Books on the Roman Empire

Books on the Roman Empire

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Roman Empire
General Works
The Roman Army
Rome's Enemies
Biography
Roman Wars
Battles
Contemporary Accounts
Ancient History Magazine

Books - Roman Empire

General Works


Rome's Enemies

Biography

The Roman Army

Arms and Armour of the Imperial Roman Soldier, From Marius to Commodus, 112 BC-AD 192, Raffaele d'Amato and Graham Sumner. A very impressive, hugely detailed, well organised and comprehensively illustrated look at the equipment of the Roman Soldier of the late Republic and early Empire, covering the arms, armour, cloths and symbols of the Roman infantry, cavalry, naval and auxiliary forces. [read full review]

Roman Wars

Roman Conquests: Italy, Ross Cowan. A look at the Roman conquest of the Italian Peninsula, the series of wars that saw Rome transformed from a small city state in central Italy into a power that was on the verge of conquering the ancient Mediterranean world. A lack of contemporary sources makes this a difficult period to write about, but Cowan has produced a convincing narrative without ignoring some of the complexity.

[read full review]

Battles

Contemporary Accounts


Ancient History Magazine

Ancient Warfare Volume III Issue 5 .The Imperial Nemesis: Rome vs. Parthia. An interesting set of articles that look at the clash between Rome and her eastern neighbours in the Parthian Empire, including articles on Trajan's Parthian War, the armed diplomacy begun by Augustus and the famous Parthian bow. Variety comes with an article on the Athenian general Myronides, and a look at the Breviarum of Festus. [see more]

Ancient Warfare VIII Issue 5: Rebellion against the Empire: The Jewish-Roman Wars. Focuses on the three major Jewish revolts of 66-135 AD, in which the Romans struggled successful to overcome determined Jewish resistance, and each of which resulted in worse hardships for the Jews within the Roman Empire. Most articles look at the first revolt, but there is one each on the second and third, as well as a look at the possible use of dogs in Greek warfare and on Alexander the Great's conquest of the Persian coastal satrapies [see more]

Ancient Warfare Vol X, Issue 3: Rome versus Poisonous Pontus - The Mithridatic Wars, 88-63 BC Longs at the three wars between Rome and Mithridates VI of Pontus, spread out over three crucial decades that saw the beginning of the end for the old Roman Republic. Includes articles on the Roman strategy in Asia Minor, the Greek view of the wars, the armies of Mithridates, his ally Tigranes II and the Roman commander Lucullus. Away from the theme there is a look at Egyptian sea power, and the nature of Greek siege warfare [see more]

Ancient Warfare Vol XI, Issue 2: On the Cusp of Empire - The Romans unify Italy Focuses on the period which saw Rome defeat its last enemies in peninsular Italy, the first stage on the road to Empire. An interesting focus on the Greeks of southern Italy, Rome's last major enemies , and a fascinating look at two newly discovered frescos recovered from grave robbers by the Italian police that give us images of some of Rome's enemies in this period. [see more]

Medieval Warfare Vol VIII, Issue 5: Early Arab Assaults on Byzantium Focuses on the early Arab attacks on the city of Constantinople, and the Byzantine armies that defeated them, including a convincing argument that the first Arab siege, of 674-8, probably didn’t happen in that form as well as a look at the siege of 717-8 that very much did. Includes a fascinating account of the contacts between the Spanish in the Philippines and Japanese exiles, including as enemies and as much admired mercenaries [see more]

Ancient Warfare Vol XI, Issue 3 Roman against Roman, Caesar and Pompey in the Balkans Focuses on the key campaign in the fall of the Roman Republic, where an outnumbered Caesar came back from an early defeat to overcome Pompey and the main defenders of the Republic, removing the main opposition to his personal rule. Also looks at the sources for Legionary cavalry, the difficult art of the ambush and the presence of the cataphract in north-western Europe [see more]

