The Year of Four Emperors, so the ancient sources assure us, was one of the most chaotic, violent, and frightening periods in all Roman history. It was a time of assassinations and civil war, of armies so out of control that they had no qualms about occupying the city of Rome, and of ambitious men who ruthlessly seized power only to have it wrenched from their grasps.
In 69 AD, Gwyn Morgan offers a fresh look at this period, based on two considerations to which insufficient attention has been paid in the past. First, that we need to unravel rather than cherry-pick between the conflicting accounts of Tacitus, Plutarch and Suetonius, our three main sources of information. And second, that the role of the armies, as distinct from that of their commanders, has too often been exaggerated. The result is a remarkably accurate and insightful narrative history, filled with colorful portraits of the leading participants and new insights into the nature of the Roman military.
A strikingly vivid account of ancient Rome, 69 AD is an original and compelling account of one of the best known but perhaps least understood periods in all Roman history. It will engage and enlighten all readers with a love for the tumultuous soap opera that was Roman political life.
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