Taken at the Flood: The Roman Conquest of Greece

Taken at the Flood: The Roman Conquest of Greece

Hardback Ancient Warfare and Civilization

By (author) Robin Waterfield

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Format: Hardback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 238mm x 28mm | 620g
  • Publication date: 11 April 2014
  • ISBN 10: 0199916896
  • ISBN 13: 9780199916894
  • Sales rank: 327,197

Product description

"Is there anyone on earth who is so narrow-minded or uninquisitive that he could fail to want to know how and thanks to what kind of political system almost the entire known world was conquered and brought under a single empire in less than fifty-three years?" --Polybius, Histories The 53-year period Polybius had in mind stretched from the start of the Second Punic War in 219 BCE until 167, when Rome overthrew the Macedonian monarchy and divided the country into four independent republics. This was the crucial half-century of Rome's spectacular rise to imperial status, but Roman interest in its eastern neighbors began a little earlier, with the First Illyrian War of 229, and climaxed later with the infamous destruction of Corinth in 146. Taken at the Flood chronicles this momentous move by Rome into the Greek east. Until now, this period of history has been overshadowed by the threat of Carthage in the west, but events in the east were no less important in themselves, and Robin Waterfield's account reveals the peculiar nature of Rome's eastern policy. For over seventy years, the Romans avoided annexation so that they could commit their military and financial resources to the fight against Carthage and elsewhere. Though ultimately a failure, this policy of indirect rule, punctuated by periodic brutal military interventions and intense diplomacy, worked well for several decades, until the Senate finally settled on more direct forms of control. Waterfield's fast-paced narrative focuses mainly on military and diplomatic maneuvers, but throughout he interweaves other topics and themes, such as the influence of Greek culture on Rome, the Roman aristocratic ethos, and the clash between the two best fighting machines the ancient world ever produced: the Macedonian phalanx and Roman legion. The result is an absorbing account of a critical chapter in Rome's mastery of the Mediterranean.

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Author information

Robin Waterfield is an independent scholar, living in southern Greece. In addition to more than twenty-five translations of works of Greek literature, he is the author of numerous books, most recently Dividing the Spoils: The War for Alexander the Great's Empire.

Review quote

"Taken at the Flood is a thrilling account of the bloody process that created Greco-Roman civilization. It is also a masterpiece of ancient history. Much has been written about the march of Roman arms, but for some reason scholars have never gotten around to producing a comprehensive volume of Rome's most crucial conquest--Greece. This has filled that void, in what will long remain the definitive account of Rome's subjugation of the once powerful Greek states." --Jim Lacey, author of The First Clash: The Miraculous Greek Victory at Marathon and Its Impact on Western Civilization and Moment of Battle: The Twenty Clashes That Changed the World "Taken at the Flood is as elegant and powerful an introduction to the Roman conquest of Greece as you are likely to find. Waterfield tells the story in all its blood and cunning." --Barry Strauss, author of Masters of Command: Alexander, Hannibal, Caesar and the Genius of Leadership "Taken at the Flood offers a vivid and exciting retelling of a key chapter in the story of Rome's rise to power, the conquest of the Greeks." --Greg Woolf, Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews and author of Rome: An Empire's Story