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The Roman Republic (Fontana History of the Ancient World) Paperback – 15 Apr 2011


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Fontana Press; New edition edition (15 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006862500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006862505
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Kuma on 5 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael Crawford is an exceptional historian who has never shied away from the difficult parts of history, nor from difficult methodology. His work on Roman Coins still sets the standard, and his management of epigraphical (inscriptions) evidence is excellent. I bring this up because it is important to understand that Crawford writes a style of history that tries to really assess the evidence for a period, this may make the work less palatable to non-academics as he focuses less on the personalities of the period (Caesar, Crassus, Pompey et al.) and more on the structural factors affecting the period and giving the reader access to some longer term themes of Roman History. Equally he does unbalance his history by only examining the fall of the republic, he allows an insight into earlier less well discussed periods.

The Fontana series made a real effort to create good entry points to the themes of ancient history rather than the narrative of Ancient History and Crawford makes good use of this premise.

Ideologically the book may be less comfortable to modern readers as Crawford does lean toward some Marxist ideas and Socialism in general. Though he does not try to let this influence the work too much, ultimately he does look at the system from a perspective of exploitation by a military elite against an agrarian proletariat, equally and appropriately he is keen to remove the veneer of respectability that has been attached to the likes of Caesar, Pompey, Crassus etc, by viewing them as Warlords with selfish motivations whose actions hurt their fellow citizens. Ultimately there is not too much wrong with trying to make historians aware that history of elites should not ignore the plight of ancient history's silent majority.
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This is not a book for beginners, as it assumes some knowledge of the events of the Republic, but it is a thoughtful and incisive analysis of the Republic and the tensions which brought it down. It has consistently strong themes in the analysis, not least the crucially destructive role of imperial expansion to the ideals and practices of the Republic.
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Very good book, for a very good price. Needed it for Ancient history degree and was much cheaper than buying it new for £13. Crawford is the essential book for this time period in Romes vast history. The narrative is very easy to read while still maintaining a scholarly air!
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generally very good but occasionally hard to follow. good range of material for beginners through to academic (if looking for a general starting point)
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