Ancient Rome History
Featured Items
Pagans: The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity
Pagans
The End of Traditional Religion and the Rise of Christianity
Paperback      ISBN: 0061845396

A provocative and contrarian religious history that charts the rise of Christianity from the point of view of traditional" religion from the religious scholar and critically acclaimed author of Augustine.

Pagans explores the rise of Christianity from a surprising and unique viewpoint: that of the people who witnessed their ways of life destroyed by what seemed then a powerful religious cult. These "pagans" were actually pious Greeks, Romans, Syrians, and Gauls who observed the traditions of their ancestors. To these devout polytheists, Christians who worshipped only one deity were immoral atheists who believed that a splash of water on the deathbed could erase a lifetime of sin.

Religious scholar James J. O'Donnell takes us on a lively tour of the Ancient Roman world through the fourth century CE, when Romans of every nationality, social class, and religious preference found their world suddenly constrained by rulers who preferred a strange new god. Some joined this new cult, while others denied its power, erroneously believing it was little more than a passing fad.

In Pagans, O'Donnell brings to life various pagan rites and essential features of Roman religion and life, offers fresh portraits of iconic historical figures, including Constantine, Julian, and Augustine, and explores important themes--Rome versus the east, civilization versus barbarism, plurality versus unity, rich versus poor, and tradition versus innovation--in this startling account.

Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine
Ten Caesars
Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine
Paperback      ISBN: 1451668848
Bestselling classical historian Barry Strauss delivers "an exceptionally accessible history of the Roman Empire...much of Ten Caesars reads like a script for Game of Thrones" (The Wall Street Journal)--a summation of three and a half centuries of the Roman Empire as seen through the lives of ten of the most important emperors, from Augustus to Constantine.

In this essential and "enlightening" (The New York Times Book Review) work, Barry Strauss tells the story of the Roman Empire from rise to reinvention, from Augustus, who founded the empire, to Constantine, who made it Christian and moved the capital east to Constantinople.

During these centuries Rome gained in splendor and territory, then lost both. By the fourth century, the time of Constantine, the Roman Empire had changed so dramatically in geography, ethnicity, religion, and culture that it would have been virtually unrecognizable to Augustus. Rome's legacy remains today in so many ways, from language, law, and architecture to the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. Strauss examines this enduring heritage through the lives of the men who shaped it: Augustus, Tiberius, Nero, Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, Diocletian, and Constantine. Over the ages, they learned to maintain the family business--the government of an empire--by adapting when necessary and always persevering no matter the cost.

Ten Caesars is a "captivating narrative that breathes new life into a host of transformative figures" (Publishers Weekly). This "superb summation of four centuries of Roman history, a masterpiece of compression, confirms Barry Strauss as the foremost academic classicist writing for the general reader today" (The Wall Street Journal).
Augustus
Augustus
Paperback      ISBN: 0393005844

Professor Jones discusses the career of Augustus in the context of the turbulent times of the breakdown of the Roman Republic into civil war. He shows how dependent Augustus' rise to power was upon his adoption by Julius Caesar, and traces the ruthless and unscrupulous way in which Augustus exploited his unique position as Caesar's heir. But he demonstrates that Augustus's continuing success was all his own: the adopted son succeeded in solving the political crisis which, because he had failed to do so, had cost the father his life. For Augustus was a consummate politician, and it was his great achievement to establish a form of government which proved more or less stable for over two centuries.

Cities of Vesuvius
Cities of Vesuvius
Trade Paperback      ISBN: 1898800456
Augustus: First Emperor of Rome
Augustus
First Emperor of Rome
Paperback      ISBN: 0300216661
The dramatic story of Rome's first emperor, who plunged into Rome's violent power struggles at the age of nineteen, proceeded to destroy all rivals, and more than anyone else created the Roman Empire

Caesar Augustus' story, one of the most riveting in Western history, is filled with drama and contradiction, risky gambles and unexpected success. Thrusting himself into Rome's extremely violent politics while yet a very young man, Augustus skillfully maneuvered his way through twisting alliances during years of civil war. Named heir to the murdered Julius Caesar, he outwitted and outlasted far more experienced rivals like Antony and Brutus. Ruling supreme, he reinvented himself as a benevolent man of peace and created a new system of government.

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.
The Death of Caesar: The Story of History's Most Famous Assassination
The Death of Caesar
The Story of History's Most Famous Assassination
Hardcover      ISBN: 1451668791

The exciting, dramatic story of one of history's most famous events--the death of Julius Caesar--now placed in full context of Rome's civil wars by eminent historian Barry Strauss.

Thanks to William Shakespeare, the death of Julius Caesar is the most famous assassination in history. But what actually happened on March 15, 44 BC is even more gripping than Shakespeare's play. In this thrilling new book, Barry Strauss tells the real story.

Shakespeare shows Caesar's assassination to be an amateur and idealistic affair. The real killing, however, was a carefully planned paramilitary operation, a generals' plot, put together by Caesar's disaffected officers and designed with precision. There were even gladiators on hand to protect the assassins from vengeance by Caesar's friends. Brutus and Cassius were indeed key players, as Shakespeare has it, but they had the help of a third man--Decimus. He was the mole in Caesar's entourage, one of Caesar's leading generals, and a lifelong friend. It was he, not Brutus, who truly betrayed Caesar.

