your opponent before they eliminate you he was too insignificant to be murdered Claudius father was a famous Roman general Drusus gaining glory in Germany winning battle after battle until dying in a mysterious way his mother Antonia a very influential woman daughter of Mark Amthony Livia his grandmother the wife of the Emperor Augustus Caesar Julius s great nephew He preaches family values as his daughter Julia breaks them all but his relatives suffer greatly constant early strange deaths to its members unexplained there is a curse a menacing unseen force that is always ready to strike them down everyone is uite vulnerableTo pass the time Claudius becomes a historian talking to Titus Livy and other famous authors writing many books that his scornful family doesn t read sadly they have not survived his best about the mysterious Etruscans the first history of these prosperous people Poor Claudius forced by others powerful to marry women he loathes for political reasons to reluctant wives who detest the unattractive man but still from the most important family in Rome divorce soon follows and freuently insolvency he prefers undemanding kind prostitutes Tiberius becomes Emperor his grandmother s Livia s son and his father s brother a paranoid ruler who kills anyone that remotely threatens him or so alleges Sejanus his most trusted ruthless and ambitious servant the captain of the potent Praetorian Guards who protects the sovereign of Rome of course they re innocent But how would Tiberius know he lives in luxury on the beautiful island of Capri off the coast of Italy near Naples away from danger and prying eyes and his evil dominating mother Livia yet rumors of perverse sexual habits filter back to the disgusted capital When his uncle at last dies the even worse his nephew Caligula becomes the mad Emperor of the world committing incest with his three sisters telling the astonished Senate that he is a god throwing poor Claudius into a river he abides and floats back up everyone must worship butchering at will the citizens from the highest to the lowest seeking revenge against the Germans because of his father s untimely death but while Julius Caesar wrote I came I saw I conuered Caligula saw and ran A brilliant novel gossip than history maybe but an enormously entertaining read

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I Claudius

Claudius and its seuel Claudius the God are among the most celebrated as well the most gripping historical novels ever writtenCover illustration Brian Pik Poor Clau Clau Claudius He stuttered had a limp and was deaf in one ear Considered the family idiot he had the misfortune to be born into a family that suffered from a congenital lack of compassion Robert Graves s choice of the hapless Claudius as the narrator for this work of historical fiction was ingenious Seen as dull witted and harmless by his ruthless relatives Claudius managed to avoid view spoileralmost hide spoiler

Robert Graves · 5 Read & Download

Trigues the depravity the bloody purges and mounting cruelty of the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius soon to culminate in the deified insanity of Caligula I Game of RomesHistory is the lie of the victors Or so that s what they say But in the case of I Claudius hailed as one of the best pieces of historical fiction written to date the so called lie is either heightened or degraded depends on how you see it into a dramatic tale of cunning deceit depravity and the glories of ancient Rome chalked with enough back stabbing affairs incest assassinations and debauchery you d doubt whether you ve unearthed an ancient tabloid Granted there are certain truths that only a tabloid can tell Of course in this case it is idiotic to look for historical accuracy in fiction but certain things that happen are just so wicked that you have to wonder whether these lies are just that This review aims to take on the impossible task of diluting the deceitful mixture to separate the lies of the writer from the essential lies of the victors There s actually very little in I Claudius that s entirely unattested But the thing is Robert Graves based on historical works that are biased and unreliable and he portrays the characters in a way to fit his underlying narrative Graves relied most heavily on Suetonius and Tacitus He drew on Suetonius and a host of late Roman authors who are inaccurate at best particularly for his narration of the earlier emperors to provide all sorts of juicy gossip that those works are full of But then he had a problem There was a sharp division among writers of the 1st and 2nd Centuries AD as regards Claudius Many of his contemporaries and particularly the Neronians saw Claudius as the bumbling old idiot that you can find in the pages of Seneca and Suetonius However under the Flavians Claudius became a model emperor who was a struggling intellectual and who expanded Roman power militarily and through his public works rather than the idiot who let everyone else do all the work for him and eventually had to rely on his wife so much that he fell into her trap easily Graves chooses the Flavian view of Claudius and attempts to explain away the aspects of his character seen negatively by Suetonius and Seneca by various means Graves claimed that it occurred to him while reading through Suetonius and Tacitus that perhaps Claudius was not really as stupid as everyone else thought and that he was cleverly trying to stay alive in a time of intrigue and plotting that undoubtedly would have killed him otherwise As a result the works are highly sifted and selected to provide particular no matter how unlikely versions of the events that took placeThere s nothing to suggest that Claudius Livia Augustus or any of the other characters thought many of the things that Graves puts in their minds We know they did certain things and there are a number of reasons why they might have done so Graves picks the reasons he particularly likes and crafts a very good story from it imagining that it is true whether it is or not The other thing that Graves fabricates is holes in the record Graves is very fond of linking events together that probably didn t have any connection the famous example is the important character of Cassius Chaerea who appears all over the place and is a major plot driver The historical Cassius Chaerea is only known as the prefect of the Praetorian Guard who was hated and teased by Caligula and eventually was one of the leaders of the plot to murder him Whenever Chaerea appears elsewhere in I Claudius Graves is in fact imposing his character on a historical person Basically whenever Chaerea appears before then he s actually playing someone who the record says was named Cassius and that Graves assumes or pretends was Chaerea for plot purposes There s no reason to suggest for example that the same Cassius who led the survivors out of the Teutoburg was the guy who killed Caligula Cassius was after all the name of one of the largest families in Rome As I end let me entertain you a bit If you ve ever watched Game of Thrones then you should know never to underestimate the weak repulsive ones What they lack in strength or in beauty they make up for in cunning and intelligence Permit me to say this but I do think Grave s version of Claudius is in a certain sense the true Tyrion Of course he s not a dwarf but he s deformed in his own way He s lame bowlegged and a chronic stammerer He comes from a family that comes to power because of a deceitful but nevertheless remarkable woman Livia aka Cersei then becomes the steward of sorts to his insane nephew Geoffrey or Caligula rather Not that I m trying to say Game of Thrones is based on I Claudius or Roman history or that Tyrion will become king of the seven realms I m just saying that they re both entertaining they re both fiction but that doesn t mean they re both trash Sometimes you need a lie to get to the truth Immediately after the book was published the classical community exploded with some denouncing the book and condemning Graves who explicitly states that he was not attempting any sort of historical or professional publication with the book merely his own fancy but it also initiated scholars to go back and revisit the textual material In general the book prompted a mass re reading of all the material on Claudius if only to fact check Graves and a great deal of things that were overlooked until then popped out This coincided with a revisiting of the emperors in general So it did have some sort of significance for academics and it did and continues to awaken the layman s curiosity about roman emperors and conseuently about ancient roman history And for Game of Thrones well the truth is it s just awesome


