Roman emperors

How to tell your Roman emperors apart

Rising professors do well to be controversial if they wish to be invited to contribute to mainstream media. But the elder professor, lauded, loved and telly-tastic, has the privilege of swerving controversy without losing the limelight. And so Mary Beard gives us this rich disquisition on the Caesars’ visual representation (and misrepresentation), from swapped plinths to forged heads. Handsomely illustrated and brightly ringing with Beard’s enjoyment and scholarship, the book doesn’t inflame debate but brings it down a few degrees. While her publicist might have preferred more engagement with today’s ‘sculpture wars’ (touted on the dust jacket but not mentioned within), Beard provides no ammo for either side, but takes