Happily, we are not the heirs of the classical past alone.”, Mary Beard. Buy This Book. Quite a bit of information is included about the lives of the lower classes, slaves, women, and people in the far-flung provinces of the Roman empire in addition to the history of the famous Romans. Narrated by Phyllida Nash. The tale of not how Rome fell, but how it rose. They too were not devoid of bias or fallibility. By purchasing books through this website, you support our non-profit organization. Beard cites Tacitus who described the Romans, in Beard’s paraphrasing, as “robbers of the world, insatiable for domination and profit”. Minerva Review has prepared all material on this website for general information purposes only. After fighting my way through the first hundred pages, much of which focuses on the limitations of historical sources and the myths Romans told themselves about their history, I skipped to the end to see if there was anything to salvage from this tome. Beard suggest it wise to review his version of Roman history “against the grain, to prise apart the small chinks in the story”. At this stage of history, Rome began to rely more on “the efforts and talents of individuals whose power, profits and rivalries threatened the very principles on which the Republic was based”. Given the inequality between the ‘haves and the have-nots’ of ancient Rome, Beard describes how we might expect higher rates of social and political conflict than history has shown. 2015. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the Rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. Only 5 left in stock. Their early institutions were ‘small, proto-urban’ settlements. It shows political, cultural, imperial, and day-to-day life. Sometimes the historical evidence is weak, and competing explanations must be explored. Fascinating. You may enjoy “The Leadership Genius of Julius Caesar” - Philip Barlag; “The scientist in the early Roman Empire” - Carrier; “The grand strategy of the Roman Empire” - Luttwak; “Rome at War” “Mutina 43 BC” & “The Pilum” - last three published by Osprey. In SPQR, an instant classic, Mary Beard narrates the history of Rome “with passion and without technical jargon” and demonstrates how “a slightly shabby Iron Age village” rose to become the “undisputed hegemon of the Mediterranean” (Wall Street Journal). I enjoyed most the section on Pliny the Younger and on the "haves and have-nots"--rich and poor. Robert Harris' bestselling Lustrum). Such transmissions of power were often met with violence, “behind-the-scenes manoeuvres”, “support of key interest groups”, “careful manipulation of opinion” and contingency. Judging from her treatment of trolls she seems to be an exemplary human, and while she has so far been unable to reform hardened, [ because I think it is gilding a turd, the counting system still takes as it's reference point the notional birth of Jesus Christ whatever you call it, pretending it is neutral and universal by changing what we call it, is worse to my mind than simply admitting it to be just another parochial year counting system, [ naturally in the context of the discussion of Augustus and the Civil wars I enjoyed the lead sling shots from the siege of Perugia with their ribald and disrespectful slogans pp 344-5, [ while stressing the importance of the paired lives of his original conception which few translations preserve. She shows us how archaeological remains in settlements, cemeteries, urns, sunken warships and so on can reveal the “long and rich prehistory behind ancient Rome”. 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