Ancient Warfare Vol VII, Issue 2: Struggle for control: Wars in ancient Sicily. Focuses on the series of wars between Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and native Sicilians that turned Sicily into a battleground in the centuries before the eventual Roman conquest, with good coverage of the wars between the Greek and Punic settlers and the tyrants that ruled for so long. Also looks at Roman ownership marks, attempts to avoid service in the Legions and Alexander's victory at the Granicus. [read full review]

Ancient Warfare Volume III Issue 1.This is the first magazine that we have reviewed, and contains a wide-ranging selection of articles looking at the role of the mercenary in ancient warfare, from the Nubian archers of the Pharaohs to the Germanic auxiliaries of the later Roman Empire. These are well written articles aimed at the educated general reader with an interest in the topic, with a focus on the ancient Greek and Roman worlds. [see more]

Ancient Warfare Volume III Issue 3 .This edition focuses on the individual heroic warrior, both in reality and in Homer. There is a good mix of articles, looking at Homer's work, its influence on Philip II and Alexander the Great, the shield of Achilles, Achaean armour, awards for bravery in the Roman army, the berserker and two interesting but little known sources. This is a good mix of interesting well written articles. [see more]

Ancient Warfare Special Issue 2010: Core of the Legion - The Roman Imperial centuria. Ancient Warfare Special 2010 - Core of the Legion, The Roman Imperial centuria. Special issue looking at the early Imperial century, the best known sub-unit of the Roman Legion. Articles look at the organisation, equipment and battlefield role of the century and the careers of their centurions, as well as a fascinating look at the fragmentary administrative documents that have survived. [see more]

Ancient Warfare Volume III Issue 6 . Carnyx, cornu and signa: Battlefield communications. With its main focus on military signals and standards this issue of Ancient Warfare magazine looks at the evolution of the battle standard from Persian to Roman times, and the various methods used to issue commands across the ancient battlefield, including musical instruments. Also includes a look at late Roman battle tactics, and the battle of Cunaxa. [see more]


The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History

In AD 378 the Roman Empire had been the unrivalled superpower of Europe for well over four hundred years. And yet, August that year saw a small group of German-speaking asylum-seekers rout a vast Imperial army at Hadrianople, killing the Emperor and establishing themselves on Roman territory. Within a hundred years the last Emperor of the Western Empire had been deposed. What had gone wrong?

In this ground breaking book, Peter Heather proproses a stunning new solution to one of the greatest mysteries of history. Mixing authoratative analysis with thrilling narrative, he brings fresh insight into the panorama of the empire's end, from the bejewelled splendour of the imperial court to the dripping forests of "Barbaricum". He examines the extraordinary success story that was the Roman Empire and uses a new understanding of its continued strength and enduring limitations to show how Europe's barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome, eventually pulled it apart.

'a colourful and enthralling narrative . . .an account full of keen wit and an infectious relish for the period.’ Independent On Sunday

‘provides the reader with drama and lurid colour as well as analysis . . . succeeds triumphantly.’ Sunday Times

‘a fascinating story, full of ups and downs and memorable characters’ Spectator

‘bursting with action . . .one can recommend to anyone, whether specialist or interested amateur.’ History Today

'a rare combination of scholarship and flair for narrative' Tom Holland


1 The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius and translated by Robert Graves.

When you are adapting Latin texts for use by the BBC, how do you go about bringing them to life for today’s audience?

The thing about adapting the texts is that the framework is there for you. Essentially, all that you are doing is a glorified cutting job. But you have to cut it in such a way that preserves both the structure of the narrative and those episodes within it that will give the listener, who may not be familiar with the text, some sense of the reason why it is so powerful and the reason why it has had the impact not just over the centuries but also over the millennia. Obviously it is harder to adapt a classical text than it is, say, a 19th century novel, simply because we are further removed from the Roman world.

With all the upheavals in the world do you think there are things that we can still learn from Roman times?

