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.
The stories have been selected for the insights that they give us into the ancient world, with its different perspectives on life, honor, and personal relationships. Many of the tales seem outrageous (such as a statue being tried for murder), though to the ancients these were normal enough. As the author comments, "human nature has not changed much over the last three thousand years, but the manner in which it finds expression is sometimes dramatically different."
In these pages we find humorous quips by the emperor Augustus and wry observations by the philosopher Socrates. There are stories of ghastly crimes, incredible journeys, and some bizarre military mishaps, like the Macedonian troops who rushed to storm the walls of a Greek city, only to find that their ladders were six feet short.
Did you know that ...
- a Roman suffering from illness might be cured if rubbed all over with a puppy
- lentils cooked in saffron were a popular Greek aphrodisiac
- in the Roman marriage ceremony, the groom parts the bride's hair with a spear
- Caesar's horse had toes
This classic book brings to life imperial Rome as it was during the second century A.D., the time of Trajan and Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus. It was a period marked by lavish displays of wealth, a dazzling cultural mix, and the advent of Christianity. The splendor and squalor of the city, the spectacles, and the day's routines are reconstructed from an immense fund of archaeological evidence and from vivid descriptions by ancient poets, satirists, letter-writers, and novelists--from Petronius to Pliny the Younger. In a new Introduction, the eminent classicist Mary Beard appraises the book's enduring--and sometimes surprising--influence and its value for general readers and students. She also provides an up-to-date bibliographic essay."Carcopino's pledge to his readers was to open up to them some traces of the world that lay underneath the grandeur that remains the public face of ancient Rome. . . . No one has ever done it better."--Mary Beard, from the Introduction
The spectacles of Imperial Rome, the religious festivals, public games, circus, animal hunts, processions and dramas, were used by emperors and politicians to convey ideologies and political policies and to test public opinion. Just as Octavian sought to gain and sway public opinion after the assassination of Caesar, so Nero held many banquets and dramatic events to ensure and maintain his popularity. Richard Beacham draws on the early Imperial accounts of Dio, Tacitus and Suetonius, as well as archaeological evidence, to trace the changes in these entertainments throughout the period; he discusses the information they contain for a better understanding of a range of policies and activities in Early Imperial ROme.
Marked by the shift of power from Rome to Constantinople and the Christianization of the Empire, this pivotal era requires a narrative and interpretative history of its own. Averil Cameron, an authority on later Roman and early Byzantine history and culture, captures the vigor and variety of the fourth century, doing full justice to the enormous explosion of recent scholarship.
After a hundred years of political turmoil, civil war, and invasion, the Roman Empire that Diocletian inherited in AD 284 desperately needed the radical restructuring he gave its government and defenses. His successor, Constantine, continued the revolution by adopting--for himself and the Empire--a vibrant new religion: Christianity. The fourth century is an era of wide cultural diversity, represented by figures as different as Julian the Apostate and St. Augustine. Cameron provides a vivid narrative of its events and explores central questions about the economy, social structure, urban life, and cultural multiplicity of the extended empire. Examining the transformation of the Roman world into a Christian culture, she takes note of the competition between Christianity and Neoplatonism. And she paints a lively picture of the new imperial city of Constantinople. By combining literary, artistic, and archaeological evidence. Cameron has produced an exciting record of social change. "The Later Roman Empire" is a compelling guide for anyone interested in the cultural development of late antiquity.