The emperor Gaius ('Caligula') was assassinated in January A.D.41. Since he was the last of the Julii, and he left no heir, it seemed that the dynasty of Caesar and Augustus was finished.
Accordingly, the Republic was restored, but then a coup d'etat by the Praetorian Guard put Claudius in power . . . the dramatic events of these few days are a crucial turning-point in Roman history - the moment when the military basis of the Principate was first made explicit.
Tacitus' account has not survived, and Suetonius and Dio Cassisu offer no adequate substitute. Fortunately, the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus chose to insert into his 'Jewish Antiquities' - as an example of the providence of God - a detailed narrative of the assassination plot and its aftermath taken from contemporary and well-informed Roman sources.
This new edition of T.P. Wiseman's acclaimed Death of an Emperor (his translation and commentary of Josephus' account of Caligula's assassination) includes an updated bibliography, revised introduction, translation and commentary. Appendix 1 on the Augustan Palatine has been completely revised to take account of recent archaeological information.
T. P. Wiseman is Emeritus Professor of Classics at Exeter University and a Fellow of the British Academy. His published books include Catullan Questions (1969), New Men in the Roman Senate (1971), Cinna the Poet (1974), Catullus and his World (1985), Roman Political Life (1985), and Remembering the Roman People (2009). And on the study of Roman historiography, and from there to the myth-history of early Rome: see Clio's Cosmetics (1979), Historiography and Imagination (1994), Remus: A Roman Myth (1995), Roman Drama and Roman History (1998), The Myths of Rome (2004), which won the American Philological Association's Goodwin Award of Merit, and Unwritten Rome (2008)
Illustrations Acknowledgements Introduction Abbreviations and Select Bibliography Flavius Josephus, Antiquitates Iudaicae XIX 1-273 I Preface II The Conspiracy III The Assassination IV Panic on the Palatine V The Republic Restored VI Obituary VII The Claudius Coup Note on the Text Commentary Appendices: 1 The Augustan Palatine 2 Cluvius Rufus Index of Names