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.
He found Rome made of clay and left it made of marble. As Rome's first emperor, Augustus transformed the unruly Republic into the greatest empire the world had ever seen. His consolidation and expansion of Roman power two thousand years ago laid the foundations, for all of Western history to follow. Yet, despite Augustus's accomplishments, very few biographers have concentrated on the man himself, instead choosing to chronicle the age in which he lived. Here, Anthony Everitt, the bestselling author of Cicero, gives a spellbinding and intimate account of his illustrious subject.Augustus began his career as an inexperienced teenager plucked from his studies to take center stage in the drama of Roman politics, assisted by two school friends, Agrippa and Maecenas. Augustus's rise to power began with the assassination of his great-uncle and adoptive father, Julius Caesar, and culminated in the titanic duel with Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
The world that made Augustus-and that he himself later remade-was driven by intrigue, sex, ceremony, violence, scandal, and naked ambition. Everitt has taken some of the household names of history-Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, Antony, Cleopatra-whom few know the full truth about, and turned them into flesh-and-blood human beings. At a time when many consider America an empire, this stunning portrait of the greatest emperor who ever lived makes for enlightening and engrossing reading. Everitt brings to life the world of a giant, rendered faithfully and sympathetically in human scale. A study of power and political genius, Augustus is a vivid, compelling biography of one of the most important rulers in history.
Introduction by Daniel J. Boorstin
Illustrations by Giovanni Battista Piranesi Edward Gibbon's masterpiece, which narrates the history of the Roman Empire from the second century A.D. to its collapse in the west in the fifth century and in the east in the fifteenth century, is widely considered the greatest work of history ever written. This abridgment retains the full scope of the original, but in a breadth comparable to a novel. Casual readers now have access to the full sweep of Gibbon's narrative, while instructors and students have a volume that can be read in a single term. This unique edition emphasizes elements ignored in all other abridgments--in particular the role of religion in the empire and the rise of Islam.
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.
Bread and circuses were what the Romans demanded of their emperors, and for more than 500 years spectacular events in amphitheaters, circuses, and theaters were the most important leisure activities of the masses in all parts of the Roman empire. In Rome itself, public holidays featuring magnificent and costly shows occupied more than half the year. Comedies and tragedies, pantomimes and bawdy folk plays were staged in the theaters, while in the arena of the Colosseum, opened in a.d. 80, gladiators fought in pairs or with wild animals to satisfy the blood lust of the crowd, and hundreds of thousands of race-goers packed the stands of the Circus Maximus to enjoy the thrills of chariot racing.The organization of games came to be part and parcel of electioneering in towns and cities and was increasingly used as a means to consolidate the power of the reigning emperor. Like the sports stars of today, the top gladiators, charioteers, and actors were folk heroes, and the power of their universal appeal was recognized and exploited by politicians and emperors alike. Two thousand years later, the Roman games may seem remote, but, as this superbly illustrated book shows, they satisfied the same need for excitement and hero-worship that gives rise to the intense media coverage of sports in our own time.
Named a Book of the Year by the Telegraph, the Spectator, the Observer, and BBC History Magazine 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, 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. In The Darkening Age, Catherine Nixey brilliantly resurrects this lost history, offering a wrenching account of the rise of Christianity and its terrible cost. "A feast of tales of murder, vandalism and] willful destruction . . . Nixey has a great story to tell, and she tells it exceptionally well." -- Guardian " A] bold, dazzling and provocative book." -- Peter Frankopan, best-selling author of The Silk Roads
The success of the Roman empire was largely due to the prowess of the legions but, likewise, a dissatisfied military was also responsible for some of the greatest threats to the empire's unity. This study provides a readable and straightforward assessment of the Roman army and, in particular, the relationship between soldiers, their imperial commanders and the citizens they were supposed to protect, from the 3rd century BC to the 5th century AD. These centuries were marked by expansion and civil unrest as parts of the empire were treated less favourably than others and soldiers were not repaid. Santosuosso also looks at Augustus' successful attempts to reorganise the army, the mutual dependence of the emperor and his armies that followed, the daily life and equipment of soldiers, landmark battles and particular opponents. Finally, the study examines the defeat of the Roman army at the hands of a succession of invaders.
" Gripping . . . Everitt combines a classical education with practical expertise. . . . He writes fluidly."--The New York Times "In the half-century before the assassination of Julius Caesar . . . Rome endured a series of crises, assassinations, factional bloodletting, civil wars and civil strife, including at one point government by gang war. This period, when republican government slid into dictatorship, is one of history's most fascinating, and one learns a great deal about it in this excellent and very readable biography."--The Plain Dealer "Riveting . . . a clear-eyed biography . . . Cicero's times . . . offer vivid lessons about the viciousness that can pervade elected government."--Chicago Tribune "Lively and dramatic . . . By the book's end, he's managed to put enough flesh on Cicero's old bones that you care when the agents of his implacable enemy, Mark Antony, kill him."--Los Angeles Times
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