Mary Beard shines her spotlight on the emperors who ruled the Roman empire, from Julius Caesar (assassinated 44 BCE) to Alexander Severus (assassinated 235 CE). ‘Emperor of Rome’ is not your usual chronological account of Roman rulers, one after another: the mad Caligula, the monster Nero, the philosopher Marcus Aurelius. Beard asks bigger questions: What power did emperors actually have? Was the Roman palace really so bloodstained? ‘Emperor of Rome’ goes directly to the heart of Roman (and our own) fantasies about what it was to be Roman, offering an account of Roman history as it has never been presented before.