SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 1631491253

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 9020

A sweeping, revisionist history of the Roman Empire from one of our foremost classicists. Ancient Rome was an imposing city even by modern standards, a sprawling imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants, a "mixture of luxury and filth, liberty and exploitation, civic pride and murderous civil war" that served as the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria. Yet how did all this emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? In S.P.Q.R., world-renowned classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even two thousand years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty. From the foundational myth of Romulus and Remus to 212 ce—nearly a thousand years later—when the emperor Caracalla gave Roman citizenship to every free inhabitant of the empire, S.P.Q.R. (the abbreviation of "The Senate and People of Rome") examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries by exploring how the Romans thought of themselves: how they challenged the idea of imperial rule, how they responded to terrorism and revolution, and how they invented a new idea of citizenship and nation. Opening the book in 63 bce with the famous clash between the populist aristocrat Catiline and Cicero, the renowned politician and orator, Beard animates this “terrorist conspiracy,” which was aimed at the very heart of the Republic, demonstrating how this singular event would presage the struggle between democracy and autocracy that would come to define much of Rome’s subsequent history. Illustrating how a classical democracy yielded to a self-confident and self-critical empire, S.P.Q.R. reintroduces us, though in a wholly different way, to famous and familiar characters—Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Augustus, and Nero, among others—while expanding the historical aperture to include those overlooked in traditional histories: the women, the slaves and ex-slaves, conspirators, and those on the losing side of Rome’s glorious conquests. Like the best detectives, Beard sifts fact from fiction, myth and propaganda from historical record, refusing either simple admiration or blanket condemnation. Far from being frozen in marble, Roman history, she shows, is constantly being revised and rewritten as our knowledge expands. Indeed, our perceptions of ancient Rome have changed dramatically over the last fifty years, and S.P.Q.R., with its nuanced attention to class inequality, democratic struggles, and the lives of entire groups of people omitted from the historical narrative for centuries, promises to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come.
Posted in History

SPQR

A History of Ancient Rome

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Faber & Faber

ISBN: 9781846683817

Category: Rome

Page: 606

View: 1770

Sunday Times Top 10 BestsellerShortlisted for a British Book Industry Book of the Year Award 2016The new series Ultimate Rome: Empire Without Limit is on BBC2 nowAncient Rome matters.Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the Rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today.SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists. It explores not only how Rome grew from an insignificant village in central Italy to a power that controlled territory from Spain to Syria, but also how the Romans thought about themselves and their achievements, and why they are still important to us. Covering 1,000 years of history, and casting fresh light on the basics of Roman culture from slavery to running water, as well as exploring democracy, migration, religious controversy, social mobility and exploitation in the larger context of the empire, this is a definitive history of ancient Rome.SPQR is the Romans' own abbreviation for their state: Senatus Populusque Romanus, 'the Senate and People of Rome'.
Posted in Rome

Spqr

A History of Ancient Rome

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781631492228

Category: History

Page: 608

View: 8901

New York Times Bestseller National Book Critics Circle Finalist Wall Street Journal Best Books of 2015 Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015 Economist Books of the Year 2015 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2015 A sweeping, "magisterial" history of the Roman Empire from one of our foremost classicists shows why Rome remains "relevant to people many centuries later" Atlantic). "
Posted in History

Ancient Rome

A Military and Political History

Author: Christopher S. Mackay

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521809184

Category: History

Page: 395

View: 8464

Traces the political and military history of Roman Republic and Empire, from the Italian Iron Age to the last emperor in 476 A.D., examining the link between political institutions and military campaigns, the rise of Christianity, the eventual downfall of the western empire, and other key topics.
Posted in History

