The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction

The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction

Christopher Kelly

Language: English

Pages: 168

ISBN: 0192803913

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Roman Empire was a remarkable achievement. It had a population of sixty million people spread across lands encircling the Mediterranean and stretching from northern England to the sun-baked banks of the Euphrates, 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.

Here, historian Christopher Kelly covers the history of the Empire from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius, describing the empire's formation, and its political, religious, cultural, and social structures. It looks at the daily lives of the Empire's people: both those in Rome as well as those living in its furthest colonies. Romans used astonishing logistical feats, political savvy, and military oppression to rule their vast empire. This Very Short Introduction examines how they "romanised" the cultures they conquered, imposing their own culture in order to subsume them completely. The book also looks at how the Roman Empire has been considered and depicted in more recent times, from the writings of Edward Gibbon to the Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator. It will prove a valuable introduction for readers interested in classical history.

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refusal, the situation turned nasty. A mob was narrowly e R prevented from setting fire to his house. Later, speaking before the Th town’s assembly, Dio defended his position. He pointed to his previous benefactions and those of generations of his family, citing his grandfather who had ‘spent in munificence all the fortune he had inherited from his father and grandfather, until he had nothing left’. Dio claimed to have shouldered more than his fair share of public expenditure, nor, he alleged,

monumental urge oman Em The most visible celebration of security and prosperity in the e R provinces was the extensive programme of monumental building Th undertaken at private expense. There was hardly a city which did not benefit from the competitive urge amongst local notables to give concrete expression both to their superior position in their own municipal society and to their status as part of an imperial elite. The porticoes, libraries, temples, arches, baths, and theatres most often

the Hist or ultimate progenitor of the Hellenic race. The depression near the y w Olympieion is said to be the sump into which the flood waters ars finally receded. Here is a closer connection with ‘old Greece’ than the magnificent temple and the statues of a Roman emperor who claimed – as ‘Saviour and Founder’ – to have established the Panhellenic world anew. Pausanias’ tour of Athens puts Hadrian in his proper place. It measures his restoration of Greek culture against the surviving traces

Hilter. Hitler visited Rome from 3 to 9 May 1938. Arriving at night, he was driven through the centre of the 125 city, brilliantly illuminated for the occasion. Over the next two days Hitler visited the Mostra twice (the second time at his specific request) and toured extensively the recently exposed ancient monuments of the city. Mussolini’s achievements in Rome strengthened Hitler’s own resolve completely to rebuild Berlin. Thirteen years earlier, in his autobiographical manifesto Mein

Masada was another 17 pire oman Em e R Th 3. Masada, siege ramp against the western escarpment demonstration of the might of an empire which could concentrate extraordinary resources against even a thousand dissidents who dared oppose it. Like the Arch of Titus in far-away Rome, the great ramp, which still stands firm against Masada’s western escarpment, was a permanent reminder of the impossibility of rebellion. Faced with certain death, the sicarii preferred suicide. All but seven

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