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An admirable volume.
— A. T. Kraabel
When a modest, single volume on the Roman Empire proves informative, provocative, and exciting, the reader gladly acknowledges an exceptional author. Professor Colin Wells is expert in the various aspects of Roman history, he reflects on issues independently and creatively, and he writes elegantly, and sometimes brilliantly.
— Eleanor G. Huzar
This is historical writing with a bite usually missing in fast surveys...Novices and advanced students of Roman history alike will be stimulated by this book to think deeply on a grand scale about matters of great importance in ancient history.
— Thomas R. Martin
Preface to the Second Edition
List of Maps and Illustrations
List of Abbreviations
I. The New Order
II. The Sources
III. The Work of Augustus
IV. Italy under Augustus: the Social and Intellectual Climate
V. The Consolidation of the Principate
VI. The Army and the Provinces in the First Century AD
VII. 'Emperors Made Elsewhere than at Rome': Galba to Trajan
VIII. The State of Italy from Petronius to Pliny
IX. The Orderly Government of the Empire: Hadrian to Marcus Aurelius
X.'The Immeasurable Majesty of the Roman Peace'
XI. An Age of Transition: Commodus to Maximinus the Thracian
Lists of dates:
Reigns of Roman Emperors, Augustus to Diocletian
Greek and Latin Authors Mentioned in this Book
Index of Citations
Posted August 1, 2005
For many years historians made a distinction between the Principate, the period from Augustus until the Crisis of the Third Century, and the Dominate, the period from Diocletian until the end of the Empire in the West. According to this theory, during the Principate the realities of dictatorship were concealed behind Republican forms while during the Dominate imperial power showed its naked face, with golden crowns and ornate imperial ritual. We now know that the situation was far more nuanced: certain historical forms continued until the Byzantine period, more than one thousand years after they were created, and displays of imperial majesty were common from the earliest days of the Empire. The Roman Empire's influence on government, law, military, and monumental architecture, as well as many other aspects of Western life remains inescapable. Roman titles of power were adopted by successor states and other entities with imperial pretensions, including the Frankish kingdom, the Holy Roman Empire, the first and second Bulgarian empires, the Russian/Kiev dynasties, and the German Empire. Illustrating these magnificent histories and more, this book is one that any reader will, with the motivation, have an extremely difficult time putting down.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.