Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars A very good and interesting look at Rome from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius, 6 Oct. 2012
This review is from: The Roman Empire (Fontana History of the Ancient World) (Paperback)
It's now some twenty years since this book was published in its second edition, and even longer since the first edition was published in 1984. While some would say scholarship in Roman history has moved on since then, there is always, in my opinion, room for books that carry sound historical authorship and successfully engage a reader's interest. This is one of those books. It has graced my bookshelves for quite a few years now, and I find myself referring to it often. It was time to read it from cover to cover.

This is a really interesting, and well-written book; it's clear, as you read the book, that the author is particularly interested in the Roman army and its movements, and way of life. I'm guessing that this is the same writer who authored The German Policy of Augustus: an Examination of the Archaeological Evidence, which I used earlier this year as part of my research into Augustus' wars under Tiberius - a most interesting book.

This particular book is one of the series of the Fontana History of the Ancient World series - my second edition, published first in 1992, is a very accessible paperback version which fits in very well in the whole series from Fontana, which include other books on Rome, and on Ancient Greece.

This book is very readable and very well laid out - the chapters alternate between more or less chronological outlines of the rule of the various Emperors, and chapters on the social, cultural, economic and other historical aspects of the Empire at the requisite time in the book's timeline. This makes for a good way to consolidate knowledge as you go, and it also offers the opportunity to read alternate chapters if you want a stricly chronological, or strictly thematic read of the information. There is a comprehensive list of Further Reading, and primary references such as Suetonius, Dio and Tacitus are well-referenced. This is a very good book for any reader interested in learning more about the Roman Empire from the time of Augustus to Marcus Aurelius, and highly recommended.
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

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