A Brief History of the Romans

A Brief History of the Romans

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How did a single village community in the Italian peninsula eventually become one of the most powerful imperial powers the world has ever known? In A Brief History of the Romans, Second Edition, Mary T. Boatwright, Daniel J. Gargola, Richard J.A. Talbert, and new coauthor Noel Lenski explore this question as they guide students through a comprehensive sweep of Roman history, ranging from the prehistoric settlements to the fall of the empire in 476. Addressing issues that still confront modern states worldwide--including warfare, empire building, consensus forging, and political fragmentation--the authors also provide glimpses into everyday Roman life and perspective, demonstrating how Rome's growth as a state is inseparable from its social and cultural development. Firmly grounded in ancient literary and material sources, the text analyzes major political and military landmarks, from the Punic Wars through Constantine's adoption of Christianity. It also features thirty historical maps revised under the supervision of coauthor Richard J. A. Talbert, almost 100 illustrations, and textual extracts that provide fascinating cultural observations made by ancient Romans themselves.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 187.96 x 233.68 x 17.78mm | 620g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 2nd edition
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0199987556
  • 9780199987559
  • 559,718

Table of contents

*=New to this Edition
Preface to the Second Edition:
Preface to the First Edition:
Notes to the Reader:
1. Archaic Italy and the Origins of Rome
Italy and the Mediterranean World
Italy Before the City
Greeks and Phoenicians in the Central Mediterranean:
The Rise of Cities
Beginning of Writing:
Appearance of an Elite:
Cities and Monumental Architecture:
Warfare in the Orientalizing and Archaic Periods:
Social and Economic Organization:
Greeks and Etruscans
Greek Cities of Southern Italy and Sicily:
The Emergence of Rome
The Romans and Their Early History
TABLE 1.1 Dates of Rome's Kings According to Varro
SOURCE 1.1 Romulus Finds Rome (Plutarch)
Politics and Society under the Kings
Rome and the Latins
2. Republican Rome and the Conquest of Italy
The Early Republic
Rome and Its Neighbors in the Fifth Century:
Struggle of the Orders:
Fall of Veii and the Sack of Rome:
The City and Its Institutions in the Fourth Century
Assemblies of Citizens:
TABLE 2.1 Roman Assemblies
The City, Its Gods, and Its Priests
Rome and Central Italy
Warfare and the Civic Order:
SOURCE 2.1 A Formal Surrender to Rome
Rome in Latium and Campania:
Samnite Wars:
Wars in Central and Northern Italy:
Conquest of the South:
War and the Roman State
3. The Beginnings of a Mediterranean Empire
The Notability of a Mediterranean Empire
SOURCE 3.1 Triumph of Scipio Africanus (Appian):
Wars with Carthage
First Punic War (264-241):
Second Punic War (218-201):
SOURCE 3.2 Rome's Reaction to Defeat at Cannae (Polybius)
A Mediterranean Empire
Governors, Provinces, and Empire:
Greece and Asia Minor:
North Africa:
4. Italy and Empire
Senators, Officials, and Citizen Assemblies
Italy and the Consequences of Empire
Changing Relations Between Rome, Its Municipia, and Allies
Romans and Italian Elites:
SOURCE 4.1 Scipio Africanus' Army Loots Carthago Nova (Polybius)
Demographic and Economic Changes:
Roman Politics and the Mid-Second Century
Scipio Aemilianus:
Tiberius Gracchus:
SOURCE 4.2 Tiberius Gracchus Urges Romans to Support his Land-Assignment Scheme (Plutarch)
5. Italy Threatened, Enfranchised, Divided
Changes in Roman Society
War with Jugurtha (112-105)
Italy Threatened from the North (113-101)
Changes in the Roman Army
Marius' Career in Roman Politics
SOURCE 5.1 Marius' Bid for the Consulship (Sallust)
Sixth Consulship of Marius and Second Tribunate of Saturninus (100)
Administration of the Provinces
Tribunate of Livius Drusus (91)
Social War (91-87)
Tribunate of Sulpicius Rufus (88)
Sulla's First March on Rome (88)
Cinna's Rule (87-84)
Sulla's Second March on Rome (83-82)
6. The Domination of Sulla and Its Legacy
Sulla's Proscriptions (82-81)
Sulla the Dictator and His Program (82-81)
Verdicts on Sulla's Program
SOURCE 6.1 Cicero's Defense of Sextus Roscius
Lepidus' Rising and Its Aftermath (78-77)
Challenge from Sertorius in Spain (80-73)
Spartacus' Slave Revolt (73-71)
Consulship of Crassus and Pompey (70)
Pompey Frees the Mediterranean of Pirates (67)
Threat from King Mithridates VI of Pontus and Sulla's Response (87-85)
Campaigns of Lucullus and Pompey Against Mithridates (74-63)
Roles of Crassus and Cicero in Rome (65-63)
Catiline's Rising (63-62)
7. End of the Republic: Caesar's Dictatorship
Pompey's Return from the East (62)
Pompey and Political Stalemate in Rome