I think that the quality of great literature is that it contains timeless truths. It is like a kaleidoscope – our understanding of the text will change according to the way that we ourselves change. In terms of the lessons to be drawn from Roman history, of course it will always hold a mirror up to the present, for the simple reason that what is distinctive about Western civilisation, particularly compared with the other great civilisations like China or India or even the Middle East, is that in the West we have had two cracks at it. We had the first starting in BC and lasting up until the collapse of the Roman Empire and then the second, building on the ruins left by classical civilisation, continuing into the present. And all the way through our attempts to construct civilisation we are always overshadowed by the previous attempt, so we will find in Roman history what I guess we find in science fiction – that there are points of resemblance heightened and made strange by the way that they are also completely different.


The Roman Empire : Economy, Society and Culture

During the first, stable period of the Principate (roughly from 27 BC to AD 235), when the empire reached its maximum extent, Roman society and culture were radically transformed. But how was the vast territory of the empire controlled? Did the demands of central government stimulate economic growth, or endanger survival? What forces of cohesion operated to balance the social and economic inequalities and high mortality rates? Why did Roman governments freeze the official religion while allowing the diffusion of alien, especially oriental, cults? Are we to see in their attitude to Christianity a policy of toleration—or simply confusion and a failure of nerve?

These are some of the many questions posed in this book, which offers the first overall account of the society, economy and culture of the Roman empire. Addressed to non-specialist readers no less than to scholars, it breaks with the traditional historian's preoccupation with narrative and politics. As an integrated study of the life and outlook of the ordinary inhabitants of the Roman world, it deepens our understanding of the underlying factors in this important formative period of world history.


History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Spanning a period of nearly 1500 years, this monumental work of history tracks the orbit of one of the greatest Empires of all time. The sheer scale and sweep of the narrative is breathtaking in its ambitious scope and brings to vivid life the collapse of a magnificent military, political and administrative structure.

Proceeding at a brisk pace, the original fourteen volumes describe debauched emperors, corrupt practices, usurpers and murderers, bloody battles, plunder and loot, barbarian hordes, tumultuous events like the Crusades and invaders like Genghis Khan and many more. Later, it was condensed by various editors to make it available to more readers. Much of it seems like a modern battle epic or a gory scary movie with endless passages depicting power struggles, blood-drenched paths to the throne, ruthless killing of innocent women and children and the final disappearance of a mighty empire.

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire was written by an English historian who was inspired to write it when he undertook the Grand Tour and visited Rome as a young man in 1762. The book eventually took more than 20 years to complete and was received with both bouquets and brickbats. The Church banned it quite a few times as it was considered to have blasphemous passages about the Church. Gibbon was attacked by many devout Christians as a “paganist.”

Setting the starting point with the Emperor Augustus in 27 BC, Gibbon pursues the Romans relentlessly on to their final defeat in Constantinople in the 15th Century AD with the rise of the Turkish Ottomans. Stretching across North Africa, Europe and the Middle East as well as some parts of modern-day Asia, the Roman Empire was a tremendous human enterprise. Successively added to by emperor after emperor, it finally disintegrated and ceased being the “empire without end.”

Gibbon initially planned to write a history of the city of Rome but found himself so immersed in the subject that it gradually grew into a work about the empire itself. He provides interesting theories for the collapse of the Empire. The rise of Christianity, Islam and the attacks of various wild and brutal hordes contributed to the fall of this mighty Colossus.


The Roman History: The Reign of Augustus (Classics)

Author: Cassius Dio
Introduction by: John Carter
Translator: Ian Scott-Kilvert
Publisher: Penguin Classics
ISBN: 0140444483

Augustus Caesar was the first Roman Emperor. It was Julius Caesar who named him his successor and gave him legitimacy but he had to fight for his position. His reign was a stable period internally but it saw the disastrous loses of three Roman Legions in the Teutenburg Forest in 9AD.

The author Cassius Dio is one of the most eminent Roman Historians and this work provides the most complete account of his reign. If you want the source material and a good read then you won't be sorry that you bought this book.


