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


Here, seventy five succinct essays disguise ecu royalty from the final king of Rome to Tsar Nicholas II. there's an everlasting public curiosity in royalty and dictatorial rulers: this publication covers them all comprehensively. way over simply sensational money owed, the ebook makes a real try to comprehend what drove them to their excesses. a casual, readable variety produces a robust turn-page impact. In our time, whilst ecu monarchies appear little greater than vacationer curiosities and democracy is taken without any consideration, you possibly can fail to remember how a lot energy pre-democratic rulers may well as soon as wield. The rulers and holders of political strength during this e-book fall into 4 different types: these villainized through propaganda; people with critical psychological problems; these concurrently respected and reviled; and people who actually have been the epitome of evil. 'Absolute energy' exhibits how they have been all over excited by way of their exalted prestige or maybe beaten through it, whereas a number of have been pushed over the sting into insanity.

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If one can trust the legends (and no one does), Rome had seven kings from its founding to the establishment of the Republic. The last of these kings came from the Tarquins, a family of wealthy Etruscans who came to power in a Rome which was a far cry from the thriving metropolis it would become. Through the Tarquins, the Etruscan people contributed much to Rome's development, furnishing the emerging city with paved streets, stone houses, a sewage system, an alphabet (itself derived from the Greeks), and the other traits of a healthy young civilization.

Whoever was responsible, the result was the same: Tiberius's hold on the imperial office was now absolute. As far as Tiberius was concerned, however, he would have been much better off without it. He compared being Emperor of Rome to 'holding a wolf by its ears', which turned out to be a keen prediction on his part. Tiberius's natural miserliness and humility did not change when he became emperor, so he started out as more or less the antithesis of what one today would expect an emperor of the Roman Empire to be like.

Afterwards Sextus pretended to sneak out of Rome and went crying to the Galbi chieftains, claiming to be willing to defect to his father's enemies for the sake of revenge. Sextus rose to prominence as a general for the enemy, even leading them on devastating raids against Roman territory, but after receiving a secret sign from his father, Sextus used the trust and fame he had gained to assassinate the enemy leaders or turn them against each other. Lucius's intelligence or lack thereof is also the topic of a well-known anecdote.

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