How did a small village on the banks of the Tiber in Italy become an imperial power that at its height encompassed some 64 million people across three continents? How did a republic become an empire with an emperor at its head, and how can we explain its decline and eventual collapse?
In this richly illustrated new edition, David Potter tells the remarkable story of the origins, rise and fall of one of the most famous and influential empires in history. Potter’s account spans the ancient to the Early Medieval, beginning with the founding of Rome and reaching to the rise of Islam and the Roman loss of Alexandria.
In his fascinating account of the dramas, controversies and personalities that make up Roman history, David Potter describes the life and culture of the Roman people; their perspectives on people outside Rome, their views on marriage and the role of women, and their outlook on religion and the coming of Christianity. Drawing on both archaeological and textual evidence, the author combines the insights afforded by material culture with the views of the great Roman characters in their own words.
Now in its third edition, the book offers an even more accessible account of Rome. Each chapter opens with a map of the extent of the Roman Empire alongside colour timelines, offering readers a way to orient themselves as they explore the history of the period. New family trees of some of the most influential dynasties in Rome help to trace the often complicated relationships between one emperor and the next.
With an array of colour illustrations throughout, the art and architecture of Rome accompanies the lively and often cruel history of its senators, slaves and emperors, helping to present a comprehensive and captivating account of a culture the influence of which is still