Guarding the Caesars is the story of the survival of the Flavian emperors in Rome. The dynasty produced three of the most famous and productive rulers in the Roman Empire. Vespasian built the Colosseum. Titus won the Great Jewish War of 66–70, and his men were responsible for the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Domitian, perhaps Rome’s greatest builder, is responsible for many of the buildings we connect with Rome today. He was without a doubt among the most controversial of all Roman rulers and the subject of much debate still today.
The Flavian dynasty begins with the death of the four successors to the Julio-Claudians and ends with the dramatic assassination of Domitian in his own palace. In between, there are numerous attempts to kill the sitting emperor. Seventy-five percent of all Roman emperors died of assassination—the highest rate of any monarchy in the world. This is the story of how the emperors’ security services tried to keep three of them alive.
Professor Emerita Rose Mary Sheldon taught at The Virginia Military Institute for twenty-five years where she held the Henry King Burgwyn, Jr., Chair in Military History. Her books include Ambush! Surprise Attack in Ancient Greek Warfare; Rome’s Wars in Parthia: Blood in the Sand, Spies of the Bible; Intelligence Activities in Ancient Rome: Trust in the Gods, but Verify; and Kill Caesar!: Assassination in the Early Roman Empire.
In this book, Sheldon continues with the question - why were so many Roman emperors assassinated?, focusing on the need for security in the next dynasty of emperors and why that security did not always work. Utilizing not only evidence from the works of ancient authors, but also evidence from inscriptions, coin legends, and imperial sculpture and architecture.This new and important focus makes a significant contribution to our understanding of Roman history.
A new and fascinating perspective on the Flavian regime, and the best book on the dynasty for decades.