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SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

Author: Mary Beard
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 1631491253
Pages: 512
Year: 2015-11-09
A sweeping, revisionist history of the Roman Empire from one of our foremost classicists. Ancient Rome was an imposing city even by modern standards, a sprawling imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants, a "mixture of luxury and filth, liberty and exploitation, civic pride and murderous civil war" that served as the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria. Yet how did all this emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? In S.P.Q.R., world-renowned classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even two thousand years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty. From the foundational myth of Romulus and Remus to 212 ce‚ÄĒnearly a thousand years later‚ÄĒwhen the emperor Caracalla gave Roman citizenship to every free inhabitant of the empire, S.P.Q.R. (the abbreviation of "The Senate and People of Rome") examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries by exploring how the Romans thought of themselves: how they challenged the idea of imperial rule, how they responded to terrorism and revolution, and how they invented a new idea of citizenship and nation. Opening the book in 63 bce with the famous clash between the populist aristocrat Catiline and Cicero, the renowned politician and orator, Beard animates this ‚Äúterrorist conspiracy,‚ÄĚ which was aimed at the very heart of the Republic, demonstrating how this singular event would presage the struggle between democracy and autocracy that would come to define much of Rome‚Äôs subsequent history. Illustrating how a classical democracy yielded to a self-confident and self-critical empire, S.P.Q.R. reintroduces us, though in a wholly different way, to famous and familiar characters‚ÄĒHannibal, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Augustus, and Nero, among others‚ÄĒwhile expanding the historical aperture to include those overlooked in traditional histories: the women, the slaves and ex-slaves, conspirators, and those on the losing side of Rome‚Äôs glorious conquests. Like the best detectives, Beard sifts fact from fiction, myth and propaganda from historical record, refusing either simple admiration or blanket condemnation. Far from being frozen in marble, Roman history, she shows, is constantly being revised and rewritten as our knowledge expands. Indeed, our perceptions of ancient Rome have changed dramatically over the last fifty years, and S.P.Q.R., with its nuanced attention to class inequality, democratic struggles, and the lives of entire groups of people omitted from the historical narrative for centuries, promises to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come.
SPQR

SPQR

Author: Mary Beard
Publisher: Faber & Faber
ISBN: 1846683815
Pages: 606
Year: 2016-04
Sunday Times Top 10 BestsellerShortlisted for a British Book Industry Book of the Year Award 2016The new series Ultimate Rome: Empire Without Limit is on BBC2 nowAncient Rome matters.Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the Rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today.SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists. It explores not only how Rome grew from an insignificant village in central Italy to a power that controlled territory from Spain to Syria, but also how the Romans thought about themselves and their achievements, and why they are still important to us. Covering 1,000 years of history, and casting fresh light on the basics of Roman culture from slavery to running water, as well as exploring democracy, migration, religious controversy, social mobility and exploitation in the larger context of the empire, this is a definitive history of ancient Rome.SPQR is the Romans' own abbreviation for their state: Senatus Populusque Romanus, 'the Senate and People of Rome'.
Spqr

Spqr

Author: Mary Beard
Publisher:
ISBN: 1631492225
Pages: 608
Year: 2016-09-06
New York Times Bestseller National Book Critics Circle Finalist Wall Street Journal Best Books of 2015 Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2015 Economist Books of the Year 2015 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of 2015 A sweeping, "magisterial" history of the Roman Empire from one of our foremost classicists shows why Rome remains "relevant to people many centuries later" Atlantic). "
Confronting the Classics

Confronting the Classics

Author: Mary Beard
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1847658881
Pages: 310
Year: 2013-03-07
Mary Beard is one of the world's best-known classicists - a brilliant academic, with a rare gift for communicating with a wide audience both though her TV presenting and her books. In a series of sparkling essays, she explores our rich classical heritage - from Greek drama to Roman jokes, introducing some larger-than-life characters of classical history, such as Alexander the Great, Nero and Boudicca. She invites you into the places where Greeks and Romans lived and died, from the palace at Knossos to Cleopatra's Alexandria - and reveals the often hidden world of slaves. She takes a fresh look at both scholarly controversies and popular interpretations of the ancient world, from The Golden Bough to Asterix. The fruit of over thirty years in the world of classical scholarship, Confronting the Classics captures the world of antiquity and its modern significance with wit, verve and scholarly expertise.
Dynasty

