This fresh and engaging book looks at each of the Roman emperors from Julius Caesar in 44BC to Romulus Augustulus in AD 476, illuminating not only the manner of their deaths but what their final days tell us about their lives. We also hear how the most powerful position in the history of the Western world held a permanent appeal, despite its perils, with eager candidates constantly coming forward to seize the throne.
Very few of the Roman emperors died a natural death. The insane Caligula was murdered after leaving the theatre; Caracalla while he was relieving himself. Caesar was stabbed twenty three times and Otho was dragged into the Tiber with a flesh-hook. However great an emperor's power, danger was ever present.
Emperors Don't Die in Bed provides a clear history of the imperial succession as well as a compelling depiction of the intrigue and drama of Roman imperial politics.
Fik Meijer is professor of Ancient History at the University of Amsterdam, translator and author. His most recent publication is St. Paul's Seavoyage to Rome.