From Robert Hughes, one of the greatest art and cultural critics of our time, comes a sprawling, comprehensive, and deeply personal history of Rome--as a city, as an empire, and as an origin of Western art and civilization.Starting on a personal note, Hughes takes us to the Rome he first encountered as a hungry twenty-one-year-old fresh from Australia in 1959. From there, he goes back more than two thousand years to the city's foundation, one mired in mythologies and superstitions that would inform Rome's development for centuries. He explores in rich detail the formation of empire, the rise of early Christianity, the Crusades, the Renaissance, and takes us up to the present, through the rise and fall of Mussolini's fascism. Equal parts idolizing, blasphemous, outraged, and awestruck, Rome is a portrait of the Eternal City as only Robert Hughes could paint it.
From the prizewinning author of Caesar and How Rome Fell, a major new account of the charged love affair between Antony and Cleopatra, richly informed by military and political history
A masterfully told--and deeply human--story of love, politics, and ambition, Adrian Goldsworthy's Antony and Cleopatra delivers a compelling reassessment of a major episode in ancient history.
In this remarkable dual biography of the two great lovers of the ancient world, Goldsworthy goes beyond myth and romance to create a nuanced and historically acute portrayal of his subjects, set against the political backdrop of their time. A history of lives lived intensely at a time when the world was changing profoundly, the book takes readers on a journey that crosses cultures and boundaries from ancient Greece and ancient Egypt to the Roman Empire.
Drawing on his prodigious knowledge of the ancient world and his keen sense of the period's military and political history, Goldsworthy creates a singular portrait of the iconic lovers. "Antony and Cleopatra were first and foremost political animals," explains Goldsworthy, who places politics and ideology at the heart of their storied romance. Undertaking a close analysis of ancient sources and archaeological evidence, Goldsworthy bridges the gaps of current scholarship and dispels misconceptions that have entered the popular consciousness. He explains why Cleopatra was consistently portrayed by Hollywood as an Egyptian, even though she was really Greek, and argues that Antony had far less military experience than anyone would suspect from reading Shakespeare and other literature. Goldsworthy makes an important case for understanding Antony as a powerful Roman senator and political force in his own right.
From the acclaimed biographer, screenwriter, and novelist Frederic Raphael, here is an audacious history of Josephus (37-c.100), the Jewish general turned Roman historian, whose emblematic betrayal is a touchstone for the Jew alone in the Gentile world.
Joseph ben Mattathias's transformation into Titus Flavius Josephus, historian to the Roman emperor Vespasian, is a gripping and dramatic story. His life, in the hands of Frederic Raphael, becomes a point of departure for an appraisal of Diasporan Jews seeking a place in the dominant cultures they inhabit. Raphael brings a scholar's rigor, a historian's perspective, and a novelist's imagination to this project. He goes beyond the fascinating details of Josephus's life and his singular literary achievements to examine how Josephus has been viewed by posterity, finding in him the prototype for the un-Jewish Jew, the assimilated intellectual, and the abiding apostate: the recurrent figures in the long centuries of the Diaspora. Raphael's insightful portraits of Yehuda Halevi, Baruch Spinoza, Karl Kraus, Benjamin Disraeli, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Hannah Arendt extend and illuminate the Josephean worldview Raphael so eloquently lays out.
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.
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.
Generally acknowledged to be Professor Bury's masterpiece, this panoramic and painstakingly accurate reconstruction of the Western and Byzantine Roman empire covers the period from 395 A.D., the death of Theodosius I, to 565 A.D., the death of Justinian. Quoting contemporary documents in full or in great extent, the author describes and analyzes the forces and cross-currents that controlled Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, the Persian and Teutonic regions; the rise of Byzantine power, territorial expansion, conflict of church and state, legislative and diplomatic changes; and scores of similar topics.
Detailed coverage of such important figures as Belisarius, Justinian, Procopius, Alaric, Attila, and many others is given as well as a complete contemporary account of a visit to Attila's court. The Vandal empire, the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Lombards, etc., are given extensive treatment. Professor Bury investigates the literary, cultural, and religious history of the period in great detail and relates it to the organization and development of the Eastern and Western empires and the diffusion of Byzantine culture into Italy.
"An important and valuable contribution to our knowledge of a period the history of which has been too much neglected." -- Classical Review.
From acclaimed classical historian, author of Ghost on the Throne a high-stakes drama full of murder, madness, tyranny, perversion, with the sweep of history on the grand scale.At the center, the tumultuous life of Seneca, ancient Rome's preeminent writer and philosopher, beginning with banishment in his fifties and subsequent appointment as tutor to twelve-year-old Nero, future emperor of Rome. Controlling them both, Nero's mother, Julia Agrippina the Younger, Roman empress, great-granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus, sister of the Emperor Caligula, niece and fourth wife of Emperor Claudius. James Romm seamlessly weaves together the life and written words, the moral struggles, political intrigue, and bloody vengeance that enmeshed Seneca the Younger in the twisted imperial family and the perverse, paranoid regime of Emperor Nero, despot and madman. Romm writes that Seneca watched over Nero as teacher, moral guide, and surrogate father, and, at seventeen, when Nero abruptly ascended to become emperor of Rome, Seneca, a man never avid for political power became, with Nero, the ruler of the Roman Empire. We see how Seneca was able to control his young student, how, under Seneca's influence, Nero ruled with intelligence and moderation, banned capital punishment, reduced taxes, gave slaves the right to file complaints against their owners, pardoned prisoners arrested for sedition. But with time, as Nero grew vain and disillusioned, Seneca was unable to hold sway over the emperor, and between Nero's mother, Agrippina--thought to have poisoned her second husband, and her third, who was her uncle (Claudius), and rumored to have entered into an incestuous relationship with her son--and Nero's father, described by Suetonius as a murderer and cheat charged with treason, adultery, and incest, how long could the young Nero have been contained? Dying Every Day is a portrait of Seneca's moral struggle in the midst of madness and excess. In his treatises, Seneca preached a rigorous ethical creed, exalting heroes who defied danger to do what was right or embrace a noble death. As Nero's adviser, Seneca was presented with a more complex set of choices, as the only man capable of summoning the better aspect of Nero's nature, yet, remaining at Nero's side and colluding in the evil regime he created. Dying Every Day is the first book to tell the compelling and nightmarish story of the philosopher-poet who was almost a king, tied to a tyrant--as Seneca, the paragon of reason, watched his student spiral into madness and whose descent saw five family murders, the Fire of Rome, and a savage purge that destroyed the supreme minds of the Senate's golden age.