Dynasty

Author: Tom Holland
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385537905
Pages: 512
Year: 2015-10-20
Author and historian Tom Holland returns to his roots in Roman history and the audience he cultivated with Rubicon‚ÄĒhis masterful, witty, brilliantly researched popular history of the fall of the Roman republic‚ÄĒwith Dynasty, a luridly fascinating history of the reign of the first five Roman emperors. Dynasty continues Rubicon's story, opening where that book ended: with the murder of Julius Caesar. This is the period of the first and perhaps greatest Roman Emperors and it's a colorful story of rule and ruination, running from the rise of Augustus through to the death of Nero. Holland's expansive history also has distinct shades of I Claudius, with five wonderfully vivid (and in three cases, thoroughly depraved) Emperors‚ÄĒAugustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero‚ÄĒfeatured, along with numerous fascinating secondary characters. Intrigue, murder, naked ambition and treachery, greed, gluttony, lust, incest, pageantry, decadence‚ÄĒthe tale of these five Caesars continues to cast a mesmerizing spell across the millennia.
A Place of Greater Safety

A Place of Greater Safety

Author: Hilary Mantel
Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
ISBN: 142992280X
Pages: 768
Year: 2006-11-14
The story of three young provincials of no great heritage who together helped to destroy a way of life and, in the process, destroyed themselves: Camille Desmoulins, bisexual and beautiful, charming, erratic, untrustworthy; Georges Jacques Danton, hugely but erotically ugly, a brilliant pragmatist who knew how to seize power and use it; and Maximilien Robespierre, "the rabid lamb," who would send his dearest friend to the guillotine. Each, none older than thirty-four, would die by the hand of the very revolution he had helped to bring into being.
Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome

Author: Christopher S. Mackay
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521809185
Pages: 395
Year: 2004
Traces the political and military history of Roman Republic and Empire, from the Italian Iron Age to the last emperor in 476 A.D., examining the link between political institutions and military campaigns, the rise of Christianity, the eventual downfall of the western empire, and other key topics.
Augustus

Augustus

Author: Adrian Goldsworthy
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300210078
Pages: 624
Year: 2014-08-28
Caesar Augustus‚Äô story, one of the most riveting in western history, is filled with drama and contradiction, risky gambles and unexpected success. He began as a teenage warlord, whose only claim to power was as the heir of the murdered Julius Caesar. Mark Antony dubbed him ‚Äúa boy who owes everything to a name,‚ÄĚ but in the years to come the youth outmaneuvered all the older and more experienced politicians and was the last man standing in 30 BC. Over the next half century he reinvented himself as a servant of the state who gave Rome peace and stability, and created a new system of government‚ÄĒthe Principate or rule of an emperor. In this highly anticipated biography Goldsworthy puts his deep knowledge of ancient sources to full use, recounting the events of Augustus‚Äô long life in greater detail than ever before. Goldsworthy pins down the man behind the myths: a consummate manipulator, propagandist, and showman, both generous and ruthless. Under Augustus‚Äô rule the empire prospered, yet his success was never assured and the events of his life unfolded with exciting unpredictability. Goldsworthy captures the passion and savagery, the public image and private struggles of the real man whose epic life continues to influence western history.
Women & Power

Women & Power

Author: Mary Beard
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1782834532
Pages: 74
Year: 2017-11-02
Britain's best-known classicist Mary Beard, is also a committed and vocal feminist. With wry wit, she revisits the gender agenda and shows how history has treated powerful women. Her examples range from the classical world to the modern day, from Medusa and Athena to Theresa May and Hillary Clinton. Beard explores the cultural underpinnings of misogyny, considering the public voice of women, our cultural assumptions about women's relationship with power, and how powerful women resist being packaged into a male template. A year on since the advent of #metoo, Beard looks at how the discussions have moved on during this time, and how that intersects with issues of rape and consent, and the stories men tell themselves to support their actions. In trademark Beardian style, using examples ancient and modern, Beard argues, 'it's time for change - and now!' From the author of international bestseller SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome.
Laughter in Ancient Rome

