How did the Romans go from a small village on the banks of the Tiber to an imperial power that at its height encompassed some 64 million people across three continents? And how can we explain the decline and eventual collapse of this vast empire? This expanded new edition of David Potter's lively history tells the extraordinary story of Rome from its origins, through the Republic and Empire, to the period of its decline and fall.
In a narrative full of drama and unforgettable characters, the author describes the key events of Roman history and gives a fascinating account of the development of Roman life and culture. Informed throughout by the latest scholarship and archaeological evidence, it offers penetrating new insights that challenge the received wisdom of traditional histories.
As well as telling the story of Rome, this book is unique in engaging readers in the practice and interpretation of ancient history. A thought-provoking introduction discusses key sources for studying Roman history, and different methods scholars can use to reconstruct the past. The contributions of economics, archaeology, literary criticism, and anthropology to our understanding of the Roman world are explained.
An array of illustrations enriches this insightful history, and illuminates how such objects can deepen our understanding of Roman culture.
'Potter's clear style of writing will facilitate the study and teaching of all periods and aspects of Ancient Rome'
Ted Kaizer, University of Durham
'The rich use of primary evidence remains a key focus and the author's explanation of how and why things happened makes the text especially interesting and useful for students of Roman history'
Brian K. Harvey, Kent State University
'Perfect for the perplexed first-timer and the old hand in need of refreshment … nothing is taken for granted and nothing is left out'