Dynasty

The Rise and Fall of the House of Caesar

Author: Tom Holland

Publisher: Anchor

ISBN: 0385537905

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 5997

Author and historian Tom Holland returns to his roots in Roman history and the audience he cultivated with Rubicon—his masterful, witty, brilliantly researched popular history of the fall of the Roman republic—with Dynasty, a luridly fascinating history of the reign of the first five Roman emperors. Dynasty continues Rubicon's story, opening where that book ended: with the murder of Julius Caesar. This is the period of the first and perhaps greatest Roman Emperors and it's a colorful story of rule and ruination, running from the rise of Augustus through to the death of Nero. Holland's expansive history also has distinct shades of I Claudius, with five wonderfully vivid (and in three cases, thoroughly depraved) Emperors—Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero—featured, along with numerous fascinating secondary characters. Intrigue, murder, naked ambition and treachery, greed, gluttony, lust, incest, pageantry, decadence—the tale of these five Caesars continues to cast a mesmerizing spell across the millennia.
Posted in History

Women & Power

A Manifesto

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1782834532

Category: Social Science

Page: 74

View: 6854

Britain's best-known classicist Mary Beard, is also a committed and vocal feminist. With wry wit, she revisits the gender agenda and shows how history has treated powerful women. Her examples range from the classical world to the modern day, from Medusa and Athena to Theresa May and Hillary Clinton. Beard explores the cultural underpinnings of misogyny, considering the public voice of women, our cultural assumptions about women's relationship with power, and how powerful women resist being packaged into a male template. A year on since the advent of #metoo, Beard looks at how the discussions have moved on during this time, and how that intersects with issues of rape and consent, and the stories men tell themselves to support their actions. In trademark Beardian style, using examples ancient and modern, Beard argues, 'it's time for change - and now!' From the author of international bestseller SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome.
Posted in Social Science

A Place of Greater Safety

A Novel

Author: Hilary Mantel

Publisher: Holt Paperbacks

ISBN: 142992280X

Category: Fiction

Page: 768

View: 5614

The story of three young provincials of no great heritage who together helped to destroy a way of life and, in the process, destroyed themselves: Camille Desmoulins, bisexual and beautiful, charming, erratic, untrustworthy; Georges Jacques Danton, hugely but erotically ugly, a brilliant pragmatist who knew how to seize power and use it; and Maximilien Robespierre, "the rabid lamb," who would send his dearest friend to the guillotine. Each, none older than thirty-four, would die by the hand of the very revolution he had helped to bring into being.
Posted in Fiction

Laughter in Ancient Rome

On Joking, Tickling, and Cracking Up

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520287584

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 8298

What made the Romans laugh? Was ancient Rome a carnival, filled with practical jokes and hearty chuckles? Or was it a carefully regulated culture in which the uncontrollable excess of laughter was a force to fear—a world of wit, irony, and knowing smiles? How did Romans make sense of laughter? What role did it play in the world of the law courts, the imperial palace, or the spectacles of the arena? Laughter in Ancient Rome explores one of the most intriguing, but also trickiest, of historical subjects. Drawing on a wide range of Roman writing—from essays on rhetoric to a surviving Roman joke book—Mary Beard tracks down the giggles, smirks, and guffaws of the ancient Romans themselves. From ancient “monkey business” to the role of a chuckle in a culture of tyranny, she explores Roman humor from the hilarious, to the momentous, to the surprising. But she also reflects on even bigger historical questions. What kind of history of laughter can we possibly tell? Can we ever really “get” the Romans’ jokes?
Posted in History

Pompeii

The Life of a Roman Town

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1847650643

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 2762

WINNER OF THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE 2008 'The world's most controversial classicist debunks our movie-style myths about the Roman town with meticulous scholarship and propulsive energy' Laura Silverman, Daily Mail The ruins of Pompeii, buried by an explosion of Vesuvius in 79 CE, offer the best evidence we have of everyday life in the Roman empire. This remarkable book rises to the challenge of making sense of those remains, as well as exploding many myths: the very date of the eruption, probably a few months later than usually thought; or the hygiene of the baths which must have been hotbeds of germs; or the legendary number of brothels, most likely only one; or the massive death count, maybe less than ten per cent of the population. An extraordinary and involving portrait of an ancient town, its life and its continuing re-discovery, by Britain's favourite classicist.
Posted in History

