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Summary

Dynasty tells the story of Rome's first dynasty of emperors, from its establishment by Augustus Caesar in the last decades of the first century BC to its final, florid extinction less than a century later. The line of autocrats known to historians as the 'Julio-Claudians' remains to this day a byword for depravity.

The brilliance of its allure and the blood-steeped shadows cast by its crimes still haunt the public imagination. When people think of imperial Rome, it is the cities of Tiberius and Caligula, of Claudius and Nero that are most likely to come into their minds.

Dynasty Tom Holland provides not only a compelling history of this fascinating family but a portrait of the entire Roman world.

©2015 Tom Holland (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"A compelling detective story of the highest order, In the Shadow of the Sword is also a dazzlingly colourful journey into the world of late antiquity. Every bit as thrilling a narrative history as Holland's previous works, [it] is also a profoundly important book." ( Sunday Times on In the Shadow of the Sword)
"Written with flamboyant elegance and energetic intensity, Holland delivers a brilliant tour de force of revisionist scholarship and thrilling storytelling with a bloodspattered cast of swashbuckling tyrants, nymphomaniacal empresses and visionary prophets.... Unputdownable. " (Simon Sebag Montefiore, The Times, on In the Shadow of the Sword)

What listeners say about Dynasty

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Brilliant

Fantastic book. Narration excellent, but Tom Holland's understanding and bringing to life of this period is mesmerizing!

4 people found this helpful

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Very Good

Very detailed and well written book. There was a lot in this history that is not generally known because most Roman history covers 900 year, but this covers only the short period of the Julio Claudio dynasty in a lot of depth.

4 people found this helpful

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As always, Tom Holland brings history to life.

A hugely enjoyable listen. I thought I knew the narrative of these characters and their lives inside out.
I was wrong.
Tom Holland provides rich context, wonderful insights and fresh perspectives.

3 people found this helpful

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Imperial grandeur

Magnificent in scope, it paints a picture of the time - little more than a century -in which Rome conquered the world, while at the same time corroding its very core, Its moral rectitude and contempt for the rule of monarchy.

Holland paints this on a broad canvas encompassing everything from Ovid’s revulsion at the uncouth manners of the hinterlands to the gaudy excesses of Tiberius’ Capri or Nero’s rebuilt Rome, with a truly stunning sense of the telling detail

Holland has a marvellous gift for psychological insight, which enables him to judge the outrageous acts of some of these emperors both with the high moral standards of ancient republic and with the perverted sense of showmanship that they used to justify their deeds

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Great reflection on the age of house of Caesar

As usual Tom Holland delivers! Great review of the tumultuous years after the ascention of Augustus, based largely on the personalities ot the Caesars.

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Excellent reading, great book

Loved the book, narrative history at it's finest. really puts you in the time period. narrator was perfect throughout. read or listen to Rubicon first, leads perfectly into this one.

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Splendid account

If you could sum up Dynasty in three words, what would they be?

A very enjoyable audio book

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dynasty?

I was unaware of the sweep and influence of the roman emperors

What does Mark Meadows bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

A very enjoyable reading

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. I like to listen to audio books as I complete other tasks

Any additional comments?

I recommend this audio book to other listeners who love history

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Gripping history with superb narration

This was a gripping and compellingly narrated audio book. Narrative history at its best.

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fantastic book and very well narrated

Easy to listen to and very engaging. I have been a massive fan of Tom Holland since Rubicon. Recommend this book!

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Fascinating and Accessible

Easy to read and genuinely gripping, it's a tale of a truly astounding dynasty which I'm very glad to have read!

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  • Canuck2016
  • 30-03-18

Great Storytelling

Tom Holland has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Roman history and a sharp eye for luscious and telling detail. His portraits of Roman emperors, from Julius Cesar to Nero, are compelling and the glimpses of Roman culture highly entertaining.

I learn a lot of history from Dynasty. But I recommend it because Holland tells a great story and the narration is superb.