Suetonius Paulinus was commissioned by Nero to govern the unstable province of Britain. But the main objective and what is presented here as a major factor in the fall of Rome, was to begin the expansion of territories beyond those already held. These lands held the vital ores needed to refurbish Roman coffers suffering from gold drainage to the East. With this in mind, Paulinus (here writing his memoirs) spent years (recorded month by month) trying to control a ship of state that was sailing into a maelstrom. The emphasis is on the political and administrative maneuvers needed to govern a conquered province--and to launch a surprise attack. And if you think red tape, bribery and bickering are establishment now! Then there's the war--and the predictable revolt against the Roman forces dragging on and on as Nero becomes more inconsistent in his policy. Paulinus is finally recalled in subtle disgrace as Nero gives up rule of Britannia altogether as a ""wearisome burden, a bore and vexation."" Very competently, if not dynamically, written as a period piece. But this particular time zone seems indeed far removed from the twentieth century reader.