Caesar's assassins saw him as a military dictator who wanted to be king. He threatened a permanent change in the Roman way of life and in the power of senators. The assassins rallied support among the common people, but they underestimated Caesar's soldiers, who flooded Rome. The assassins were vanquished; their beloved Republic became the Roman Empire.

An original, fresh perspective on an event that seems well known, Barry Strauss's book sheds new light on this fascinating, pivotal moment in world history.
The Darkening Age: The Christian Destruction of the Classical World
The Darkening Age
The Christian Destruction of the Classical World
Hardcover      ISBN: 0544800885
A New York Times Notable Book of 2018

"Searingly passionate...Nixey writes up a storm. Each sentence is rich, textured, evocative, felt... A] ballista-bolt of a book." --New York Times Book Review


In Harran, the locals refused to convert. They were dismembered, their limbs hung along the town's main street. In Alexandria, zealots pulled the elderly philosopher-mathematician Hypatia from her chariot and flayed her to death with shards of broken pottery. Not long before, their fellow Christians had invaded the city's greatest temple and razed it--smashing its world-famous statues and destroying all that was left of Alexandria's Great Library.

Today, we refer to Christianity's conquest of the West as a "triumph." But this victory entailed an orgy of destruction in which Jesus's followers attacked and suppressed classical culture, helping to pitch Western civilization into a thousand-year-long decline. Just one percent of Latin literature would survive the purge; countless antiquities, artworks, and ancient traditions were lost forever.

As Catherine Nixey reveals, evidence of early Christians' campaign of terror has been hiding in plain sight: in the palimpsests and shattered statues proudly displayed in churches and museums the world over. In The Darkening Age, Nixey resurrects this lost history, offering a wrenching account of the rise of Christianity and its terrible cost.
The Legacy of Rome: A New Appraisal
The Legacy of Rome
A New Appraisal
Hardcover      ISBN: 0198219172

If the grandeur that was Rome has long since vanished, the impact of the Eternal City can still be felt in virtually every corner of Western culture. Students of speech and rhetoric to this day study the works of Cicero for guidance. We find Roman Law setting the model for legal systems from the twelfth century to the present. And Latin itself, far from being a "dead language," lives on not only in the Romance languages, but also in English vocabulary and grammar. Rhetoric, language, law--these are just a small part of the great Roman influence that has lasted throughout the centuries.
The Legacy of Rome has long been considered the standard introduction to the achievements of the Roman world. Now in a completely new edition, this classic work brings together the latest scholarship in the field from some of the world's leading classical scholars. Unlike the previous version, which focused on such narrow topics as commerce and administration, the new edition broadens the spectrum of influence, showing the impact, for example, of Roman literature, art, politics, law, and language on western civilization. Jasper Griffin, for instance, looks to the works of Shakespeare, Milton, Keats, and Wordsworth, among others, to trace the lasting influence of the great Roman poet Virgil on the development of poetic forms such as the pastoral, epitomized by Virgil's Eclogues, and the epic poem, exemplified by the Aeneid. A.T. Grafton shows how Renaissance intellectuals such as Machiavelli and Guicciardini looked to Rome's past for political enlightenment, and found models of military strategy in the works of Tacitus and Livy. Editor Richard Jenkyns dispels the misconception of the Romans as purely imitative of the Greeks; he points out such uniquely Roman concepts as jurisprudence and citizenship, and architecture based on the round arch and the vault, as evidence of Roman innovativeness. Other contributors--George A. Kennedy, Robert Feenstra, and Nicholas Purcell--discuss the importance of the study of Roman rhetoric in preparing speakers for public life, the lasting influence of the Justinian code on Western legal development, and the impact on future civilizations of the romanticized notion of an imperial Rome and its magical ruins.
Ranging from the pastoral tradition, to the development of the comedy, to the lasting influence of the Latin language, The Legacy of Rome provides a much-needed new appraisal of the richness of the great civilization which gave rise to a large part of Western heritage.

Life in Ancient Rome: Absorbing Social History--A Vivid Portrait of a Magnificent Age
Life in Ancient Rome
Absorbing Social History--A Vivid Portrait of a Magnificent Age
Paperback      ISBN: 0399503285

"This book will be of the greatest service . . . a scholarly and convenient presentation of a vast array of facts." -Times Literary Supplement

In this well-written and well-researched social history, F. R. Cowell succeeds in making Life in Ancient Rome alive and dynamic. The combination of acute historical detail and supplementary illustrations makes this book perfectly suited for the student preparing to explore classics, as well as the tourist preparing to explore twentieth-century Rome. Lucid and engaging, Life in Ancient Rome is for anyone seeking familiarity with the greatness that was Rome.

The Early Church: The Story of Emergent Christianity, Revised Edition
The Early Church
The Story of Emergent Christianity, Revised Edition
Paperback      ISBN: 0140231994

Examines the beginning of the Christian movement during the first centureis AD, and the explosive force of its expansion throughout the Roman world.