Written as an autobiography, I, Claudius tells the tale of the nobleman Claudius, who is abhorred for his physical infirmities and viewed by his family as little more than a stuttering fool. The mask of idiocy ultimately serves him well: viewed as too insignificant to bother with, Claudius quietly survives the cruelties, intrigues, and bloody purges of the imperial Roman dynasties. From the sidelines, he observes the reigns of its emperors, from the wise Augustus and his wicked wife Livia to the sadistic Tiberius and the excessive Caligula. This historically accurate and vastly entertaining novel paints a vivid picture of the ancient world in all its madness and debauchery, highlighting the complexities and politics inherent in Empire-building. First published in 1934, it endures as one of literature's most celebrated and compelling historical novels.