Laughter in Ancient Rome

Author: Mary Beard
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520287584
Pages: 336
Year: 2015-09-15
What made the Romans laugh? Was ancient Rome a carnival, filled with practical jokes and hearty chuckles? Or was it a carefully regulated culture in which the uncontrollable excess of laughter was a force to fear‚ÄĒa world of wit, irony, and knowing smiles? How did Romans make sense of laughter? What role did it play in the world of the law courts, the imperial palace, or the spectacles of the arena? Laughter in Ancient Rome explores one of the most intriguing, but also trickiest, of historical subjects. Drawing on a wide range of Roman writing‚ÄĒfrom essays on rhetoric to a surviving Roman joke book‚ÄĒMary Beard tracks down the giggles, smirks, and guffaws of the ancient Romans themselves. From ancient ‚Äúmonkey business‚ÄĚ to the role of a chuckle in a culture of tyranny, she explores Roman humor from the hilarious, to the momentous, to the surprising. But she also reflects on even bigger historical questions. What kind of history of laughter can we possibly tell? Can we ever really ‚Äúget‚ÄĚ the Romans‚Äô jokes?
Pompeii

Pompeii

Author: Mary Beard
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1847650643
Pages: 368
Year: 2010-07-09
WINNER OF THE WOLFSON HISTORY PRIZE 2008 'The world's most controversial classicist debunks our movie-style myths about the Roman town with meticulous scholarship and propulsive energy' Laura Silverman, Daily Mail The ruins of Pompeii, buried by an explosion of Vesuvius in 79 CE, offer the best evidence we have of everyday life in the Roman empire. This remarkable book rises to the challenge of making sense of those remains, as well as exploding many myths: the very date of the eruption, probably a few months later than usually thought; or the hygiene of the baths which must have been hotbeds of germs; or the legendary number of brothels, most likely only one; or the massive death count, maybe less than ten per cent of the population. An extraordinary and involving portrait of an ancient town, its life and its continuing re-discovery, by Britain's favourite classicist.
The Roman Triumph

The Roman Triumph

Author: Mary Beard
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674020596
Pages: 448
Year: 2009-06-30
A radical reexamination of the most extraordinary of ancient ceremonies, this book explores the magnificence of the Roman Triumph--but also its darker side, as it prompted the Romans to question as well as celebrate military glory. This richly illustrated work is a testament to the profound importance of the triumph in Roman culture--and for monarchs and generals ever since.
SPQR: A Roman Miscellany

SPQR: A Roman Miscellany

Author: Anthony Everitt
Publisher: Head of Zeus
ISBN: 1781855684
Pages: 288
Year: 2014-09-11
SPQR: Senatus Populusque Romanus. A moreishly entertaining and richly informative miscellany of facts about Rome and the Roman world. Do you know to what use the Romans put the excrement of the kingfisher? Or why a dinner party invitation from the emperor Domitian was such a terrifying prospect? Or why Roman women smelt so odd? The answers to these questions can be found in SPQR, a compendium of extraordinary facts and anecdotes about ancient Rome and its Empire. Its 500-odd entries range across every area of Roman life and society, from the Empress Livia's cure for tonsillitis to the most reliable Roman methods of contraception.
The Colosseum

The Colosseum

Author: Keith Hopkins, Mary Beard
Publisher: Profile Books
ISBN: 1847650457
Pages: 256
Year: 2011-04-14
The Colosseum was Imperial Rome's monument to warfare. Like a cathedral of death it towered over the city and invited its citizens, 50,000 at a time, to watch murderous gladiatorial games. It is now visited by two million visitors a year (Hitler was among them). Award winning classicist, Mary Beard with Keith Hopkins, tell the story of Rome's greatest arena: how it was built; the gladiatorial and other games that were held there; the training of the gladiators; the audiences who revelled in the games, the emperors who staged them and the critics. And the strange after story - the Colosseum has been fort, store, church, and glue factory.
The Mongol Empire

The Mongol Empire

Author: John Man
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1448154642
Pages: 400
Year: 2014-06-19
Genghis Khan is one of history's immortals: a leader of genius, driven by an inspiring vision for peaceful world rule. Believing he was divinely protected, Genghis united warring clans to create a nation and then an empire that ran across much of Asia. Under his grandson, Kublai Khan, the vision evolved into a more complex religious ideology, justifying further expansion. Kublai doubled the empire's size until, in the late 13th century, he and the rest of Genghis‚Äôs ‚ÄėGolden Family‚Äô controlled one fifth of the inhabited world. Along the way, he conquered all China, gave the nation the borders it has today, and then, finally, discovered the limits to growth. Genghis's dream of world rule turned out to be a fantasy. And yet, in terms of the sheer scale of the conquests, never has a vision and the character of one man had such an effect on the world. Charting the evolution of this vision, John Man provides a unique account of the Mongol Empire, from young Genghis to old Kublai, from a rejected teenager to the world‚Äôs most powerful emperor.