Taylor & Francis Publishing Marcus Aemilius Lepidus was a significant force in Roman political, religious and military affairs during the late Republic. However, in most accounts he is dismissed quickly, made sport of, or bitterly attacked. Through a careful examination of Lepidus's career, Richard Weigel has shown why many of the sources are hostile and how these have created an inaccurate assessment of Lepidus's role in history. Weigel shows that Lepidus was a competent administrator and that he was consistent in serving the Republic's needs as he understood them.
Blackwell North Amer Marcus Aemilius Lepidus was a close associate of Julius Caesar: he replaced Caesar as pontifex maximus and ruled as one of the supremely powerful Second Triumvirate. However, in most accounts the triumvir is dismissed quickly, made sport of or bitterly attacked. This book presents the first biography ever of this crucial figure and offers a reassessment of both his competence and his character through a careful examination of his life and career. Professor Weigel shows why the comments of Cicero and the imperial historians about him were so negative and explains why the traditional assessment of the man is inaccurate. Through a survey of what historians and authors have said about Lepidus in various periods, Weigel confirms the lasting effects of the comments of Cicero and the other historians and demonstrates how the personal views of certain writers, such as Shakespeare and Montesquieu, have predominated over others who have provided more moderate assessments. Lepidus - The Tarnished Triumvir outlines in vivid detail what Lepidus' social, political and personal lives were like. The actions of Caesar, Brutus, Antony and Octavian are interpreted from Lepidus' perspective. Weigel thus establishes that Lepidus was competent and successful both as a soldier and as an adminstrator and utterly consistent in his view of the Republic's needs. So, Lepidus - The Tarnished Triumvir will certainly fill a considerable gap in the material on the Roman Republic and the triumviral period. It will appeal to all Roman historians.