10 thoughts on “I Claudius

  1. says:

    Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus Claudius to his embarrassed family born in Lyon in what is now France a sickly lame

  2. says:

    Things had to have been boring in ancient Rome with no TV internet or video games But after reading I Claudius I think that the average Roman citizen’s chief entertainment probably came from watching what the imperial family did to each other There was the crime and intrigue of a show like The Sopranos All the narcissism and betrayal of a season of a reality TV show More sex than cable on demand porn channels and enoug

  3. says:

    I Claudius reviewed by Manny Claudius come here sit down right by me don't be shy O o o o o oh M m m m m Yes essalinaI Claudius reviewed by Mariel All i can dream about is rabbits every day every day rabbits i can't tell

  4. says:

    Compelling humorous entertaining and even at time times deeply disturbing this traces the peripheral rise of an unlikely Caeser Historical fiction at its best Graves provides an in depth behind the scenes look at early Roman Imperial intrigue First published in 1934 this has been selected as one of the finest English language works in the twe

  5. says:

    Game of RomesHistory is the lie of the victors Or so that’s what they say But in the case of I Claudius hailed as one of the best pieces of historical fiction written to date the so called lie is either heightened or degraded depends on how you see it into a dramatic tale of cunning deceit depravity and the gl

  6. says:

    Robert Graves' classic I Claudius is a masterpiece of historical fiction about the stuttering lame unlikely emperor Claudius ending just as he mounts the imperial throne one must read Claudius the God and His Wife Messalina for the rest high on my TBR now It is a mesmerizing text detailing the reigns of Augustus Tiberius and Caligula with all the accompanying betrayals violence and sexual exploits that you would expect from a p

  7. says:

    I was going to write that Graves having translated The Twelve Caesars recycled the Suetonius with a dash of Tacitus and some added murders to create I Claudius ostensibly the memoirs of the Emperor Claudius This however seems to be entirely false as Graves wrote I Claudius than twenty years before he made that translation He was though liv

  8. says:

    Yo ClaudioThe review I really have in mind will be attempted for this book only after I finish reading Claudius the God t

  9. says:

    Poor Clau Clau Claudius He stuttered had a limp and was deaf in one ear Considered the family idiot he had the misfortune to be born into a family that suffered from a congenital lack of compassion Robert Graves’s choice of the hapless Claudi

  10. says:

    There have been multiple periods of time in my life during which I developed a fascination for different historical families usually of infamous repute Elementary school was devoted to the Tudors focusing heavily on the P

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