Contents

Gibbon offers an explanation for the fall of the Roman Empire, a task made difficult by a lack of comprehensive written sources, though he was not the only historian to attempt it. [c]

According to Gibbon, the Roman Empire succumbed to barbarian invasions in large part due to the gradual loss of civic virtue among its citizens. [8]

He began an ongoing controversy about the role of Christianity, but he gave great weight to other causes of internal decline and to attacks from outside the Empire.

The story of its ruin is simple and obvious and, instead of inquiring why the Roman empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted so long. The victorious legions, who, in distant wars, acquired the vices of strangers and mercenaries, first oppressed the freedom of the republic, and afterwards violated the majesty of the purple. The emperors, anxious for their personal safety and the public peace, were reduced to the base expedient of corrupting the discipline which rendered them alike formidable to their sovereign and to the enemy the vigour of the military government was relaxed, and finally dissolved, by the partial institutions of Constantine and the Roman world was overwhelmed by a deluge of Barbarians.

Like other Enlightenment thinkers and British citizens of the age steeped in institutional anti-Catholicism, Gibbon held in contempt the Middle Ages as a priest-ridden, superstitious Dark Age. It was not until his own era, the "Age of Reason", with its emphasis on rational thought, it was believed, that human history could resume its progress. [9]

Gibbon's tone was detached, dispassionate, and yet critical. He can lapse into moralisation and aphorism: [10]

[A]s long as mankind shall continue to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.

The influence of the clergy, in an age of superstition, might be usefully employed to assert the rights of mankind but so intimate is the connection between the throne and the altar, that the banner of the church has very seldom been seen on the side of the people.

[H]istory [. ] is, indeed, little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind.

If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery [of gunpowder] with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind.

Citations and footnotes Edit

Gibbon provides the reader with a glimpse of his thought process with extensive notes along the body of the text, a precursor to the modern use of footnotes. Gibbon's footnotes are famous for their idiosyncratic and often humorous style, and have been called "Gibbon's table talk." [11] They provide an entertaining moral commentary on both ancient Rome and 18th century Great Britain. This technique enabled Gibbon to compare ancient Rome to his own contemporary world. Gibbon's work advocates a rationalist and progressive view of history.

Gibbon's citations provide in-depth detail regarding his use of sources for his work, which included documents dating back to ancient Rome. The detail within his asides and his care in noting the importance of each document is a precursor to modern-day historical footnoting methodology.

The work is notable for its erratic but exhaustively documented notes and research. John Bury, following him 113 years later with his own History of the Later Roman Empire, commended the depth and accuracy of Gibbon's work. Unusually for 18th century historians, Gibbon was not content with second-hand accounts when primary sources were accessible. "I have always endeavoured", Gibbon wrote, "to draw from the fountain-head that my curiosity, as well as a sense of duty, has always urged me to study the originals and that, if they have sometimes eluded my search, I have carefully marked the secondary evidence, on whose faith a passage or a fact were reduced to depend." [12] The Decline and Fall is a literary monument and a massive step forward in historical method. [d]

Numerous tracts were published criticising his work. In response, Gibbon defended his work with the 1779 publication of A Vindication . of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. [14] His remarks on Christianity aroused particularly vigorous attacks, but in the mid-twentieth century, at least one author [ clarification needed ] claimed that "church historians allow the substantial justness of [Gibbon's] main positions." [15]

Misinterpretation of Byzantium Edit

Some historians such as John Julius Norwich, despite their admiration for his furthering of historical methodology, consider Gibbon's hostile views on the Byzantine Empire flawed and blame him somewhat for the lack of interest shown in the subject throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. [16] This view might well be admitted by Gibbon himself: "But it is not my intention to expatiate with the same minuteness on the whole series of the Byzantine history." [17] However, the Russian historian George Ostrogorsky writes, "Gibbon and Lebeau were genuine historians – and Gibbon a very great one – and their works, in spite of factual inadequacy, rank high for their presentation of their material." [18]