SPQR: A Roman Miscellany

Author: Anthony Everitt

Publisher: Head of Zeus

ISBN: 1781855684

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 4210

SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus. A moreishly entertaining and richly informative miscellany of facts about Rome and the Roman world. Do you know to what use the Romans put the excrement of the kingfisher? Or why a dinner party invitation from the emperor Domitian was such a terrifying prospect? Or why Roman women smelt so odd? The answers to these questions can be found in SPQR, a compendium of extraordinary facts and anecdotes about ancient Rome and its Empire. Its 500-odd entries range across every area of Roman life and society, from the Empress Livia's cure for tonsillitis to the most reliable Roman methods of contraception.
Posted in History

Augustus

First Emperor of Rome

Author: Adrian Goldsworthy

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300210078

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 624

View: 4424

Caesar Augustus’ story, one of the most riveting in western history, is filled with drama and contradiction, risky gambles and unexpected success. He began as a teenage warlord, whose only claim to power was as the heir of the murdered Julius Caesar. Mark Antony dubbed him “a boy who owes everything to a name,” but in the years to come the youth outmaneuvered all the older and more experienced politicians and was the last man standing in 30 BC. Over the next half century he reinvented himself as a servant of the state who gave Rome peace and stability, and created a new system of government—the Principate or rule of an emperor. In this highly anticipated biography Goldsworthy puts his deep knowledge of ancient sources to full use, recounting the events of Augustus’ long life in greater detail than ever before. Goldsworthy pins down the man behind the myths: a consummate manipulator, propagandist, and showman, both generous and ruthless. Under Augustus’ rule the empire prospered, yet his success was never assured and the events of his life unfolded with exciting unpredictability. Goldsworthy captures the passion and savagery, the public image and private struggles of the real man whose epic life continues to influence western history.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

A History of the Roman Republic

Author: Klaus Bringmann

Publisher: Polity

ISBN: 0745633714

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 6453

In this new and authoritative history of the Roman republic, distinguished historian Klaus Bringmann traces the rise of a small city state near the Tiber estuary into a power that controlled the Italian peninsula and created the final Empire of antiquity, an Empire that was to become both the most enduring in the ancient world and to have the most far-reaching consequences for posterity. Whilst this book is chronologically organized, giving the reader a clear sense of the historical progress and dynamics of Roman republican history, it also offers a coherent and authoritative overview of the culture, economics, religion and military might of the Roman empire, presented in an original and stimulating way. Thoroughly referenced and illustrated throughout, with a wealth of primary sources from great Roman writers such as Cicero and Plutarch, A History of the Roman Republic will be essential reading for university students in history and classical studies. It will also appeal to a wider audience of general readers who are interested in the history of the Ancient world and its legacy.
Posted in History

The Roman Triumph

Author: Mary Beard

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 9780674020597

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 6810

A radical reexamination of the most extraordinary of ancient ceremonies, this book explores the magnificence of the Roman Triumph--but also its darker side, as it prompted the Romans to question as well as celebrate military glory. This richly illustrated work is a testament to the profound importance of the triumph in Roman culture--and for monarchs and generals ever since.
Posted in History

The Storm Before the Storm

The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic

Author: Mike Duncan

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610397223

Category: History

Page: 352

View: 7003

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The creator of the award-winning podcast series The History of Rome and Revolutions brings to life the bloody battles, political machinations, and human drama that set the stage for the fall of the Roman Republic. The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. Beginning as a small city-state in central Italy, Rome gradually expanded into a wider world filled with petty tyrants, barbarian chieftains, and despotic kings. Through the centuries, Rome's model of cooperative and participatory government remained remarkably durable and unmatched in the history of the ancient world. In 146 BC, Rome finally emerged as the strongest power in the Mediterranean. But the very success of the Republic proved to be its undoing. The republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome now ruled: rising economic inequality disrupted traditional ways of life, endemic social and ethnic prejudice led to clashes over citizenship and voting rights, and rampant corruption and ruthless ambition sparked violent political clashes that cracked the once indestructible foundations of the Republic. Chronicling the years 146-78 BC, The Storm Before the Storm dives headlong into the first generation to face this treacherous new political environment. Abandoning the ancient principles of their forbearers, men like Marius, Sulla, and the Gracchi brothers set dangerous new precedents that would start the Republic on the road to destruction and provide a stark warning about what can happen to a civilization that has lost its way.
Posted in History

Religions of Rome: Volume 2, A Sourcebook

Author: Mary Beard,John North,S. R. F. Price

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521456463

Category: History

Page: 428

View: 8875

This book, the second of the two volumes that make up Religions of Rome, presents a wide range of documents illustrating religious life in the Roman world from the early Republic to the late Empire (both visual evidence and texts in translation). More than just a "sourcebook," it explores some of the major themes and problems of Roman religion (such as sacrifice, the religious calendar, divination and prediction). Each document has an introduction, explanatory notes and bibliography, and is used as the starting point for further discussion.
Posted in History

The History of Rome: The Republic

Author: Mike Duncan

Publisher: Lulu Press, Inc

ISBN: 1365331318

Category: History

Page: 434

View: 4519

THE ROMAN EMPIRE STANDS as the greatest political achievement in the history of Western civilization. From its humble beginnings as a tiny kingdom in central Italy, Rome grew to envelope the entire Mediterranean until it ruled an empire that stretched from the Atlantic to Syria and from the Sahara to Scotland. Its enduring legacy continues to define the modern world. Mike Duncan chronicled the rise, triumph, and fall of the Roman Empire in his popular podcast series "The History of Rome". Transcripts of the show have been edited and collected here for the first time. Covering episodes 1-46, The History of Rome Volume I opens with the founding of the Roman Kingdom and ends with the breakdown of the Roman Republic. Along the way Rome will steadily grow from local power to regional power to global power. The Romans will triumph over their greatest foreign rivals and then nearly destroy themselves in a series of destructive civil wars. This is the story of the rise of Rome.
Posted in History

The Mongol Empire

Genghis Khan, his heirs and the founding of modern China

Author: John Man

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1448154642

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 504

Genghis Khan is one of history's immortals: a leader of genius, driven by an inspiring vision for peaceful world rule. Believing he was divinely protected, Genghis united warring clans to create a nation and then an empire that ran across much of Asia. Under his grandson, Kublai Khan, the vision evolved into a more complex religious ideology, justifying further expansion. Kublai doubled the empire's size until, in the late 13th century, he and the rest of Genghis’s ‘Golden Family’ controlled one fifth of the inhabited world. Along the way, he conquered all China, gave the nation the borders it has today, and then, finally, discovered the limits to growth. Genghis's dream of world rule turned out to be a fantasy. And yet, in terms of the sheer scale of the conquests, never has a vision and the character of one man had such an effect on the world. Charting the evolution of this vision, John Man provides a unique account of the Mongol Empire, from young Genghis to old Kublai, from a rejected teenager to the world’s most powerful emperor.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire

Author: Simon Baker

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1409073882

Category: History

Page: 448

View: 3643

This is the story of the greatest empire the world has ever known. Simon Baker charts the rise and fall of the world's first superpower, focusing on six momentous turning points that shaped Roman history. Welcome to Rome as you've never seen it before - awesome and splendid, gritty and squalid. From the conquest of the Mediterranean beginning in the third century BC to the destruction of the Roman Empire at the hands of barbarian invaders some seven centuries later, we discover the most critical episodes in Roman history: the spectacular collapse of the 'free' republic, the birth of the age of the 'Caesars', the violent suppression of the strongest rebellion against Roman power, and the bloody civil war that launched Christianity as a world religion. At the heart of this account are the dynamic, complex but flawed characters of some of the most powerful rulers in history: men such as Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero and Constantine. Putting flesh on the bones of these distant, legendary figures, Simon Baker looks beyond the dusty, toga-clad caricatures and explores their real motivations and ambitions, intrigues and rivalries. The superb narrative, full of energy and imagination, is a brilliant distillation of the latest scholarship and a wonderfully evocative account of Ancient Rome.
Posted in History