SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome

by Mary Beard


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New York Times Bestseller

A New York Times Notable Book

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Foreign Affairs, and Kirkus Reviews

Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award (Nonfiction)

Shortlisted for the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature

Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)

A San Francisco Chronicle Holiday Gift Guide Selection

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection

A sweeping, "magisterial" history of the Roman Empire from one of our foremost classicists shows why Rome remains "relevant to people many centuries later" (Atlantic).


In SPQR, an instant classic, Mary Beard narrates the history of Rome "with passion and without technical jargon" and demonstrates how "a slightly shabby Iron Age village" rose to become the "undisputed hegemon of the Mediterranean" (Wall Street Journal). Hailed by critics as animating "the grand sweep and the intimate details that bring the distant past vividly to life" (Economist) in a way that makes "your hair stand on end" (Christian Science Monitor) and spanning nearly a thousand years of history, this "highly informative, highly readable" (Dallas Morning News) work examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries. With its nuanced attention to class, democratic struggles, and the lives of entire groups of people omitted from the historical narrative for centuries, SPQR will to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631492228
Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 09/06/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 12,362
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

A professor of classics at Cambridge University, Mary Beard is the author of the best-selling SPQR and Women & Power and the National Book Critics Circle Award–nominated Confronting the Classics. A popular blogger and television personality, Beard is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books.

Table of Contents

Maps 7

Prologue: The History of Rome 15

1 Cicero's Finest Hour 21

2 In the Beginning 53

3 The Kings of Rome 91

4 Rome's Great Leap Forward 131

5 A Wider World 169

6 New Politics 209

7 From Empire to Emperors 253

8 The Home Front 297

9 The Transformations of Augustus 337

10 Fourteen Emperors 387

11 The Haves and Have-Nots 435

12 Rome Outside Rome 475

Epilogue: The First Roman Millennium 527

Further Reading 537

Timeline 563

Acknowledgements 573

List of Illustrations 575

Index 585

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