Partnership of Pompey, Crassus, and Caesar
Caesar's First Consulship (59)
Clodius' Tribunate (58)
Cicero's Recall and the Renewal of the Triumvirate (57-56)
Caesar's Campaigns in Gaul (58-51)
Death of Clodius and Pompey's Sole Consulship (52)
Prospect of Civil War (51-49)
Causes and Consequences of Caesar Crossing the Rubicon (January 49)
Civil War Campaigns (49-45)
Caesar's Activity as Dictator (49-44)
Caesar's Impact upon the City of Rome
Political Prospects for Rome and for Caesar
8. Augustus and the Transformation of the Roman World
Reactions to the Assassination of Caesar (44-43)
Emergence of a Second Triumvirate (43)
Battle of Philippi (42)
Perusine War (41-40)
Elimination of Sextus Pompey and Lepidus (39-36)
SOURCE 8.1 Laudatio Turiae
Antony in the East (42 onwards)
"The Republic Restored"
Second Settlement (23)
The Roman Family in the Augustan Period
TABLE 8.1 The Julio-Claudian Family
Senate and Equites
SOURCE 8.1 Oath of Loyalty
The Empire and Its Expansion
City of Rome
Attitudes Outside Rome
Augustus: Final Assessment
9. The Early Principate (A.D. 14-69): The Julio-Claudians, the Civil War of 68-69, and Life in the Early Empire
The Julio-Claudian Emperors: Civil Government and Military Concerns
Tiberius (14-37)
Gaius (Caligula) (37-41)
Claudius (41-54)
Nero (54-68)
Civil War in 68-69
Economic and Social Change: Army
"Beneficial Ideology"
Cities and Provinces
Diversity: Women, Local Languages, and Culture
Religious Practices and Principles
Imperial Cult
10. Military Expansion and Its Limits: the Empire and the Provinces (69-138)
Institutionalization of the Principate
Vespasian (69-79)
Titus (79-81)
Domitian (81-96)
A New, Better Era?
Nerva (96-98)
Trajan (98-117)
TABLE 10.1 The Antonine Family
Hadrian (117-138)
SOURCE 10.1 Hadrian Inspects Troops at Lambaesis, Numidia
Roman Cities and the Empire's Peoples
Theaters and Processions
Circuses and Chariot Racing
The Amphitheater and Gladiatorial Games
Other Urban Amenities and Education
11. Italy and the Provinces: Civil and Military Affairs (138-235)
Antoninus Pius (138-161)
SOURCE 11.1 A Greek Provincial Praises Roman Citizenship
Marcus Aurelius (161-180)
Commodus (176-192, Sole Augustus after 180)
TABLE 11.1 The Severan Family
Septimius Severus (193-211)
Caracalla (198-217, Sole Augustus after 211)
Macrinus (217-218)
Elagabalus (218-222)
Severus Alexander (222-235)
Roman Law
Roman Citizenship
SOURCE 11.2 Grant of Roman Citizenship (Tabula Banasitana)
Rome and Christianity
SOURCE 11.3 Pliny, Trajan, and Christians
12. The Third-Century Crisis and the Tetrarchic Restabilization
Mid-Third Century
Aurelian (270-275)
Diocletian's Tetrarchy (284-305)
Dissolution of the Tetrarchy (305-313), and the Rise of Constantine (306-324)
SOURCE 12.1 Galerius' Edict of Toleration
Administration Reorganization Under the Dominate
* 13. The Rise of Christianity and the Growth of the Barbarian Threat (324-395)
Constantine: A Christian Emperor
The Sons of Constantine (337-361): The Power of Dynasty
TABLE 13.1 The Constantinian Family
Julian (361-363): A Test of the Christian Empire
SOURCE 13.1 Julian Attempts to Bring Paganism into Line with Christianity
Jovian, Valentinian I, and Valens (363-378)
Gratian, Valentinian II, and Theodosius I (379-395)
New Elites for the Empire
Paganism and Christianity
SOURCE 13.2 The End of Pagan Sacrifice
* 14. The Final Years of the Western Empire and Rome's Revival in the East
The Theodosian Dynasty Down to the First Sack of Rome (395-410)
TABLE 14.1 The Theodosian Family
The Fall of the Western Empire (410-476)
SOURCE 14.1 The Gothic King Athaulf's Shifting Attitude Toward Rome
The Growth of a Byzantine Empire in the East (408-491)
A Christian Culture
Women's Power in Late Antiquity
The "Decline and Fall" of the Roman Empire
Art Credits:
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Review quote

"The quality of the text is first rate--exactly what I would expect from these authors."--Christopher Haas, Villanova University

"Clear and readable, with good headings for ease of use by students and instructors alike. There is a good balance between text and visual material. The maps are, of course, fantastic."--Andrew Gallia, University of Minnesota
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About Mary T. Boatwright

Mary T. Boatwright is Professor of Ancient History and Director of Graduate Studies at Duke University. Daniel J. Gargola is Associate Professor of History at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.

Noel Lenski is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Richard J. A. Talbert is William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Rating details

134 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 12% (16)
4 39% (52)
3 42% (56)
2 5% (7)
1 2% (3)
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