Criticism of Quran and Muhammad Edit

Gibbon's comments on the Quran and Muhammad reflected his anti-Islamic views. He outlined in chapter 33 the widespread tale of the Seven Sleepers, [19] and remarked "This popular tale, which Mahomet might learn when he drove his camels to the fairs of Syria, is introduced, as a divine revelation, into the Quran." His presentation of Muhammad's life again reflected his anti-Islamic views: "in his private conduct, Mahomet indulged the appetites of a man, and abused the claims of a prophet. A special revelation dispensed him from the laws which he had imposed on his nation: the female sex, without reserve, was abandoned to his desires and this singular prerogative excited the envy, rather than the scandal, the veneration, rather than the envy, of the devout Mussulmans." [20]

Views on Jews and charge of antisemitism Edit

Gibbon has been accused of antisemitism. [21] He has described the Jews as "a race of fanatics, whose dire and credulous superstition seemed to render them the implacable enemies not only of the Roman government, but also of humankind." [22]

Number of Christian martyrs Edit

Gibbon challenged Church history by estimating far smaller numbers of Christian martyrs than had been traditionally accepted. The Church's version of its early history had rarely been questioned before. Gibbon, however, knew that modern Church writings were secondary sources, and he shunned them in favor of primary sources.

Christianity as a contributor to the fall and to stability: chapters XV, XVI Edit

Historian S. P. Foster says that Gibbon:

blamed the otherworldly preoccupations of Christianity for the decline of the Roman empire, heaped scorn and abuse on the church, and sneered at the entirety of monasticism as a dreary, superstition-ridden enterprise. The Decline and Fall compares Christianity invidiously with both the pagan religions of Rome and the religion of Islam. [23]

Volume I was originally published in sections, as was common for large works at the time. The first two were well received and widely praised. The last quarto in Volume I, especially Chapters XV and XVI, was highly controversial, and Gibbon was attacked as a "paganist". Gibbon thought that Christianity had hastened the Fall, but also ameliorated the results:

As the happiness of a future life is the great object of religion, we may hear without surprise or scandal that the introduction, or at least the abuse of Christianity, had some influence on the decline and fall of the Roman empire. The clergy successfully preached the doctrines of patience and pusillanimity the active virtues of society were discouraged and the last remains of military spirit were buried in the cloister: a large portion of public and private wealth was consecrated to the specious demands of charity and devotion and the soldiers' pay was lavished on the useless multitudes of both sexes who could only plead the merits of abstinence and chastity. Faith, zeal, curiosity, and more earthly passions of malice and ambition, kindled the flame of theological discord the church, and even the state, were distracted by religious factions, whose conflicts were sometimes bloody and always implacable the attention of the emperors was diverted from camps to synods the Roman world was oppressed by a new species of tyranny and the persecuted sects became the secret enemies of their country. Yet party-spirit, however pernicious or absurd, is a principle of union as well as of dissension. The bishops, from eighteen hundred pulpits, inculcated the duty of passive obedience to a lawful and orthodox sovereign their frequent assemblies and perpetual correspondence maintained the communion of distant churches and the benevolent temper of the Gospel was strengthened, though confirmed, by the spiritual alliance of the Catholics. The sacred indolence of the monks was devoutly embraced by a servile and effeminate age but if superstition had not afforded a decent retreat, the same vices would have tempted the unworthy Romans to desert, from baser motives, the standard of the republic. Religious precepts are easily obeyed which indulge and sanctify the natural inclinations of their votaries but the pure and genuine influence of Christianity may be traced in its beneficial, though imperfect, effects on the barbarian proselytes of the North. If the decline of the Roman empire was hastened by the conversion of Constantine, his victorious religion broke the violence of the fall, and mollified the ferocious temper of the conquerors (chap. 38). [24]

