• Evil Roman Emperors

  • The Shocking History of Ancient Rome's Most Wicked Rulers from Caligula to Nero and More
  • By: Phillip Barlag
  • Narrated by: David de Vries
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Nero fiddled while Rome burned. As catchy as that aphorism is, it's sadly untrue, even if it has a nice ring to it. The one thing Nero is well-known for is the one thing he actually didn't do. But fear not, the truth of his life, his rule and what he did with unrestrained power, is plenty weird, salacious and horrifying.

And he is not alone. Roman history, from the very foundation of the city, is replete with people and stories that shock our modern sensibilities. Evil Roman Emperors puts the worst of Rome's rulers in one place and offers a review of their lives and a historical context for what made them into what they became.

Lucius Tarquinius Suburbus called peace conferences with warring states, only to slaughter foreign leaders; Commodus sold offices of the empire to the highest bidder; Caligula demanded to be worshipped as a god; even the Roman Senate itself was made up of oppressors, exploiters, and murderers of all stripes.

Roman history, deviant or otherwise, is a subject of endless fascination. What's never been done before is to look at the worst of the worst at the same time, comparing them side by side, and ranking them against one another. Until now.

©2021 The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Evil Roman Emperors

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Brisket and nu potato

Narrative was good. Interesting subjects I would recommend this book. great insight into history of Rome.

3 people found this helpful

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Riveting and fascinating!!!

Thought I knew a good deal about most of these emperors, but I truly had no idea. Barlag brings these historical rulers to life in a way I’ve never heard before. A great summertime read and educational adventure. Love the audible version while driving on my family vacation… hoping for everyone in the car to learn something new!

2 people found this helpful

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Childish writing

Skip it unless you absolutely love everything about Roman history. Too informal and casual for the subject matter in my opinion.

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Not a fan of the casual style

I have read many books on Roman history. I was interested in the subject matter of this book but could not finish it. The author's style of interjecting casual phrases and making snarky comments was frustrating. If you have no background in Roman History and want a 3rd grade reading about bad guys you may like this one.

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A comic roast of Rome's worst

The book is a farcical takedown of the most vile leaders of ancient Rome.

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A fun read!

Normally I’m more of an academic type, but this was a fun book! I would read it again :)

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History detailed in a modern (and interesting) way

Great book that details horrendous acts of Roman rulers with historical context that make it a compelling read/listen. With a dizzying (in a good way) array or murder and mayhem you are amazed at just how horrible these leaders were.

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Great Summer Read

Evil Roman Emperors is a great read for this summer - or any season! I enjoyed the look at the dark side of Roman history, and am really impressed by how Barlag kept things moving throughout the narrative. The countdown to the “very worst” was a lot of fun, and had me guessing who would be next. I recommend this book and hope others enjoy it as much as I did!