The Reach of Rome
In this unconventional and accessible history, Italian best-seller Alberto Angela literally follows the money to map the reach and power of the Roman Empire. To see a map of the Roman Empire at the height of its territorial expansion is to be struck by its size, stretching from Scotland to Kuwait, from the Sahara to the North Sea. What was life like in the Empire, and how were such diverse peoples and places united under one rule? The Reach of Rome explores these questions through an ingenious lens: the path of a single coin as it changes hands and traverses the vast realms of the empire in the year 115. Admired in his native Italy for his ability to bring history to life through narrative, Alberto Angela opens up the ancient world to readers who have felt intimidated by the category or put off by dry historical tomes. By focusing on aspects of daily life so often overlooked in more academic treatments, The Reach of Rome travels back in time and shows us a world that was perhaps not very different from our own. And by following the path of a coin through the streams of commerce, we can touch every corner of that world and its people, from legionnaires and senators to prostitutes and slaves. Through lively and detailed vignettes all based on archeological and historical evidence, Angela reveals the vast Roman world and its remarkable modernity, and in so doing he reinforces the relevance of the ancient world for a new generation of readers.
The Reach of Rome
The Roman Empire was one of the most powerful forces in history. However, few people realize that this vast empire was guarded by one frontier, a series of natural and man-made barriers, including Hadrian's Wall. It is impossible to have a true understanding of the Roman Empire without first investigating the scope of this amazing frontier. The boundary ran for roughly 4,000 miles--from Britain to Morocco via the Rhine, the Danube, the Euphrates, the Syrian Desert, and the Saharan fringes; reinforced by walls, ditches, palisades, watchtowers, and forts. It absorbed virtually the whole imperial army, enclosed three and a half million square miles, and defended forty provinces (now thirty countries) and perhaps eighty million Roman subjects. In protecting the empire the frontier made a substantial contribution to the Pax Romana and ultimately to preserving the inheritance of future Europe. Yet this static mode of defense ran counter to Rome's tradition of mobile warfare and her taste for glory, born of centuries of conquest. The emperors' choice of a passive strategy promoted lassitude and conservatism, allowing the military initiative slowly to pass into barbarian hands. The Reach of Rome is the first book to describe the entire length of the amazing imperial frontier. It traces the political forces that created it and portrays those who commanded and manned it, as well as those against whom it was held. It relates the frontier's rise, pre-eminence, crises, and collapse and assesses its meaning for history and its legacies to the post-Roman world. Finally, it also tells the story of the explorers who rediscovered its lost works and describes the nature and location of the surviving remains. Includes thirty beautifully designed maps.
The Rise of Rome
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE KANSAS CITY STAR From Anthony Everitt, the bestselling author of acclaimed biographies of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian, comes a riveting, magisterial account of Rome and its remarkable ascent from an obscure agrarian backwater to the greatest empire the world has ever known. Emerging as a market town from a cluster of hill villages in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., Rome grew to become the ancient world’s preeminent power. Everitt fashions the story of Rome’s rise to glory into an erudite page-turner filled with lasting lessons for our time. He chronicles the clash between patricians and plebeians that defined the politics of the Republic. He shows how Rome’s shrewd strategy of offering citizenship to her defeated subjects was instrumental in expanding the reach of her burgeoning empire. And he outlines the corrosion of constitutional norms that accompanied Rome’s imperial expansion, as old habits of political compromise gave way, leading to violence and civil war. In the end, unimaginable wealth and power corrupted the traditional virtues of the Republic, and Rome was left triumphant everywhere except within its own borders. Everitt paints indelible portraits of the great Romans—and non-Romans—who left their mark on the world out of which the mighty