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About Roman history

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About Roman history

Postby MickeyV » Fri Mar 05, 2004 11:48 pm

A question: which would be the best book containing an overview of the entire Roman history?

Gratias. :)
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Re: About Roman history

Postby xn » Sat Mar 06, 2004 2:17 am

Do you have a preference between conciseness and thoroughness?

Do you have a particular “endpoint” in mind? [The death of Constantine? The death of Theodosius? The overthrow of Romulus Augustus? The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople? Or to the present day for the city of Rome?]

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Postby chad » Sat Mar 06, 2004 2:46 am

hi mickey, this might sound like a bizarre recommendation, but to cover (for the first time) all of roman history, from the beginning to the collapse a few hundred years into AD, i'd recommend the "rome: power and glory" 6 part documentary by discovery, before any book. it's on dvd (and video), and covers far more than you'd expect.

then there's plenty of books to build on that... and that will depend more on what writing style you prefer. you might want to read gibbon's famous work on the rise and fall of the roman empire: it covers the whole history in a grand sweep, but it's written in a grandiose style, and is full of value judgments about the superiority of certain ages, like e.g. the age of the antonines, leaving out e.g. the brutality of the roman empire at that time to non-citizens.

any general world history will cover roman history.

if you want to read a roman historian's take on roman history, you'll pick up their names and areas of concentration if you watch that documentary i recommended, e.g. livy.

hope that helps :) cheers, chad. :)
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Postby MickeyV » Sat Mar 06, 2004 9:23 pm

Thanks, chad. About Gibbon: after some cursory investigation, your esteem of his work appears to be confirmed. However, it also appears, unless I'm mistaken of course, that his work covers "only" the later period of the empire, that is to say that it focuses on the collapse only.

xn: I had in mind the timeperiod from circa the founding of Rome until the collapse at the hand of the Germans. But if the book also covers a few centuries past that, for instance in describing the situation of the Eastern "Roman" Empire with regards, eg, to Justinianus, I'd be quite pleased with that as well.
Last edited by MickeyV on Sat Mar 06, 2004 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MickeyV » Sat Mar 06, 2004 9:24 pm

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Postby chrisb » Sun Mar 07, 2004 8:48 pm

If you are looking for an ebook on the net, then you could try http://www.forumromanum.org where you will find Outlines of Roman History by Morey. It covers Roman history from the foundation to the end of the western empire in about 200 pages.

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Postby MickeyV » Tue Mar 09, 2004 1:02 pm

Gratias. :)
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Postby melisa_laura » Thu Mar 11, 2004 7:33 pm

When I was preparing a theme for Political Law, about the ancient cities (the greek polis and the roman civitas), I found a book that was very useful: "The ancient city" by Fustel de Coulanges. It is about the greek and roman cities, and explains the social aspects of their lives. It can be good if you want to know about other aspects of their history, not only the "official" history.
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