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How to Be a Bad Emperor

Nonfiction: History, Ancient
Unabridged   4 hour(s)
Publication date: 03/24/2020

How to Be a Bad Emperor

An Ancient Guide to Truly Terrible Leaders

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781696600187


What would Caligula do? What the worst Roman emperors can teach us about how not to lead.

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Product Description

If recent history has taught us anything, it's that sometimes the best guide to leadership is the negative example. But that insight is hardly new. Nearly 2,000 years ago, Suetonius wrote Lives of the Caesars, perhaps the greatest negative leadership book of all time. He was ideally suited to write about terrible political leaders; after all, he was also the author of Famous Prostitutes and Words of Insult, both sadly lost. In How to Be a Bad Emperor, Josiah Osgood provides crisp new translations of Suetonius's briskly paced, darkly comic biographies of the Roman emperors Julius Caesar, Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero. Entertaining and shocking, the stories of these ancient anti-role models show how power inflames leaders' worst tendencies, causing almost incalculable damage.

How to Be a Bad Emperor is both a gleeful romp through some of the nastiest bits of Roman history and a perceptive account of leadership gone monstrously awry. We meet Caesar, using his aunt's funeral to brag about his descent from gods and kings—and hiding his bald head with a comb-over and a laurel crown; Tiberius, neglecting public affairs in favor of wine, perverse sex, tortures, and executions; the insomniac sadist Caligula, flaunting his skill at cruel put-downs; and the matricidal Nero, indulging his mania for public performance.

Author Bio

Suetonius (c. 69–140 AD) was a historian, administrator, and writer in the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire.