I, Claudius

Robert Graves’ I, Claudius is my newest audio book selection. The same narrator as in Green¡¯s The Third Man read it. As his heavy British accented voice filled my car, reciting Roman history in that conversation style, it was like listening to Grandpa telling family stories by the dinner table or on the porch in a summer night, under the brilliant stars of Milky Way, recounting the deeds of great men and evil scheme of generals, senators, mothers, sons, tutors, gods¡­

Fascinating.

So far I¡¯m amazed at the similarity between ancient Roman courts and ancient Chinese courts. Especially in terms of treachery, plots of ambitious men and women, and their strong faith in omens and prophesies. However, the one main difference lies in the Roman ideal of a Republic and their misgivings toward Empire and tyranny, their firm belief in liberty and equality among all Romans, those, as far as I remember, never seemed to have crossed the minds of Chinese ruling class. I wonder why.

BBC adaption of I, Claudius
Rome: History

2 thoughts on “I, Claudius

  1. I love Roma as an empire, and love it more when it’s still a republic.

    History of Rome by Livius is unarguably recommendable, though my personal favorite is Appian and Gibbon. I literally brought them with me to Sydney. 😛

    Hi Andreas,
    Thank you so very much for your recommendations. I’m a complete novice regarding Rome History. I’m surprised by the easy-going style of I, Claudius. I’m lucky that it happens to concentrate on Rome’s transition from a Republic to an Empire. I will keep your suggestions in mind in my future readings. 🙂
    Just found this, interesting read. 🙂
  2. Forgive my grammatical error, my mind is always drifting. 😛

    I just noticed you finished Iliad? (Maybe also Odyssey?) Why not give Aeneid a try? It’s utterly beautiful!

    Jean’s Reply:
    [Blush] Iliad has been the book I am TRYING to read for the longest time… :p What is Aeneid? I better look into it. THANK YOU! 🙂
    ha! Stumbled into Vergil! 🙂 So that is Aeneid! Cool!

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