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Rome in the Ancient World

David Potter


The third edition of David Potter’s lively history, which tells the extraordinary story of Rome from its origins, through the Republic and Empire, to the period of its decline and fall


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
felt today.

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'Excellent ... will be welcomed eagerly by students and their teachers alike'
Ted Kaizer, Senior Lecturer in Roman Culture and History, University of Durham

'Perfect for the perplexed first-timer and the old hand in need of refreshment … nothing is taken for granted and nothing is left out'

'Especially interesting and useful for students of Roman history'
Brian K. Harvey, Associate Professor of Classics, Kent State University

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Edition Type: Third edition

Size: 25.4 x 19.2 cm

Extent: 368 pp

Illustrations: 233

Publication date: 10 January 2019

ISBN: 9780500051979

Contents List

Introduction • 1. The Formation of the Roman Identity (800–300BC) • 2. War and Empire (400–133BC) • 3. The Failure of the Roman Republic (133–59BC) • 4. The Transition from Republic to Principate (59BC–AD70) • 5. The Age of Stability (AD70–238) • 6. The Transformation of the Roman World (AD238–410) • 7. The Endings of the Roman Empire (AD410–642)

About the Author

David Potter is Francis W. Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan.