Rome: An Empire's Story

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Oxford University Press, USA, Jun 8, 2012 - History - 384 pages
11 Reviews
The very idea of empire was created in ancient Rome and even today traces of its monuments, literature, and institutions can be found across Europe, the Near East, and North Africa--and sometimes even further afield. In Rome, historian Greg Woolf expertly recounts how this mammoth empire was created, how it was sustained in crisis, and how it shaped the world of its rulers and subjects--a story spanning a millennium and a half of history. The personalities and events of Roman history have become part of the West's cultural lexicon, and Woolf provides brilliant retellings of each of these, from the war with Carthage to Octavian's victory over Cleopatra, from the height of territorial expansion under the emperors Trajan and Hadrian to the founding of Constantinople and the barbarian invasions which resulted in Rome's ultimate collapse. Throughout, Woolf carefully considers the conditions that made Rome's success possible and so durable, covering topics as diverse as ecology, slavery, and religion. Woolf also compares Rome to other ancient empires and to its many later imitators, bringing into vivid relief the Empire's most distinctive and enduring features. As Woolf demonstrates, nobody ever planned to create a state that would last more than a millennium and a half, yet Rome was able, in the end, to survive barbarian migrations, economic collapse and even the conflicts between a series of world religions that had grown up within its borders, in the process generating an image and a myth of empire that is apparently indestructible. Based on new research and compellingly told, this sweeping account promises to eclipse all previously published histories of the empire.
 

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Review: Rome: An Empire's Story

User Review  - Goodreads

A very good overview, thought a bit encyclopedic as all overviews are doomed to be. This one, however, is redeemed by its clarity and breadth. It covers the heroes and the wars, but also the economy, the ecology, the climate, the mindset, and life at street level. A very good read. Read full review

Review: Rome: An Empire's Story

User Review  - Goodreads

A good coverage of the topic and well written. Read full review

Contents

1 The Whole Story
1
2 Empires of the Mind
13
3 Rulers of Italy
31
4 Imperial Ecology
48
5 Mediterranean Hegemony
63
6 Slavery and Empire
82
7 Crisis
97
8 At Heavens Command?
113
13 War
201
14 Imperial Identities
218
15 Recovery and Collapse
233
16 A Christian Empire
254
17 Things Fall Apart
273
18 The Roman Past and the Roman Future
288
Notes
301
Bibliography
327

9 The Generals
129
10 The Enjoyment of Empire
146
11 Emperors
163
12 Resourcing Empire
185
Glossary of Technical Terms
357
Photographic Acknowledgements
361
Index
362
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Greg Woolf is Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of Et Tu, Brute?: A Short History of Political Murder and editor of The Cambridge Illustrated History of the Roman World.

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