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Ancient Rome: An Introductory History

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The events and personalities of ancient Rome spring to life in this history, from its founding in 753 B.C. to the death of the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 180.

Paul A. Zoch presents, in contemporary language, the history of Rome and the stories of its protagonists?such as Romulus and Remus, Horatius, and Nero-which are so often omitted from more specialized studies.

With an eye detail, Zoch guides his readers through the military campaigns and political developments that shaped Rome’s rise from a small Italian city to the greatest imperial power the world had ever known. We witness the long struggle against the enemy city of Carthage. We follow Caesar as he campaigns in Britain, and we observe the ebb and flow of Rome’s fortunes in the Hellenistic East. Writing with the belief that such stories contain moral lessons that are relevant today, Zoch presents a narrative that is both entertaining and informative. An afterword takes the history to the fall of the Roman Empire in the West in A.D. 476.

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Editorial Reviews

Shocked by the pathetic little his highschool Latin students knew about ancient Rome, Zoch contrived to sugarcoat the bitter parts of Roman history with its intriguing stories, legends, and myths. Large passages from original sources are often used to complement his detailed (but not too detailed) descriptions of military campaigns and political developments from Rome's founding in 753 B.C. to the death of Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 180. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From The Critics
Zoch taught high school Latin to an audience which knew relatively little about the ancient Romans: his contribution is this title, which reveals Roman history, culture, and society. The introductory format makes it easy for students to quickly learn about Roman history and culture and Ancient Rome is recommended for any high school student of Latin or Roman history.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806132877
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 571,167
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul A. Zoch holds a master's degree in classical studies from Indiana University and a bachelor's degree in classics from the University of Texas at Austin. He teaches Latin and English in the Alief Independent school District in Texas. This book is a direct outgrowth of his presentation of ancient Roman history in the classroom.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
1 A Linguistic Introduction 3
2 Rome's Origins according to the Ancients 6
3 Romulus and Remus Found Rome 9
4 Kings after Romulus 15
5 Tarquin's Coup d'Etat and the End of the Monarchy 27
6 The Res Publica: "Senatus Populusque Romanus" 32
7 Traitors and Heroes of the Early Republic 40
8 Class Conflict in Rome 50
9 Cariolanus, Cincinnatus, and Camillus 58
10 The Gauls Sack Rome 67
11 The Wars with the Samnites 76
12 King Pyrrhus' Pyrrhic Victories 86
13 The First Punic War 94
14 The Second Punic War 100
15 Rome Encounters the East 117
16 The Gracchi: The Beginning of the End of the Res Publica 141
17 The War against Jugurtha and the Rise of Marius 149
18 The Italian Wars and the Career of Sulla 155
19 The Rise of Pompey 165
20 The First Triumvirate 175
21 Civil War 191
22 Renewed Civil War and the Rise of Octavian 211
23 The Roman Empire: The Principate 227
24 The Julio-Claudian Emperors 240
25 The Flavian Emperors 259
26 The Culmination of the Pax Romana 265
Afterword: The Disintegration of the Empire 281
Bibliography 285
Index 289
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2010


    This book is great. I highly recommended it!! An interesting read and a good source of information on the Romans by someone who knows what they're talking about!

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  • Posted September 23, 2010

    A brief but intimate history describing the beginning of the Roman Empire.

    The Roman Empire is a very large subject to cover in a single book; there are facts in some books that wouldn't be found in others. I think that this book really hits the important parts of Rome's beginning, such as the test between two brothers deciding who would start the great empire, and other deep military history involved with Rome. If people want to get a feel for the type of history or culture Rome had in its first stages, this book would ease the reader into the overall large topic. I liked how it only explained the key people and events that laid down a line for the later Romans to follow in life. My favorite part of the book, which I also viewed as a harsh scene, was when two families fought over the future of early Rome. There was a civil war between the city of Rome and a neighboring city Alba Longa. In each city there were triplet brothers. The king of Rome and dictator of Alba Longa decided that the brothers would fight and whichever family won, the representing city would gain rights to the losers' city. During the fight, two of the brothers from Rome's warriors died soon into the battle. After much strategic thinking and execution, the Roman warrior defeated the three brothers from Alba Longa and Rome continued to maintain its power. This piece of history stood out to me, because it's hard for me to picture war's burden put into a family alone. One dislike I discovered reading this book was name dropping. There were a lot of difficult names to pronounce that were thrown into particular parts of the novel blatantly and it got a little confusing to remember them at times. I recommend readers to read history books; I believe that rich and interesting culture should be observed so that maybe we can learn something from it. I am also a firm believer of history repeating itself. People don't learn from their mistakes and tend to repeat them, if we learn mistakes made in the past, we can learn to not repeat them in the future. I rate this book a solid three and a half.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2005

    A joyous read.

    I thouroughly enjoyed this work of literature. Reading it strengthened my knowledge of Rome and increased my desire to learn more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2005

    Amazing P. Ziddy

    This book helped me learn Roman history in an abbreviated period of time very easily. Paul's amazing book is a great guide for all aspiring Latin students.

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