While the monarchy established by Caesar Augustus has attracted much scholarly attention, far less has been said about the reemergence of the old nobility at that time after years of civil war. One clear reason for this has been the lack of reliable evidence from the period. This book goes backward to the early years of the first century B.C. and forward to the reign of Nero in search of documentation of the Augustan aristocracy. Syme draws particularly on the Annals of Tacitus to cover 150 years in the history of Roman families, chronicling their splendor and success, as well as their subsequent fall within the embrace of the dynasty.
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