Book picks similar to
Spartacus by Aldo Schiavone
The Age of Augustus
Werner Eck - 1998
In this concise biography, Professor Werner Eck, one of the world's leading experts on the Roman empire, tells the extraordinary story of Augustus, Rome's first emperor.A concise and gripping account of Augustus and his age.Written by one of the world's foremost experts on the Roman Empire.Examines the transformation of Rome from a republic to a monarchy.Covers domestic and foreign policy, constitutional developments, and cultural achievements.Compares Augustus' own account of his life to other historical narratives and archaeological records.Includes a new translation of Augustus' Res Gestae with a short introduction and a substantial bibliography to aid further study.
History of the Peloponnesian War: Bk. 1-2
He saw the rise of Athens to greatness under the inspired leadership of Pericles. In 430, the second year of the Peloponnesian War, he caught and survived the horrible plague which he described so graphically. Later, as general in 423 he failed to save Amphipolis from the enemy and was disgraced. He tells about this, not in volumes of self-justification, but in one sentence of his history of the war—that it befell him to be an exile for twenty years. He then lived probably on his property in Thrace, but was able to observe both sides in certain campaigns of the war, and returned to Athens after her defeat in 404. He had been composing his famous history, with its hopes and horrors, triumphs and disasters, in full detail from first-hand knowledge of his own and others.The war was really three conflicts with one uncertain peace after the first; and Thucydides had not unified them into one account when death came sometime before 396. His history of the first conflict, 431–421, was nearly complete; Thucydides was still at work on this when the war spread to Sicily and into a conflict (415–413) likewise complete in his awful and brilliant record, though not fitted into the whole. His story of the final conflict of 413–404 breaks off (in the middle of a sentence) when dealing with the year 411. So his work was left unfinished and as a whole unrevised. Yet in brilliance of description and depth of insight this history has no superior.The Loeb Classical Library edition of Thucydides is in four volumes.
Agrippina: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Early Empire
Anthony A. Barrett - 1996
According to ancient sources, she achieved her success by plotting against her brother, the emperor Caligula, murdering her husband, the emperor Claudius, and controlling her son, the emperor Nero, by sleeping with him. Modern scholars tend to accept this verdict. But in his dynamic biography—the first on Agrippina in English—Anthony Barrett paints a startling new picture of this influential woman.Drawing on the latest archaeological, numismatic, and historical evidence, Barrett argues that Agrippina has been misjudged. Although she was ambitious, says Barrett, she made her way through ability and determination rather than by sexual allure, and her political contributions to her time seem to have been positive. After Agrippina's marriage to Claudius there was a marked decline in the number of judicial executions and there was close cooperation between the Senate and the emperor; the settlement of Cologne, founded under her aegis, was a model of social harmony; and the first five years of Nero's reign, while she was still alive, were the most enlightened of his rule. According to Barrett, Agrippina's one real failing was her relationship with her son, the monster of her own making who had her murdered in horrific and violent circumstances. Agrippina's impact was so lasting, however, that for some 150 years after her death no woman in the imperial family dared assume an assertive political role.
A History of Rome
Marcel Le Glay - 1996
The second edition incorporates a number of improvements including new subject sections and maps, expanded coverage of key chapters, and updated resource and bibliographic material. Incorporates a number of improvements, many of which have been suggested by readers.Provides more extensive treatment of key areas.Includes completely new sections to cover subjects omitted from the first edition.Continues to include extensive illustrative material - plates, tables, chronologies, and maps (including two new ones).A more comprehensive index will ensure the book is now easier to use. Please visit our Roman history website at: http: //www.blackwellpublishing.com/cherry for on-line resources, details of related books, and a unique cross reference tool to help you make the best use of The Roman World: A Sourcebook and A History of Rome.
Frank McLynn - 2009
We may thrill to the exploits of Alexander the Great, Hannibal or Caesar, and historical novelists may beguile us with their imaginative reconstructions of this life or that, but the only voice from the Greco-Roman world that still seems to have contemporary relevance is that of the man who ruled the Roman Empire from 161 to 180 A.D. His book of reflections, Meditations, continues to sell in large numbers in numerous editions. Though a persecutor of Christians, Marcus holds out the prospect of spirituality for atheists, happiness without God, joy without heaven and morality without religion. He truly was a man for all seasons, and those seasons include the twenty-first century.His reign foreshadowed the eventual decline and fall of the Roman Empire, and his life itself represents the fulfillment of Plato’s famous dictum that mankind will prosper only when philosophers are rulers and rulers philosophers. Marcus Aurelius by acclaimed historian Frank McLynn, promises to be the definitive biography of this monumental historical figure — now known very widely through the Oscar-winning film Gladiator.
Marcus Tullius Cicero - 1925
A chronicle of a crumbling civilization during the era when the republic disintegrated and was replaced by despotism, his Letters portray a world dominated by characters who have since acquired almost mythic status - including Pompey, Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, and Mark Antony. Whether describing the vagaries of war, the collapse of Roman society, his beloved republic, or his own personal domestic dramas, all compellingly reflect the complex personality of an honourable and selfless man whose refusal to compromise ultimately cost him his life.
Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor
Anthony Everitt - 2006
As Rome’s first emperor, Augustus transformed the unruly Republic into the greatest empire the world had ever seen. His consolidation and expansion of Roman power two thousand years ago laid the foundations, for all of Western history to follow. Yet, despite Augustus’s accomplishments, very few biographers have concentrated on the man himself, instead choosing to chronicle the age in which he lived. Here, Anthony Everitt, the bestselling author of Cicero, gives a spellbinding and intimate account of his illustrious subject. Augustus began his career as an inexperienced teenager plucked from his studies to take center stage in the drama of Roman politics, assisted by two school friends, Agrippa and Maecenas. Augustus’s rise to power began with the assassination of his great-uncle and adoptive father, Julius Caesar, and culminated in the titanic duel with Mark Antony and Cleopatra.The world that made Augustus–and that he himself later remade–was driven by intrigue, sex, ceremony, violence, scandal, and naked ambition. Everitt has taken some of the household names of history–Caesar, Brutus, Cassius, Antony, Cleopatra–whom few know the full truth about, and turned them into flesh-and-blood human beings.At a time when many consider America an empire, this stunning portrait of the greatest emperor who ever lived makes for enlightening and engrossing reading. Everitt brings to life the world of a giant, rendered faithfully and sympathetically in human scale. A study of power and political genius, Augustus is a vivid, compelling biography of one of the most important rulers in history.
History's Greatest Generals: 10 Commanders Who Conquered Empires, Revolutionized Warfare, and Changed History Forever
Michael Rank - 2013
Whether it is Hannibal of Carthage marching elephants across the Alps and attacking the heart of Rome, Khalid ibn al-Walid boasting an undefeated military career and destroying the Persian Empire while subduing the Byzantines, or Russian General Alexander Suvurov and his elevation of the bayonet to a work of art that could cut down any European army, great military leaders have exerted tremendous influence on society. This book will look at the lives of the ten greatest military commanders in history. Some conquered the fullest expanse of the known world, as did Alexander the Great. Still others were master statesmen and capable of translating military victory into long-term political gains, such as Julius Caesar, whose vanquishing of the Gauls and his political opponents laid the groundwork for several centuries of unmatchable Roman imperial might. It will also look at the tactics they used to bring down stronger armies and befuddle them at every turn; whether it is Napoleon, who nearly conquered Europe through his deadly manoeuvre sur les derrieres and marching unexpectedly away from the enemy's main strength and concentrating on a weak but vital enemy point; or Hannibal's double entrapment maneuver, which has been the envy of military strategists for the last 2,000 years. Whatever their background, these rulers show that the right military commander at the right time in history can destroy an empire, change civilization, and alter the course of world history forever.
Roman Lives: A Selection of Eight Lives (Aemilius Paulus, Tiberius Gracchus and Gaius Grachus, Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Caesar, Marc Anthony)
He portrays virtues to be emulated and vices to be avoided, but his purpose is also implicitly to educate and warn those in his own day who wielded power. In prose that is rich, elegant and sprinkled with learned references, he explores with an extraordinary degree of insight the interplay of character and political action. While drawing chiefly on historical sources, he brings to biography a natural story-teller's ear for a good anecdote. Throughout the ages Plutarch's Lives have been valued for their historical value and their charm. This new translation will introduce new generations to his urbane erudition. The most comprehensive selection available, it is accompanied by a lucid introduction, explanatory notes, bibliographies, maps and indexes.Aemilius Paulus, Tiberius Gracchus and Gaius Grachus, Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Caesar, Marc Anthony
The Enemies of Rome: From Hannibal to Attila the Hun
Philip Matyszak - 2004
The alternative view now suggests that many of Rome's enemiesthe Celts, Hebrews, and Phoenicians, for examplewere developing civilizations in their own right before obliteration at the Roman sword. Indeed, as Philip Matyszak argues, had Rome not crushed rivals so completely, the drop into the Dark Ages might not have occurred; at Rome's collapse, no other powerful civilizations remained to absorb the impact. This book looks at the growth and eventual demise of Rome from the viewpoint of those vanquished by Rome. They varied from the highly cultivated Greeks and Egyptians to wild and rebellious Britons and Germans, to the Asiatic empires of the Persians and Parthians. Their leaders were driven by ambition, vindictive hatred, fear, political calculation, or naked greed. Some fought to preserve their heritage, some for personal survival, and others from a warrior's love of battle. Defying the might of Rome was a dangerous business, and few of the men and women described here died in their beds. Some, like Vercingetorix and Jugurtha, were captured, exhibited in triumph, and then, while their conquerors sat down to a festive dinner, killed in the dungeons below. Rather than face such an end, some of Rome's greatest adversaries, including Hannibal, Boudicca, and Cleopatra, killed themselves. Here is the reality behind legends such as Spartacus the gladiator, and the stories of Shapur the conqueror and Mithridates the connoisseur of poisons. Some enemies of Rome were noble heroes, others were murdering villains, but each has a unique and fascinating story. 80 illustrations.
