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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for a good read or as a historical reference book
Chris Scarre's Chronicle is a very good overview of the Roman emperors, and helps to place their often confused regnal periods into a proper perspective.
What I found most useful about the book was its chronological grouping of emperors (no more having to look in four different places for four "emperors" who reigned simultaneously -- until one defeated the...
Published on November 1, 2003 by Jaundiced Eye

versus
19 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Should be called "Chronicle of the Pagan Roman Emperors"
This is an excellent book, well enough organized to be a useful reference work and well enough written to be an enjoyable read. It does not pretend to be a general or complete history of ancient Rome, instead covering the emperors themselves, giving a coherent picture difficult to get from most traditional histories. After a brief but useful introduction it gives a...
Published on January 4, 2005 by Spiny Norman


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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for a good read or as a historical reference book, November 1, 2003
By 
Jaundiced Eye "jaundicedeye" (Hollywood, California, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (The Chronicles Series) (Hardcover)
Chris Scarre's Chronicle is a very good overview of the Roman emperors, and helps to place their often confused regnal periods into a proper perspective.
What I found most useful about the book was its chronological grouping of emperors (no more having to look in four different places for four "emperors" who reigned simultaneously -- until one defeated the other or they all fell).
A second useful feature is its thumbnail summary of each "emperor's" birth, death, and regnal periods, his family, and his titles. The titles are often a good guide to the character of the emperors, with stay-at-Rome sybarites with titles such as "Gothicus" and "Germanicus" revealed as vainglorious, while warrior emperors with the same titles are revealed as true veterans prepared to fight for the imperial purple. One helpful feature is an explanation of the significance of the titles. The actual word designating an emperor, for instance, was NOT "Imperator," which was a military honor which could be won by any very succesful general, but "Augustus," with "Caesar" gradually acquiring the meaning of "heir apparent," with many a war fought over who should have which title. (As an interesting historical aside, you may want to note that while "Augustus" eventually became a personal name, "Caesar" became an imperial title in later kingdoms: both "Tsar" and "Kaisar" are actually derived from the name of the last dictator of the Republic, Gaius Julius Caesar, adoptive father of Octavian, who became the first "Augustus" and is usually designated by that title as if it were his proper name.)
The third good feature of the Chronicle is the same as in other books of the series: a plethora of gorgeous photography of things from major architectural wonders to small handcrafts.
The one great inconvenience of the book is the editorial choice of where to place those photos: they too often appear smack in the middle of an imperial biography, or separate the biographies of emperors whose lives should be studied together because of the interlocked details presented by Scarre. This placement was an irritant to me when I tried to just read through the book for pleasure -- the pictures presented jarring interuptions mid-story.
Still and all, one can hardly do better than this for a broad survey of Imperial Rome.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book on this subject, very well put together, September 2, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (The Chronicles Series) (Hardcover)
I got this book at the library and I was very pleased with its contents. Though I am only in 8th grade, this subject very much interests me but so far I haven't been able to find a book that suits what I want to know. Until now, I am very pleased with this book. It was very well put together and easy to read for even someone of my age. Mr. Scarre did a very good job with this and I hope every one will have the chance to read this.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Things Are Connected, June 16, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (The Chronicles Series) (Hardcover)
This is the best, single history of the Roman emperors that I have come across. It used to seem to me that they were disembodied names, unrelated to events and time. This work puts the emperors in the context of their times and shows how they succeeded one another and how the social fabric of the empire evolved and disintegrated. The portrait busts add a level of humanity to what would otherwise be a dry and dusty name list. But for the grace of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, there go we.....
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy publication; well done reference work., August 18, 2000
By 
M. A. Treu (Bordentown, NJ USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (The Chronicles Series) (Hardcover)
The publishers, Thames and Hudson, have produced a fine example of the bookmaker's art. A clean, crisp reference work loaded with names, dates, places, and 328 illustrations including color-coded maps, depicting imperial Rome and its emperors.
Each of the 80 emperors who ruled Rome, from Augustus (31 BC-96 AD) to the abdication of 16-year-old Romulus Augustulus, in 476 AD, is described and depicted.
Each section begins with a medalian containing a drawing of the subject emperor based upon his surviving coin portraits. In addition, there are many photograhps of statues and busts, to give the reader a good look at the men who ruled Rome. Women who supported and in some cases ruled them, are also included.
There is a ton of information in this book.
The pleasurable tactile sensations associated with holding and maniplulating a finely wrought tome are an integral part of reading a book -- as opposed to reading a computer screen or skywriting, which are devoid of tactile pleasures -- and this book rests comfortably in the hands.
Sturdy, navy blue cloth cover-boards, with a gold publisher's logo on the front cover, and gold lettering on the spine, all wrapped up in an attractive dust jacket, make this book a treat to the eyes, as well as to the touch. And, as befits a reference book intended for much using and perusing, the pages are made of thich, smooth, sturdy, stock.
All in all, an afternoon spent in the company of this book could surely be a positive experience for anyone; in fact, lessons could be learned if one isn't careful.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do you want to be Emporer of Rome? No Thank you!, September 26, 2003
This review is from: Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (The Chronicles Series) (Hardcover)
This book demonstrates that being a Roman Emporer was not necessarily something to envy. Once proclaimed, the emporer had to delicately balance happiness between the public at large, the senate, and - most importantly - the praetorian guard (basically the emporer's bodyguards). There are many examples in this book of emporers upsetting one of these groups too much and ending up with their heads on pikes. It seems to have been a shaky, difficult office to maintain. Very few emporers ended their days in peace, and many were brutally murdered (I cringed more than once while reading this book). One big lesson that too many emporers learned the hard way: do not mess with the praetorian guard.
This book begins with a brief summary of the city of Rome: how it grew from a monarchy to a Republic and how Octavian secured absolute power from the Senate and became Augustus, marking the beginning of Imperial Rome, which was to be the Western empire's final phase. The book has three sections: The First Emporers (from Augustus to Domitian); The High Point of Empire (Nerva to Alexander Severus); Crisis and Renewal (Maximinus Thrax to Constantine & Licinius); The Last Emporers (Constantine II to Romulus Augustulus). The book also has a continous timeline that runs through sections of the book for an at-a-glance history.
It's important to note that this is not a history of the Roman Empire; it's a history of the Roman Emporers. Events not directly (or somewhat) tied to an emporer are not covered. You won't learn about the daily life of a Roman, for example. Still, through the lineage of emporers a history of the empire in general can be extracted. Who fought who, who tried to overthrow who, descriptions of how emporer's wives or mothers influenced (and sometimes took over) government, the conversion from traditional pagan Rome to a Christian Rome (it wasn't ALL Constantine), etc. The fall of Rome is not covered in great detail (the final section is the shortest and the detail becomes almost minimal), but the basic idea that the empire was overrun by various peoples emerges.
The pictures, maps, and graphs throughout the book are incredible and complement the text very well. There are maps of conquests, borders of the empire at specific times, coins, maps of the city of Rome, pictures of busts and mosaics of emporers, architectural reconstructions, pictures of buildings in their current state, etc.
Though this book will not make you an expert on the Roman Empire, it provides a great outline from which to learn more. Once it's read, keep it handy for reference. There are many lessons that can be learned from the lives and mistakes of the men (and women) who ruled Rome.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for curious beginners in Roman history, February 20, 2005
By 
David C. Leaumont "Dave" (Bossier City, LA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (The Chronicles Series) (Hardcover)
This book is a superb addition to the library of history buffs. The book is short but packed with information on many different topics on the Roman Emperors. The book covers all Roman Emperors and does contest some myths commonly held regarding some of the more well-known emperors. The book spends a proportionate amount of time in the book compared to the emperor's rule and importance. In each mini-biography of rule, Scarre adds sections concentrating on interesting aspects of that person's rule. For instance, Augustus' section discusses the early lineage of emperors by tracing and discussing the Julio-Claudian family tree. Trajan's section has a two page insert on Trajan's Column. The book acts as a great reference of Roman leadership. Scarre adds hundreds of images consisting of both artistic renderings and archaeological finds from all periods of the Emperors' rule. Scarre ends with a highly abbreviated discussion of the last emperors of the split Roman empire.

