ANTHONY BIRLEY MARCUS AURELIUS PDF

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Marcus Aurelius: a biography. Hardcover, This excellent study is a substantially rewritten and updated version of the Marcus Aurelius brought out in Birley himself 9 inventories the differences, and there is no need to consume space with them here.

First, full marks to Birley for continuing to write imperial biographies his Septimius Severus the African Emperor, issued in , is another jewel in the face of some absurd attacks on the genre from distinguished quarters. Syme Tacitus 91, , in two of his considerations of Suetonius, pronounced that "biography offers the easy approach to history, and some go no further than biography," capping this with the gibe "if biography is cheap and easy, so is edification.

And Birley too has spent much time on the HA apart from full discussions in the present volume, there is his partial translation in the Penguin Lives of the Later Caesars without suffering such revulsion. Fergus Millar IRS 56 [], , in the course of a negative verdict against imperial biography, asserted that "neither the actions of an emperor nor the politics of a particular reign can be meaningfully studied until the whole social context of the Imperial power has been examined over a substantial period, and perhaps not even then.

Meanwhile, the debate continues-as docs the production of imperial biographies. Apart from well known work on Julius Caesar and Augustus, I can think of at least six twentieth century studies of Nero, whilst Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Titus, and Hadrian have also received their meed. But where, 0 where, is the anglophone Life of Domitian, one of the most important books still not written? Birley's first chapter provides an admirable and succinct account of the age of the Antonines.

He docs well 11 to deflate Gibbon's misleading claim that the adoption of the best man was a new principle of imperial succession, by pointing to the dearth of natural sons and the family relationships connecting Trajan and Hadrian, Pius and Marcus.

One could go further in exposing Gibbon's false dichotomy between the second century and the first: think of the adoptions of Octavian, Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero, not to mention Galba's recourse to Piso. Birley does adumbrate some of the first-century material , but Galba is missing and the brisk disposal of Dornitian's "reign of terror" is a tralatician view that simply enhances my earlier pica for a proper study of that much-maligned ruler.

One prolegomenon to this is the thought-provoking "The Character of Dornitian," by K. Waters in Phoenix 18 49, altogether ignored by Birley. There is something to be said for Birley's comparing 23 of the Antonine age to the eighteenth century, but the much-maligned Victorian period is equall y d propos, especially in terms of the contrast between public respectability and private lives.

Although it provides him with a good joke 24 , Birley rather overdoes Hadrian's beard as a proclamation of Hellenic allegiance. Fear or assassination by a barber or for once the lIA's explanation Iladr. After all, as Birley himself later observes, Verus shaved off his beard to please a girl friend; nor are all the Romans who went unshaved before the epiphany of barbers at Rome about B.

Hadrian's taste for the poems of Antimachus was not quite so zany as Birley 24 thinks; Quintilian On the other Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

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Marcus Aurelius by Anthony Birley

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Marcus Aurelius: A Biography

Marcus Aurelius: a biography. Hardcover, This excellent study is a substantially rewritten and updated version of the Marcus Aurelius brought out in Birley himself 9 inventories the differences, and there is no need to consume space with them here. First, full marks to Birley for continuing to write imperial biographies his Septimius Severus the African Emperor, issued in , is another jewel in the face of some absurd attacks on the genre from distinguished quarters. Syme Tacitus 91, , in two of his considerations of Suetonius, pronounced that "biography offers the easy approach to history, and some go no further than biography," capping this with the gibe "if biography is cheap and easy, so is edification. And Birley too has spent much time on the HA apart from full discussions in the present volume, there is his partial translation in the Penguin Lives of the Later Caesars without suffering such revulsion.

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