Rome's Revolution

Rome's Revolution : Death of the Republic and Birth of the Empire

3.94 (58 ratings by Goodreads)
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Novelized, televised, and endlessly scrutinized by scholars, the fall of the Roman Republic marks one of history's great turning points. Historians have studied the descent of the Republic into civil war as a great political tragedy, a warning from the past about the unsustainability of empires; political scientists have labeled it a parable about militarism, populism, moral decay, or the inevitable corruption of political systems. Yet the familiar story of the Roman Republic's downfall continues to be the story of its elites. What if we started thinking about Roman politics not from the perspectives of Caesar and Cicero, but from the point of view of the soldier, the peasant, or the pauper? In an original account of what he calls Rome's revolution, Richard Alston reinscribes these humble protagonists into their tumultuous era. They, like the ruthless aristocrats they swore allegiance to, were political agents, negotiating their positions in the context of a "failed state." Rome's Revolution blends riveting historical narrative with socio-economic analysis, restoring a rich context to the cataclysmic violence of the period. In addition to chronicling the drama of aristocratic rivalries, the book digs beneath the high politics of Cicero, Caesar, Antony and Octavian to examine the problems of making a living in first-century BC Italy. Portraying the revolution as the crisis of a violent society-both among the citizenry and among a ruling class whose legitimacy was dwindling-Rome's Revolution provides new insight into the motivations that drove men to march on their capital city and slaughter their more

Product details

  • Hardback | 408 pages
  • 154.94 x 236.22 x 27.94mm | 657.71g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199739765
  • 9780199739769
  • 364,094

Review quote

this book, written in straightforward, accessible, English, is recommended as a knowledgeable guide to, and with a fresh 'take' on, an enthralling period of Roman history. * Antony Spawforth, Classics for All * Well written and engaging, ideal for students and scholars, but also accessible for non-specialists. * Mark Merrony, Minerva *show more

About Richard Alston

Richard Alston is Professor of Roman History at Royal Holloway, University of London, and the author or editor of over a dozen books on ancient Rome and more

Table of contents

Acknowledgements ; Preface ; The Historian's Problem ; Death of a Dictator ; The Crisis of the Republic ; Caesar and Pompey ; Mutina: The Last Battle of the Republic ; A Victory Lost: The Defeat of the Senate ; The Revolution Begins ; Death in Rome ; The Revolution Complete: From Philippi to Perusia ; The Triumviral Wars ; Antony and Cleopatra: Love and its Enemies ; The Invention of Augustus ; The Augustan Republic ; Anarchy and Power ; The Imperial Order ; The Conquest of the World ; Buying Rome: Empire, Money, and Power in the Augustan Regime ; Death of an Emperor ; Epilogue: Tiberius the Emperor ; Bibliography ; Indexshow more

Rating details

58 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 24% (14)
4 50% (29)
3 22% (13)
2 3% (2)
1 0% (0)
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