Voltaire was deemed to have influenced Gibbon's claim that Christianity was a contributor to the fall of the Roman Empire. As one pro-Christian commenter put it in 1840:

As Christianity advances, disasters befall the [Roman] empire – arts, science, literature, decay – barbarism and all its revolting concomitants are made to seem the consequences of its decisive triumph – and the unwary reader is conducted, with matchless dexterity, to the desired conclusion – the abominable Manicheism of Candide, and, in fact, of all the productions of Voltaire's historic school – viz., "that instead of being a merciful, ameliorating, and benignant visitation, the religion of Christians would rather seem to be a scourge sent on man by the author of all evil." [25]

Tolerant paganism Edit

The various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all considered by the people as equally true by the philosophers as equally false and by the magistrate as equally useful.

He has been criticized for his portrayal of Paganism as tolerant and Christianity as intolerant. In an article that appeared in 1996 in the journal Past & Present, H. A. Drake challenges an understanding of religious persecution in ancient Rome, which he considers to be the "conceptual scheme" that was used by historians to deal with the topic for the last 200 years, and whose most eminent representative is Gibbon. Drake counters:

With such deft strokes, Gibbon enters into a conspiracy with his readers: unlike the credulous masses, he and we are cosmopolitans who know the uses of religion as an instrument of social control. So doing, Gibbon skirts a serious problem: for three centuries prior to Constantine, the tolerant pagans who people the Decline and Fall were the authors of several major persecutions, in which Christians were the victims. . Gibbon covered this embarrassing hole in his argument with an elegant demur. Rather than deny the obvious, he adroitly masked the question by transforming his Roman magistrates into models of Enlightenment rulers – reluctant persecutors, too sophisticated to be themselves religious zealots.

Gibbon's initial plan was to write a history "of the decline and fall of the city of Rome", and only later expanded his scope to the whole Roman Empire:

If I prosecute this History, I shall not be unmindful of the decline and fall of the city of Rome an interesting object, to which my plan was originally confined. [26]

Although he published other books, Gibbon devoted much of his life to this one work (1772–1789). His autobiography Memoirs of My Life and Writings is devoted largely to his reflections on how the book virtually became his life. He compared the publication of each succeeding volume to a newborn child. [27]

Gibbon continued to revise and change his work even after publication. The complexities of the problem are addressed in Womersley's introduction and appendices to his complete edition.

  • In-print complete editions
      , ed., seven volumes, seven editions, London: Methuen, 1898 to 1925, reprinted New York: AMS Press, 1974. 0-404-02820-9. , ed., two volumes, 4th edition New York: The Macmillan Company, 1914 Volume 1Volume 2 , ed., six volumes, New York: Everyman's Library, 1993–1994. The text, including Gibbon's notes, is from Bury but without his notes. 0-679-42308-7 (vols. 1–3) 0-679-43593-X (vols. 4–6).
  • David Womersley, ed., three volumes, hardback London: Allen Lane, 1994 paperback New York: Penguin Books, 1994, revised ed. 2005. Includes the original index, and the Vindication (1779), which Gibbon wrote in response to attacks on his caustic portrayal of Christianity. The 2005 print includes minor revisions and a new chronology. 0-7139-9124-0 (3360 p.) 0-14-043393-7 (v. 1, 1232 p.) 0-14-043394-5 (v. 2, 1024 p.) 0-14-043395-3 (v. 3, 1360 p.)
    • David Womersley, abridged ed., one volume, New York: Penguin Books, 2000. Includes all footnotes and seventeen of the seventy-one chapters. 0-14-043764-9 (848 p.)
    • Hans-Friedrich Mueller, abridged ed., one volume, New York: Random House, 2003. Includes excerpts from all seventy-one chapters. It eliminates footnotes, geographic surveys, details of battle formations, long narratives of military campaigns, ethnographies and genealogies. Based on the Rev. H.H. [Dean] Milman's edition of 1845 (see also Gutenberg e-text edition). 0-375-75811-9, (trade paper, 1312 p.) 0-345-47884-3 (mass market paper, 1536 p.)
    • AMN, abridged ed., one volume abridgement, Woodland: Historical Reprints, 2019. It eliminates most footnotes, adds some annotations, and omits Milman's notes. 978-1-950330-46-1 (large 8x11.5 trade paper 402 pages)