empire grew: Cincinnatus, Rome’s George Washington, the very model of the patrician warrior/aristocrat; the brilliant general Scipio Africanus, who turned back a challenge from the Carthaginian legend Hannibal; and Alexander the Great, the invincible Macedonian conqueror who became a role model for generations of would-be Roman rulers. Here also are the intellectual and philosophical leaders whose observations on the art of government and “the good life” have inspired every Western power from antiquity to the present: Cato the Elder, the famously incorruptible statesman who spoke out against the decadence of his times, and Cicero, the consummate orator whose championing of republican institutions put him on a collision course with Julius Caesar and whose writings on justice and liberty continue to inform our political discourse today. Rome’s decline and fall have long fascinated historians, but the story of how the empire was won is every bit as compelling. With The Rise of Rome, one of our most revered chroniclers of the ancient world tells that tale in a way that will galvanize, inform, and enlighten modern readers. Praise for The Rise of Rome “Fascinating history and a great read.”—Chicago Sun-Times “An engrossing history of a relentlessly pugnacious city’s 500-year rise to empire.”—Kirkus Reviews “Rome’s history abounds with remarkable figures. . . . Everitt writes for the informed and the uninformed general reader alike, in a brisk, conversational style, with a modern attitude of skepticism and realism.”—The Dallas Morning News “[A] lively and readable account . . . Roman history has an uncanny ability to resonate with contemporary events.”—Maclean’s “Elegant, swift and faultless as an introduction to his subject.”—The Spectator “[An] engaging work that will captivate and inform from beginning to end.”—Booklist
The Bishop of Rome in Late Antiquity
At various times over the past millennium bishops of Rome have claimed a universal primacy of jurisdiction over all Christians and a superiority over civil authority. Reactions to these claims have shaped the modern world profoundly. Did the Roman bishop make such claims in the millennium prior to that? The essays in this volume from international experts in the field examine the bishop of Rome in late antiquity from the time of Constantine at the start of the fourth century to the death of Gregory the Great at the beginning of the seventh. These were important periods as Christianity underwent enormous transformation in a time of change. The essays concentrate on how the holders of the office perceived and exercised their episcopal responsibilities and prerogatives within the city or in relation to both civic administration and other churches in other areas, particularly as revealed through the surviving correspondence. With several of the contributors examining the same evidence from different perspectives, this volume canvasses a wide range of opinions about the nature of papal power in the world of late antiquity.
Rome and Environs
This superb guide brings the work of Filippo Coarelli, one of the most widely published and well-known scholars of Roman topography, archeology and art, to a broad English-language audience. Conveniently organized by walking tours and illustrated throughout with clear maps, drawings, and plans, Rome and Environs: An Archaeological Guide covers all of the major, and an unparalleled number of minor, ancient sites in the city, and, unlike most other guides of Rome, includes major and many minor sites within easy reach of the city, such as Ostia Antica, Palestrina, Tivoli, and the many areas of interest along the ancient Roman roads. An essential resource for tourists interested in a deeper understanding of Rome's classical remains, it is also the ideal book for students and scholars approaching the ancient history of one of the world's most fascinating cities. • Covers all the major sites including the Capitoline, the Roman Forum, the Imperial Fora, the Palatine Hill, the Valley of the Colosseum, the Esquiline, the Caelian, the Quirinal, and the Campus Martius. • Discusses important clusters of sites-one on the area surrounding Circus Maximus and the other in the vicinity of the Trastevere, including the Aventine and the Vatican. • Covers the history and development of the city walls and aqueducts. • Follows major highways leading outside of the city to important and fascinating sites in the periphery of Rome. • Features 189 maps, drawings, and diagrams, and an appendix on building materials and techniques. • Includes an updated and expanded bibliography for students and scholars of Ancient Rome.
Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome
While the remains of its massive aqueducts serve as tangible reminders of Rome’s efforts to control its supply of drinking water, there are scant physical reminders that other waters sometimes raged out of control. In fact, floods were simply a part of life in ancient Rome, where proximity to the Tiber left a substantial part of the city vulnerable to the river's occasional transgressions. Here, in the first book-length treatment of the impact of floods on an ancient city, Gregory S. Aldrete draws upon a diverse range of scientific and cultural data to develop a rich and detailed account of flooding in Rome throughout the classical period. Aldrete explores in detail the overflowing river’s destructive effects, drawing from ancient and modern written records and literary accounts, analyses of the topography and hydrology of the Tiber drainage basin, visible evidence on surviving structures, and the known engineering methods devised to limit the reach of rising water. He discusses the strategies the Romans employed to alleviate or prevent flooding, their social and religious attitudes toward floods, and how the threat of inundation influenced the development of the city's physical and economic landscapes. -- Brian Fagan
Mistress of Rome
The first in an unforgettable historical saga from the USA Today bestselling author of The Alice Network. “So gripping, your hands are glued to the book, and so vivid it burns itself into your mind’s eye and stays with you long after you turn the final page.”—Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author First-century Rome: a world of depravity, blood, and secrets. The ruthless and enigmatic Emperor Domitian watches over all—and fixes his gaze on one humble young woman... Thea is a slave girl from Judaea, purchased as a toy for the spiteful heiress Lepida Pollia. Now she has infuriated her mistress by capturing the attention of Rome’s newest and most savage gladiator—and though his love brings Thea the first happiness of her life, their affair ends quickly when a jealous Lepida tears them apart. Remaking herself as a singer for Rome’s aristocrats, Thea unwittingly attracts another admirer: the charismatic Emperor of Rome. But the passions of an all-powerful man come with a heavy price, and Thea finds herself fighting for both her soul and her sanity. Many have tried to destroy the Emperor: a vengeful gladiator, an upright senator, a tormented soldier, a Vestal Virgin. But in the end, the life of Domitian lies in the hands of one woman: the Emperor’s mistress.
A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome
This voyage of exploration chronicles twenty-four hours in the life of a Roman patrician, beginning at dawn on an ordinary day in the year 115 A.D., with Imperial Rome at the height of its power.
Rome s Last Citizen
"Cato, history's most famous foe of authoritarian power, was the pivotal political man of Rome; an inspiration to our Founding Fathers; and a cautionary figure for our times. He loved Roman republicanism, but saw himself as too principled for the mere politics that might have saved it. His life and lessons are urgently relevant in the harshly divided America—and world—of today. With erudition and verve, Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni turn their life of Cato into the most modern of biographies, a blend of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire and Game Change."—Howard Fineman, Editorial Director of The Huffington Post Media Group, NBC and MSNBC News Analyst, and New York Times bestselling author of The Thirteen American Arguments "A truly outstanding piece of work. What most impresses me is the book's ability to reach through the confusing dynastic politics of the late Roman Republic to present social realities in a way intelligible to the modern reader. Rome's Last Citizen entertainingly restores to life the stoic Roman who inspired George Washington, Patrick Henry and Nathan Hale. This is more than a biography: it is a study of how a reputation lasted through the centuries from the end of one republic to the start of another."—David Frum, DailyBeast columnist, former White House speech writer, and New York Times bestselling author of The Right Man Marcus Porcius Cato: aristocrat who walked barefoot and slept on the ground with his troops, political heavyweight who cultivated the image of a Stoic philosopher, a hardnosed defender of tradition who presented himself as a man out of the sacred Roman past—and the last man standing when Rome's Republic fell to tyranny. His blood feud with Caesar began in the chamber of the Senate, played out on the battlefields of a world war, and ended when he took his own life rather than live under a dictator. Centuries of thinkers, writers, and artists have drawn inspiration from Cato's Stoic courage. Saint Augustine and the early Christians were moved and challenged by his example. Dante, in his Divine Comedy, chose Cato to preside over the souls who arrive in Purgatory. George Washington so revered him that he staged a play on Cato's life to revive the spirit of his troops at Valley Forge. Now, in Rome's Last Citizen, Rob Goodman and Jimmy Soni deliver the first modern biography of this stirring figure. Cato's life is a gripping tale that resonates deeply with our own turbulent times. He grappled with terrorists, a debt crisis, endemic political corruption, and a huge gulf between the elites and those they governed. In many ways, Cato was the ultimate man of principle—he even chose suicide rather than be used by Caesar as a political pawn. But Cato was also a political failure: his stubbornness sealed his and Rome's defeat, and his lonely end casts a shadow on the recurring hope that a singular leader can transcend the dirty business of politics. Rome's Last Citizen is a timeless story of an uncompromising man in a time of crisis and his lifelong battle to save the Republic.