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Ranging from the great capital rebuilt in marble by Augustus to the dank and barbarian-haunted forests of Germany, it is populated by a spectacular cast: murderers and metrosexuals, adulterers and druids, scheming grandmothers and reluctant gladiators. Dynasty is the portrait of a family that transformed and stupefied Rome.
Little, Brown Book Group
Number of Pages
Holland's masterly account of this first wicked century of the Roman empire is, at its heart, a political analysis ... the story he tells strides onwards across the landscape of grief and horror without pause or stutter ... Holland is unshockable as he proceeds with breezy, clear-eyed analysis from one degrading display of cruelty and paranoia to the next ... It is down to his skill as a storyteller that there's no difficulty in imagining that it might all happen again tomorrow -- Adam Nicholson Sunday Times Deft and skilful ... Among the many virtues of Tom Holland's terrific history is that he does not shrink from seeing the Roman emperors for what they were: 'the west's primal examples of tyranny' ... Dynasty is both a formidable effort to compile what we can know about the ancient world and a sensational story -- Nick Cohen Observer This is a wonderful, surging narrative - a brilliant and meticulous synthesis of the ancient sources ... This is a story that should be read by anyone interested in history, politics or human nature - and it has never been better told -- Boris Johnson Mail on Sunday This is history in which fact and fiction overlap, rigorously researched and lightened with dashes of humour ... first-rate ancient history and a compulsively good read -- Matthew Dennison Daily Mail A swaggering history of the dynastic house that Julius Caesar built. Nothing entertains like excess and the weird cruelties, bloody intrigues and eye-popping depravities of emperors Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero are queasily fascinating Sunday Express A witty and skilful storyteller ... He recounts with pleasure his racy tales of psychopathic cruelty, incest, paedophilia, matricide, fratricide, assassination and depravity -- William Dalrymple New Statesman Brilliant, terrifying and compelling -- Alex Preston Observer