New PDF release: Absolute Power. The Real Lives of Europe's Most Infamous

By C.S. DENTON

ISBN-10: 1848584741

ISBN-13: 9781848584747

Here, seventy five succinct essays hide ecu royalty from the final king of Rome to Tsar Nicholas II. there's an everlasting public curiosity in royalty and dictatorial rulers: this ebook covers them all comprehensively. way over simply sensational money owed, the ebook makes a real try and comprehend what drove them to their excesses. an off-the-cuff, readable type produces a powerful turn-page impression. In our time, while eu monarchies look little greater than vacationer curiosities and democracy is taken without any consideration, you can actually fail to remember how a lot strength pre-democratic rulers might as soon as wield. The rulers and holders of political strength during this e-book fall into 4 different types: these villainized via propaganda; people with severe psychological problems; these at the same time respected and reviled; and people who actually have been the epitome of evil. 'Absolute strength' indicates how they have been all over excited via their exalted prestige or maybe beaten via it, whereas a number of have been pushed over the sting into insanity.

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Extra info for Absolute Power. The Real Lives of Europe's Most Infamous Rulers

Sample text

This show of familial mourning was commemorated later on with an expensive parade. Thousands of sacrifices were then made in honor of Caligula and his family while expensive games were thrown: Tiberius had rarely allowed them, both on financial grounds, and out of concern about their effect on the populace's morality. Within just one year, the 2,700,000 or so sesterces that Tiberius with all his penny pinching had left behind were gone. The fact that Caligula from the very beginning of his reign dispersed massive amounts of money to the people and the army, and had to have at least one spectacular event a day, whether it was a play, a chariot race, or a gladiatorial show, explains the treasury's vanishing act.

A portrait, worth about a million sesterces, of the mythological heroine Atlanta performing oral sex on Meleager was hung in his bedroom. In the gardens and woods around his villa at Capri, young girls dressed like nymphs and boys costumed as the god Pan would dance, play music, and make love for his amusement. When he swam, boys he called his 'minnows' would swim around him, licking and biting at his 'bait'. Providing the Emperor with such entertainment cannot have been a pleasant task, since he was by then an old man with a body covered with festering sores and body hair.

He may have had sexual relations with male actors, although such accusations of 'buggery'7 were a favorite weapon in the arsenal of Roman historians against unpopular and 'effeminate' rulers. Annoyed whenever people did not come to the events he held, Caligula had all periods of mourning and lawsuits postponed on days when certain shows were thrown so that no one would have an excuse not to attend. Just barely into his reign, Caligula had a nasty disagreement with his grandmother Antonia, the same woman who may have saved his life.

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Absolute Power. The Real Lives of Europe's Most Infamous Rulers by C.S. DENTON


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