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One of the most controversial of all works to survive from ancient Rome, the Augustan History is our main source of information about the Roman emperors from 117 to 284 AD. Written in the late fourth century by an anonymous author, it is an enigmatic combination of truth, invention and humour. This volume contains the first half of the History, and includes biographies of every emperor from Hadrian to Heliogabalus - among them the godlike Marcus Antonius and his grotesquely corrupt son Commodus. The History contains many fictitious (but highly entertaining) anecdotes about the depravity of the emperors, as the author blends historical fact and faked documents to present our most complete - albeit unreliable - account of the later Roman Caesars.

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