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From the Gracchi to Nero A History of Rome from 133 BC to AD 68 [Hardcover]

H H Scullard
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Frederick A Praeger, New York; FIRST EDITION edition (1959)
  • ASIN: B002KZN8W0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,602,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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First Sentence
Carthage and Corinth, two great cities of the ancient world, crashed to their ruin amid smoke and flame in 146 B.C., destroyed and sacked by Roman troops. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read, slightly outdated in parts. 15 Dec 2003
For anyone wanting a good narrative overview of the last years of the republic and the formative years of the principate this book is very useful. Sullards style is vivid and comfortable to read. However it is now, sadly, outdated and his views on the roman political system, means of social control(clientela)and on non-roman civilisations have now been outgrown by academic research in the twenty years since the last edition. Those wishing to see a more up to date view (for the late republic at least) should see Beard and Crawford's Rome in the late Republic, and perhaps the latest edition of the Cambridge Ancient History Volumes IX,X and XI (although you may have to go to your local library to read these as they are rather expensive). Nonetheless it is still useful to student and non-student alike, even if certain areas should be read with scepticsim, and there is currently no comparable complete overview of the period Scullard covers.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From the Gracchi to Nero 22 Oct 2007
For almost fifty years, H. H. Scullard's text on Roman history, From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 B.C to A. D. 68, has been a staple of introductory Ancient History courses. Scullard's writing is clear, concise, and for the most part it stays away from embellishment or falling into the trap of creating a coherent narrative. While the endless stream of names, dates, places and times can be difficult to keep track of, the book if collected into a mostly chronological and thematic selection of chapters revolving around a particular topic - The Gracchi, Pompey the Great, Julius Ceasar and so on.

The work is split into roughly two halves. The first deals with the time from the Gracchi brothers and their attempts at social reform, to the Second Triumvirate, when Octavian, Antony and Lepidus combined their power for the good of the Roman Republic. Along the way we learn of Brutus' treachery against Julius Ceasar, we learn of the rise and fall of Marius, who instigated reforms that allowed cracks to form in the previously impregnable Republic, and of poor Sulla.

The second half focuses on Octavian's massive success in making himself the sole ruler of Rome. He destroyed the Republic, shifted the power from the Senate to himself and, to a lesser extend, the People, and he also, somewhat amazingly, set in place a structure that would create peace for two hundred odd years, which would then go on to assist in the creation of modern Europe. Indeed, the 'universal peace' or Pax Romana of 27 B.C. or so until about 180 A.D. has inspired many nations and people's around the world to believe in the possibility of a further universal peace in our own (or their own) time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old But Good 31 Aug 2010
By demola
A fine book and I loved it. The cover is scary to look at and there's something about the way the book is laid out inside that reminds one of library dust and spider webs. However this was a genuine delight to read, as smooth as butter, and I'm really glad I bought it. First published in 1959 apparently some of it has been superseded by recent historical advances. Nevertheless, the core story is still the same - from monarchy to republic to principate to decline. No one is going to make a Hollywood blockbuster of this publication unlike some other history of Rome books you might find in bookstores but that's the appeal, this book is for edification not entertainment and rightly so I affirm. The writing style is easy on the mind and I loved the sweep and the detail - neither too little nor too much. I hadn't heard of the Gracchi brothers until I read about them here but now they pop up in every other book I read. Most likely I just never paid close attention before now. All the usual suspects are here Sulla, Pompey, Caesar of course, Augustus, Cicero but also less well-known names like Crassus, the aforementioned Gracchi brothers and Cato. A good buy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good overview 3 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
This was a standard A Level textbook when I studied ancient history almost 50 years ago. It is still an excellent and very readable overview of the decades which led to the end of the Roman republic, and of the period of the Julio-Claudian emperors. It covers military, constitutional, political, social, economic, religious and cultural affairs. The emphasis is very much on the male upper classes. Partly this reflects the sources, but a more modern treatment might have given more attention to women and the lives of ordinary people.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The standard text? 28 July 2011
By Mr. Christopher Harris VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are interested in this period of Roman history this book is pretty definitive and demonstrates a very high standard of modern scholarship. A must have for me.
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