Robert Graves' stand-alone sequel to I, Claudius poses significant philosophical and sociological questions about power and people. As Rome begins its inevitable decline, the stuttering, crippled, bookish nobleman Claudius has somehow survived the purges and achieved the throne. Told in the style of a secret diary, Claudius the God chronicles his experiences as a ruler, his musings on philosophical matters regarding the governance of Rome, and the nature of managing a general populous. Raising intelligent and thought-provoking issues, the likeable yet formidable Claudius reflects on whether his society would benefit from practices such as free rule and the possibilities of reviving the Republic. Peopled by compelling historical figures such as his wife, the debauched Empress Messalina; the scheming, roguish Herod Agrippa; and the devious Empress Livia, Claudius the God combines first-rate historical fiction with a timely discussion of the virtues of freedom versus the stability of centralized government.