    Many writers have used variations on the series title (including using "Rise and Fall" in place of "Decline and Fall"), especially when dealing with a large polity that has imperial characteristics. Piers Brendon notes that Gibbon's work "became the essential guide for Britons anxious to plot their own imperial trajectory. They found the key to understanding the British Empire in the ruins of Rome." [28]

    • Playfair, William (1805). An Inquiry into the Permanent Causes of the Decline and Fall of Powerful and Wealthy Nations. Designed To Show How The Prosperity Of The British Empire May Be Prolonged. ISBN978-1166472474 .
    • Davis, Jefferson (1868). The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. ISBN978-1540456045 .
    • Cuppy, Will (1950). The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody. ISBN978-0880298094 .
    • Shirer, William (1960). The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. ISBN978-0671728687 .
    • Jacobs, Jane (1961). The Death and Life of Great American Cities. ISBN978-0679741954 .
    • Kinks, The (1969). Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire). ASINB00005O053.
    • Toland, John Willard (1970). The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945. ISBN978-0812968583 .
    • Green, Celia (1976). The Decline and Fall of Science. ISBN978-0900076060 .
    • Balfour, Patrick (1977). The Ottoman Centuries: The Rise and Fall of the Turkish Empire. ISBN978-0688030933 .
    • Martin, Malachi (1983). The Decline and Fall of the Roman Church. ISBN978-0553229448 .
    • Eysenck, Hans (1986). Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire. ISBN978-0765809452 .
    • Kennedy, Paul (1987). The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers. ISBN978-0679720195 .
    • Wilson, Henry (1872). History of the Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America. ISBN978-1504215428 .
    • Cannadine, David (1990). The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy . ISBN978-0375703683 .
    • James, Lawrence (1998). The Rise and Fall of the British Empire. ISBN978-0312169855 .
    • Faulkner, Neil (2000). The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain. ISBN978-0752414584 .
    • Ferguson, Niall (2002). Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power. ISBN978-0465023295 .
    • Carlin, David (2003). The Decline and Fall of the Catholic Church in America. ISBN978-1622821693 .
    • Brendon, Piers (2007). The Decline and Fall of the British Empire. ISBN978-0712668460 .
    • Simms, Brendan (2008). Three victories and a defeat: the rise and fall of the first British Empire. ISBN978-0465013326 .
    • Pourshariati, Parvaneh (2008). Decline and Fall of the Sasanian Empire. ISBN978-1784537470 .
    • Ackerman, Bruce (2010). Decline and Fall of the American Republic. ISBN978-0674725843 .
    • Smith, Phillip J. (2015). The Rise and Fall of the British Empire: Mercantilism, Diplomacy and the Colonies. ISBN978-1518888397 .
    • Ober, Josiah (2015). The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece. ISBN978-0691173146 .

    The title and author are also cited in Noël Coward's comedic poem "I Went to a Marvellous Party", [e] and in the poem "The Foundation of Science Fiction Success", Isaac Asimov acknowledged that his Foundation series – an epic tale of the fall and rebuilding of a galactic empire – was written "with a tiny bit of cribbin' / from the works of Edward Gibbon". [30] Feminist science fiction author Sheri S. Tepper gave one of her novels the title Gibbon's Decline and Fall.