Scarre adds at the end a select bibliography and a robust index.

The book is well bound and should be a long lasting addition to the library.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A coherent timeline, well illustrated., June 25, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (The Chronicles Series) (Hardcover)
From the god Augustus, 31 B.C.E. to the forgotten
Romulus Agustulus in 476, highlights of the lives
of all the Emperors of Rome. Good maps, photos, drawings, and genealogic diagrams help illustrate a fascinating timeline of ancient empire. Fills in the historical gaps nicely. Also brings to mind the saying, "Be careful what you ask for, you might get it."
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great overview about the Emperors who made Rome great, May 31, 2000
By 
Joe Owen "Joe" (Republic of Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (The Chronicles Series) (Hardcover)
I am a History Major and one of my interests in History is the Roman Empire (200BC-500AD), and this is a very useful resource to help me understand vital points in the history of Imperial Rome and the emperors who molded and eventually tore down the Roman Empire. Each emperor from the beginning to the end is briefly analyzed and gives an overview of their life and accomplishments. I consider this to be an essential book to anyone interested in the history of the Roman Empire.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chronicle of the Roman Emperors, May 17, 2001
This review is from: Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (The Chronicles Series) (Hardcover)
I initially borrowed this book from the library after having developed an interest in the subject. The subject being new to me I wanted a book that could instantly educate and interest me enough to continue wanting to find out more. This book did it. It was informative, interesting and educational. I would definately recommend this book to anyone who wanted a general overview of the emperors, what they were known and loved for, what their acheivements were and their downfalls. A must for those both starting out and those who are seasoned fanatics.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chronicle of the Roman Emperors, March 27, 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Chronicle of the Roman Emperors: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers of Imperial Rome (The Chronicles Series) (Hardcover)
An awe inspiring book which not only portrays the life of all 80 emperors but also there accomplishments from Hadrian's wall to Nero's House of Gold. Get this book now! Great book!
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