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Customer Review

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Xena of Later Antiquity., July 19, 2002
This review is from: Lives of the Later Caesars: The First Part of the Augustan History, with Newly Compiled Lives of Nerva & Trajan (Paperback)
If you are to read this enigmatic work, you are already a Roman History buff, so beware to sort the fiction from actual history. Historia Augusta, in its better moments, renders the same flavor as a well-accomplished Xena episode; one feels befuddled by the mix between History, sheer invention and tongue-in-cheek humour; eventually, one wants to read more (well, supposing you are a Roman history buff and a xenite...) Therefore I regret very much the absence of an integral version of the whole work, that is the second half - the histories of the emperors after Heliogabalus - where fiction predominates, and which is perhaps the most intersting part in historical terms, as it is pratically the only written source for the most troubled years of the Roman Empire. Reading the work puts a most intriguing question: why it was that Late Antiquity found it necessary to look at its own past this way? Not a entirely otiose question in our postmodern days, I daresay.
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