I recently read in Susan Bauer’s book, The History of the Ancient World, the story of how Octavian became Augustus Caesar and what happened later. Augustus is familiar to me from the PBS series I, Claudius, where he is depicted as an appealing grandfather played by the chubby, genial actor Brian Blessed (really!). He tries to be gruff, but we can see he is an old softy underneath.
Bauer’s book burst my bubble. Not only was he as ruthless as Tony Soprano, an illustration of his statue shows him to be the spitting image of today’s Vladimir Putin, mean, close-set eyes and all. They could be clones.