Palatine: An Alternative History of the CaesarsPeter Stothard
This is a Roman history with a cast of new men and newly dominant women, those reviled too often in the past as flatterers and gluttons, uppity slaves and former slaves, lawyers-for-hire, chancer arrivistes and unhinged party animals. Palatine uncovers the lives of the Vitellii, perhaps Rome's least admired imperial clan, of Publius, an old-fashioned soldier snared in the politics of the new age, of Lucius, an exceptionally skilled and sycophantic courtier, and of Aulus a genial sluggard whose prowess at the table carries him all the way to the throne before collapsing his family's reputation for ever. Few now remember them. Yet in their creeping ascent to the very summit of the imperial hierarchy lie neglected truths about a lasting legacy of Rome.