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


Here, seventy five succinct essays disguise eu royalty from the final king of Rome to Tsar Nicholas II. there's an everlasting public curiosity in royalty and dictatorial rulers: this e-book covers them all comprehensively. way over simply sensational debts, the ebook makes a real try to comprehend what drove them to their excesses. a casual, readable type produces a robust turn-page influence. In our time, whilst ecu monarchies look little greater than vacationer curiosities and democracy is taken without any consideration, you'll be able to overlook how a lot strength pre-democratic rulers may possibly as soon as wield. The rulers and holders of political strength during this publication fall into 4 different types: these villainized by way of propaganda; people with severe psychological issues; these concurrently respected and reviled; and those that really have been the epitome of evil. 'Absolute strength' exhibits how they have been all over excited via their exalted prestige or perhaps crushed by means of it, whereas a number of have been pushed over the sting into insanity.

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By this date Octavian had been given the quasi-religious title 'Augustus', meaning 'exalted one', by the Senate . He also had the reins of power so firmly in his grasp that he is recognized as the first Roman emperor. The gossip of the day claimed that lust played a major role in Augustus' decision to marry Livia and, in fact, the two probably did have an affair while Livia was still the elder Tiberius' wife, but there were also practical enough reasons for this union. Augustus won the link to the old Roman nobility he needed, since despite being the sole heir of the famous Julius Caesar he was burdened by a rather humble background (his family was the closest thing the Romans had to middle class and Augustus was sometimes slandered for having a banker for a grandfather).

With or without her help, he may have poisoned Tiberius's son and Livilla's husband Drusus in order to remove a potential rival and leave him a widow who would one day give him access to the Julio-Claudian family. Drusus, although popular, was a dissolute drunk (something he may have inherited from his father who was known for his love of drink as well), so it was assumed by everyone that his death was only natural. Tiberius reacted to the demise of his only son with his usual stoicism, at least in the public eye, refusing to allow the customary mourning period to go on longer than usual.

That evening, Sextus rushed home to find his wife being a bit too friendly with some men at a party she was hosting without his permission. Lucretia, on the other hand, was as dutiful as ever, sitting at home patiently waiting for the return of her husband. Humiliated and now lacking a substantial amount of money, Sextus attempted to seduce Lucretia in order to discredit her and get back at Sextus. When she would not relent to his charisma, Sextus flew into a rage and raped her. Lucretia soon after gathered together her husband and father, in tears explained what had been done to her, then stabbed herself through the heart with a knife.

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