'I implore our citizens and allies that when I shall have departed this life they will honor my deeds and name with their praise and kind remembrance.' Vain hope! In death, as in life, political intrigues, family hatreds and betrayals, and sexual passions and jealousies combine with a succession of personal tragedies to destroy the character and good name of Tiberius, the brilliant stepson and successor of the deified Augustus. The 'ablest of all the sovereigns the empire ever had' surges to life with all his stiff pride, mordant wit and penetrating intelligence in this adventure-packed tale of love, war, political double-dealing, partisan struggle and brazen treachery. The hand of fate lays waste all rivals, leaving Tiberius the reluctant Caesar, burdened by the twin griefs of having to give up the woman he loves in order to wed Augustus's licentious daughter, and the bitter humiliation of having been the choice of last resort to govern Rome.
While his military prowess shields the empire, his reputation and political authority are under incessant assault and treachery, not only from enemies but even his most trusted lieutenant, Sejanus, in this epic novel of an age whose events often mirror those of the present. Tiberius - Reluctant Caesar depicts a world whose political duplicity, cynical manipulations, fanatical hatreds, public gullibility and sexual intrigues are difficult to distinguish from our own.