Scipio Africanus: Greater than Napoleon
B.H. Liddell Hart - 1926
As commander he never lost a battle. Yet it is his adversary, Hannibal, who has lived on in the public memory, due mostly to his daring march through the Alps with his elephants. At the Battle of the Ticinus, Hannibal’s initial encounter with Roman arms, young Scipio first tasted warfare, rescuing his dangerously wounded, encircled father, who was also the Roman commander. By nineteen Scipio was the equivalent of a staff colonel and in 210 B.C. he was placed in supreme command. In three years he destroyed Carthaginian power in Spain and, after being made consul, took his forces to Africa, where he conquered Carthage’s great ally, Syphax. Two years later he clashed with Hannibal himself, annihilating his army in the decisive Battle of Zama. For this triumph and his other exploits in the Punic Wars, Scipio was awarded the title Africanus.In his fascinating portrait of this extraordinary commander, B. H. Liddell Hart writes, ”The age of generalship does not age, and it is because Scipio’s battles are richer in stratagems and ruses—many still feasible today—than those of any other commander in history that they are an unfailing object lesson.” Not only military enthusiasts and historians but all those interested in outstanding men will find this magnificent study absorbing and gripping.
Cleopatra: A Biography
Duane W. Roller - 2010
In this major biography, Duane Roller reveals that Cleopatra was in fact a learned and visionary leader whose overarching goal was always the preservation of her dynasty and kingdom. Roller's authoritative account is the first to be based solely on primary materials from the Greco-Roman period: literary sources, Egyptian documents (Cleopatra's own writings), and representations in art and coinage produced while she was alive. His compelling portrait of the queen illuminates her prowess as a royal administrator who managed a large and diverse kingdom extending from Asia Minor to the interior of Egypt, as a naval commander who led her own fleet in battle, and as a scholar and supporter of the arts. Even her love affairs with Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius--the source of her reputation as a supreme seductress who drove men to their doom--were carefully crafted state policies: she chose these partners to insure the procreation of successors who would be worthy of her distinguished dynasty. That Cleopatra ultimately lost to her Roman opponents, Roller contends, in no way diminishes her abilities. -Roller tells his tale smoothly and accessibly....The resulting portrait is that of a complex, many-sided figure, a potent Hellenistic ruler who could move the tillers of power as skillfully as any man, and one far and nobly removed from the 'constructed icon' of popular imagination.---The New York Times Book Review -A rich account of late Ptolemaic culture.- --The New Yorker -Offers a superb panorama of the society and culture of late Ptolemaic Egypt, with vivid sketches of the (remarkably vigorous) intellectual life of Cleopatra's Alexandria and the structural instabilities of the late Ptolemaic state.---Times Literary Supplement -Besides providing a compelling story and breathing fresh air into a heretofore two-dimensional caricature from history, Roller's 'Cleopatra' provides an interesting commentary on the attitudes still prevalent towards women who rule.---Christian Science Monitor -Compulsively readable.---Bookslut -A definitive account of a queen of remarkable strength.---Publishers Weekly
Theodore Ayrault Dodge - 1891
Setting out from Carthaginian-dominated Spain with a small army of select troops, he fought his way over the Pyrenees and crossed the Alps with elephants and a full baggage train. Theodore Dodge retraced this route from Carthage to Italy, paying particular attention to the famous crossing of the Alps, and wrote what remains unequalled as the most comprehensive and readable study of history's greatest general.
Philip Freeman - 2008
He shaped Rome for generations, and his name became a synonym for "emperor" -- not only in Rome but as far away as Germany and Russia. He is best known as the general who defeated the Gauls and doubled the size of Rome's territories. But, as Philip Freeman describes in this fascinating new biography, Caesar was also a brilliant orator, an accomplished writer, a skilled politician, and much more.Julius Caesar was a complex man, both hero and villain. He possessed great courage, ambition, honor, and vanity. Born into a noble family that had long been in decline, he advanced his career cunningly, beginning as a priest and eventually becoming Rome's leading general. He made alliances with his rivals and then discarded them when it suited him. He was a spokesman for the ordinary people of Rome, who rallied around him time and again, but he profited enormously from his conquests and lived opulently. Eventually he was murdered in one of the most famous assassinations in history.Caesar's contemporaries included some of Rome's most famous figures, from the generals Marius, Sulla, and Pompey to the orator and legislator Cicero as well as the young politicians Mark Antony and Octavius (later Caesar Augustus). Caesar's legendary romance with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra still fascinates us today.In this splendid biography, Freeman presents Caesar in all his dimensions and contradictions. With remarkable clarity and brevity, Freeman shows how Caesar dominated a newly powerful Rome and shaped its destiny. This book will captivate readers discovering Caesar and ancient Rome for the first time as well as those who have a deep interest in the classical world.