- Hardcover: 608 pages
- Publisher: Liveright (25 April 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0871404230
- ISBN-13: 978-0871404237
- Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 4.6 x 24.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (373 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
S.P.Q.R: A History of Ancient Rome Hardcover – 25 Apr 2017
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
This book tracks the rise of Rome from backwater village to imperial city, spreading its power from Syria to Spain by 63 BCE, staring down resisters, and originating the idea of nation and citizenship. Included here are the stories not just of Julius Caesar but the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker and certainly women and slaves.--Barbara Hoffert"
[Beard] is no myth builder; she is a scholar who reaches down-to-earth conclusions based on her years of dedication to her subject . She is able to step back to see the entire Roman world . She shows us how to engage with the history, culture, and controversies that made Rome and why it still matters. Beard's enthusiasm for her subject is infectious . Lovers of Roman history will revel in this work, and new students will quickly become devotees."
A masterful new chronicle . Beard is a sure-footed guide through arcane material that, in other hands, would grow tedious. Sifting myth from fact in dealing with the early history of the city, she enlivens and deepens scholarly debates by demonstrating how the Romans themselves shaped their legendary beginnings to short-term political ends . Exemplary popular history, engaging but never dumbed down, providing both the grand sweep and the intimate details that bring the distant past vividly to life."
Monumental . A triumphant Roman read that is sure to appear on school curricula and holiday wishlists alike.--Carly Silver"
Mary Beard on Ancient Rome: Britain's favourite classicist lifts the lid on the Roman Empire. A major new BBC TV series presented by the author starts in May 2016. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top Customer Reviews
The book opens in 63 BCE with the struggle between Catiline and Cicero. Explaining the events of that conspiracy, and its outcome, Beard then goes back to the foundation of Rome – the story of Romulus and Remus, the kings of Rome, the building of the city and where the values that drove Catiline and Cicero came from. This is a great way to approach Rome; from something that demonstrates Roman values, to showing us where those values originated, we get an understanding of the makeup of Romans and their way of life.
The book then moves through the ages to an ending in 212 CE, when the emperor Caracalla gave Roman citizenship to every free inhabitant of the empire; as good an end to the author’s personal view of Rome as any.
The author has wisely not attempted to cover a comprehensive history of nearly one thousand years of Rome in one volume; an impossible task. What she has done, very successfully, is to take us through that period from the perspective of things within each era that added to, or influenced, or show us Roman lives, values, cultures, and progress.Read more ›
What the author does, is try to get into the minds of those who lived through the times examined. To try and ask questions about why Rome rose to prominence, how its inhabitants saw themselves and their ancestors, and to dispel a lot of the myths that we tend to think of as fact. She is very clear about what we definitively know (nothing like as much as we think) and where we can take educated guesses.
The book has left me with many more questions than answers; but that is no criticism. It has challenged some of my assumptions and perceptions, and given me new avenues to explore (there is a very thorough bibliography). Too many history books today present themselves as definitive; in reality history is all about perspective. I want a book to challenge me; this one does that perfectly, and has left me with lots more inspiration for future reading.
What Mary Beard provides here is an excellent and thorough introduction to the Roman world and its development. It's a long read because it's a big subject; it is to her credit that this reader at least is stimulated to go and read more on it. She strikes the perfect balance between detail and overview, she never talks down and she is never dull. In fact, this is at all times an entertaining, as well as an informative read.
It is difficult to imagine a better book for those who, like me, thought Romans were just a tad dull, with their straight lines, military-fetish and perpetual bathing. Mary Beard points out their quirkiness and their variety, but perhaps what she most strongly gives us is their humanity, a sense of them as people like me struggling to make the best of their time here.
She is particularly interesting when examining what foundation myths tell us about the mind-set of Romans, how they projected their anxieties and identities backward into the past and how those identities were changed by the processes of empire.
Of course Beard cannot avoid the temptations of biography altogether. This is the history of Rome after all and we are dealing with the likes of Nero. However, one of the more intriguing conclusions she comes to is that the empire created the emperors as much as vice versa.
It's a development that begins with Pompey who could arguably be described as the first emperor, and who was defined by territorial acquisition and the power and wealth it provided. The process was formalised in the life and legacy of Augustus who was transformed into a model of imperial identity to which his successors were obliged to conform for the next millennium.
Beard's main argument, however, is that what made Rome unique in the Ancient World was not that its rulers were more cruel or excessive than those of other people, or that its people more ingenious, or even that its soldiers were more ruthless, but the fact that from very early on its rulers untethered the concept of being Roman from its geographical limitations. You could be a Roman and a Greek, even a Roman and a Briton.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love how Professor Beard manages to impart the knowledge without talking down to the lay person. Very informative and entertaining, easy to readPublished 23 days ago by Josephine Ingham
The subtitle "A history of ancient Rome" is very misleading. Rather, this book is a meandering speculation on the thought processes of the Romans which is just a post hoc... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Alex
As someone relatively new to the history of Ancient Rome this book provides a great starting point. Well written, easy to read with some fascinating insights I would recommend this... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Stephen L
An excellent book that I galloped through enthusiastically.
Mary Beard takes as her starting point the Roman history that we all think we know from school, Shakespeare... Read more
Thorough discussion of the history of Rome, told in an interesting and thought-provoking way. Brilliant.Published 1 month ago by Red
I've always found Roman history interesting, and no one tells it like Mary Beard. Great read, highly recommended. Pompeii next!Published 2 months ago by @stupotpot
Wow! All the dirty little bits of the Roman Empire you didn't know. Mary beard takes us from the legends of the little village that was Rome. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robert