The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction
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The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction

By (author) Christopher Kelly

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The Roman Empire was a remarkable achievement. It had a population of sixty million people spread across lands encircling the Mediterranean and stretching from drizzle-soaked northern England to the sun-baked banks of the Euphrates in Syria, and from the Rhine to the North African coast. It was, above all else, an empire of force - employing a mixture of violence, suppression, order, and tactical use of power to develop an astonishingly uniform culture. This Very Short Introduction covers the history of the Empire from Augustus (the first Emperor) to Marcus Aurelius, describing how the empire was formed, how it was run, its religions and its social structure. It examines how local cultures were "romanised" and how people in far away lands came to believe in the emperor as a god. The book also examines how the Roman Empire has been considered and depicted in more recent times, from the writings of Edward Gibbon, to the differing attitudes of the Victorians and recent Hollywood blockbuster films. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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  • Paperback | 168 pages
  • 110 x 172 x 8mm | 99.79g
  • 14 Sep 2006
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford
  • English
  • 0192803913
  • 9780192803917
  • 54,581

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Author Information

Christopher Kelly is University Lecturer in Classics, Director of Studies in Classics, and Senior Tutor of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He regularly writes for the Times Literary Supplement, he is an editor of the Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society, and has contributed major chapters to the Cambridge Ancient History, The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine, and to Harvard University Press' Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World. His monograph, Ruling the Later Roman Empire was published by Harvard in 2004.

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Review quote

This mervellous little book...succeeds in sketching the remarkable way in which the Roman Empire spread across Europe... Barbara Finney, The Journal of Classics Teaching "...the author has succeeded admirably. This is no cop out - themes are chosen sensibly and well presented. This book does what it says on the cover... This book is intellectual, yet accessible, well written, stimulating, original, and essential for those who wish to gain a rapid overview of the subject without getting bogged down." Dr Mark Merrony, Minerva

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