Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome

Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome

by Brian Campbell
     
 

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Figuring in myth, religion, law, the military, commerce, and transportation, rivers were at the heart of Rome's increasing exploitation of the environment of the Mediterranean world. In Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome, Brian Campbell explores the role and influence of rivers and their surrounding landscape on the society and culture of the Roman Empire.

Overview

Figuring in myth, religion, law, the military, commerce, and transportation, rivers were at the heart of Rome's increasing exploitation of the environment of the Mediterranean world. In Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome, Brian Campbell explores the role and influence of rivers and their surrounding landscape on the society and culture of the Roman Empire.

Examining artistic representations of rivers, related architecture, and the work of ancient geographers and topographers, as well as writers who describe rivers, Campbell reveals how Romans defined the geographical areas they conquered and how geography and natural surroundings related to their society and activities. In addition, he illuminates the prominence and value of rivers in the control and expansion of the Roman Empire—through the legal regulation of riverine activities, the exploitation of rivers in military tactics, and the use of rivers as routes of communication and movement. Campbell shows how a technological understanding of—and even mastery over—the forces of the river helped Rome rise to its central place in the ancient world.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Campbell has gathered and analyzed an impressive battery of ancient comments and reflections on rivers.—Journal of Interdisciplinary History

[Campbell's] contribution is most welcome and will long remain the point de depart for any study of Roman perspectives on and utilization of the Mediterranean's watery landscapes.—Bryn Mawr Classical Review

A welcome, useful, and significant contribution that provides a solid foundation for future studies.—American Historical Review

[An] impressive volume.—Journal of Roman Studies

An empire-wide study that reconstructs ancient river environments and surveys ancient responses to the benefits and dangers of rivers.—The Historian

Great value, enhanced by excellent maps and diagrams, learned notes, and a judicious bibliography. Highly recommended. Graduate students, faculty.—Choice

Extensively researched, well put together, and highly readable, Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome is important for anyone interested in Roman history and society.—The NYMAS Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807834800
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
08/15/2012
Series:
Studies in the History of Greece and Rome Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
608
Sales rank:
915,082
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.80(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Using an impressive range of sources, Brian Campbell offers an original vision and understanding of a principal feature of the Roman world's landscape that has never been explored and analyzed as thoroughly before. Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome helps us to appreciate rivers from a great array of perspectives—cultural, religious, legal, economic, military, and more—for the first time.—John R. Patterson, Magdalene College, Cambridge, author of Landscapes and Cities: Rural Settlement and Civic Transformation in Early Imperial Italy

Meet the Author

Brian Campbell is professor of Roman history at Queen's University of Belfast.

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