    In 1995, an established journal of classical scholarship, Classics Ireland, published punk musician's Iggy Pop's reflections on the applicability of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire to the modern world in a short article, Caesar Lives, (vol. 2, 1995) in which he noted

    America is Rome. Of course, why shouldn't it be? We are all Roman children, for better or worse . I learn much about the way our society really works, because the system-origins – military, religious, political, colonial, agricultural, financial – are all there to be scrutinised in their infancy. I have gained perspective. [31]

    1. ^ sometimes shortened to Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
    2. ^ The original volumes were published in quarto sections, a common publishing practice of the time.
    3. ^ See for example Henri Pirenne's (1862–1935) famous thesis published in the early 20th century. As for sources more recent than the ancients, Gibbon certainly drew on Montesquieu's short essay, Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and their Decline, and on previous work published by Bossuet (1627–1704) in his Histoire universelle à Monseigneur le dauphin (1763). see Pocock, The Enlightenments of Edward Gibbon, 1737–1764. for Bousset, pp. 65, 145 for Montesquieu, pp. 85–88, 114, 223.
    4. ^ In the early 20th century, biographer Sir Leslie Stephen summarized The History's reputation as a work of unmatched erudition, a degree of professional esteem which remains as strong today as it was then:

    The criticisms upon his book . are nearly unanimous. In accuracy, thoroughness, lucidity, and comprehensive grasp of a vast subject, the History is unsurpassable. It is the one English history which may be regarded as definitive. . Whatever its shortcomings, the book is artistically imposing as well as historically unimpeachable as a vast panorama of a great period. [13]


    Book Description

    The Roman Empire at Bay is the only one volume history of the critical years 180-395 AD, which saw the transformation of the Roman Empire from a unitary state centred on Rome, into a new polity with two capitals and a new religion—Christianity. The book integrates social and intellectual history into the narrative, looking to explore the relationship between contingent events and deeper structure. It also covers an amazingly dramatic narrative from the civil wars after the death of Commodus through the conversion of Constantine to the arrival of the Goths in the Roman Empire, setting in motion the final collapse of the western empire.

    The new edition takes account of important new scholarship in questions of Roman identity, on economy and society as well as work on the age of Constantine, which has advanced significantly in the last decade, while recent archaeological and art historical work is more fully drawn into the narrative. At its core, the central question that drives The Roman Empire at Bay remains, what did it mean to be a Roman and how did that meaning change as the empire changed? Updated for a new generation of students, this book remains a crucial tool in the study of this period.


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    The History of the Roman Empire: 27 B.C. – 180 A.D‪.‬

    The book covers the period of more than 200 years from the time of Julius Caesar until the end of Marcus Aurelius' reign. Through the 30 chapters of this book, readers will gain a complete insight into the political history of the golden age of the Roman Empire.

    From the Battle of Actium to the Foundation of the Principate

    The Joint Government of the Princeps and Senate

    The Family of Augustus and His Plans to Found a Dynasty

    Administration of Augustus in Rome and Italy — Organisation of the Army

    Provincial Administration Under Augustus — the Western Provinces

    Provincial Administration Under Augustus — the Eastern Provinces and Egypt

    Rome and Parthia — Expeditions to Arabia and Ethiopia

    The Winning and Losing of Germany — Death of Augustus

    Rome Under Augustus — His Buildings

    Literature of the Augustan Age

    The Principate of Tiberius (14-37 A.D.)

    The Principate of Gaius (Caligula) (37-41 A.D.)

    The Principate of Claudius (41-54 A.D.)

    The Principate of Nero (54-68 A.D.)

    The Wars for Armenia, Under Claudius and Nero

    The Principate of Galba, and the Year of the Four Emperors (68-69 A.D.)

    Rebellions in Germany and Judea

    The Flavian Emperors — Vespasian, Titus and Domitian (69-96 A.D.)

    Britain and Germany Under the Flavians — Dacian War

    Nerva and Trajan — the Conquest of Dacia

    Literature From the Death of Tiberius to Trajan

    The Principate of Hadrian (117-138 A.D.)

    The Principate of Antoninus Pius (138-161 A.D.)

    The Principate of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 A.D.)

    Literature Under Hadrian and the Antonines

    The Roman World Under the Empire — Politics, Philosophy, Religion and Art


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