Description : This work deals with the mutual relationship between the principes, from Augustus to Nero, and the city plebs. In a pioneering work which seeks to move far beyond simple class and ethnic description, Professor Yavetz asks the tough question: why did key Roman emperors make so many efforts to endear themselves to the urban populace? The situation was not entirely unlike what one observes in present day advanced societies. Although a ruling elite held a monopoly of force and power in military and even legislative terms, Ceasar and Ceasarism well understood the advantages of largesse - from rent relief to public games - consolidating and legitimating power. In a work which is self-defined as a limited slice of history, the author is yet able to illumine vast chunks of political sociology: attitudes of the urban mass to one party rule, the trade-off between material goods and politial loyalty, the maintenance of elementary forms of legality, and a populist bent among those who would rule. Yavetz's classic work, which first appeared in 1969 and has been long unavailable, faithfully employs classical events to illumine modern life - not in a forced, but better, in quite natural ways.
Description : It is largely thanks to Zvi Yavetz that the Roman plebs has become "Salonfahig." In numerous important studies Yavetz has focused his - and our - attention on the problem of the relationship between the ruler and the masses of the ruled. Thus, it seemed natural to choose various aspects of this relationship as the topic of a volume in his honour. The articles here contributed by thirteen eminent friends and colleagues deal with historical and theoretical questions of the relationship between "the one" and "the many," covering a period from the second century B.C., through the times of the Late Republic and the Principate, to Late Antiquity and, finally, to an intriguing view at modern totalitarianism as perceived from an Enlightenment perspective.
Description : How do people excluded from political life achieve political agency? Through a series of historical events that have been mostly overlooked by political theorists, Martin Breaugh identifies fleeting yet decisive instances of emancipation in which people took it upon themselves to become political subjects. Emerging during the Roman plebs's first secession in 494 BCE, the plebeian experience consists of an underground or unexplored configuration of political strategies to obtain political freedom. The people reject domination through political praxis and concerted action, therefore establishing an alternative form of power. Breaugh's study concludes in the nineteenth century and integrates ideas from sociology, philosophy, history, and political science. Organized around diverse case studies, his work undertakes exercises in political theory to show how concepts provide a different understanding of the meaning of historical events and our political present. The Plebeian Experience describes a recurring phenomenon that clarifies struggles for emancipation throughout history, expanding research into the political agency of the many and shedding light on the richness of radical democratic struggles from ancient Rome to Occupy Wall Street and beyond.
Description : This is a study of the legal rules affecting the practice of female prostitution at Rome approximately from 200 B.C. to A.D. 250. It examines the formation and precise content of the legal norms developed for prostitution and those engaged in this profession, with close attention to their social context. McGinn's unique study explores the "fit" between the law-system and the socio-economic reality while shedding light on important questions concerning marginal groups, marriage, sexual behavior, the family, slavery, and citizen status, particularly that of women.
Description : The war between Caesar and Pompey was one of the defining moments in Roman history. The clash between these great generals gripped the attention of their contemporaries and it has fascinated historians ever since. These powerful men were among the dominant personalities of their age, and their struggle for supremacy divided Rome. In this original and perceptive study Nic Fields explores the complex, often brutal world of Roman politics and the lethal rivalry of Caesar and Pompey that grew out of it. He reconsiders them as individuals and politicians and, above all, as soldiers. His highly readable account of this contest for power gives a vivid insight into the rise and fall of two of the greatest warlords of the ancient world.
Description : The period described in Volume 10 of the second edition of The Cambridge Ancient History begins in the year after the death of Julius Caesar and ends in the year after the fall of Nero, the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors. Its main theme is the transformation of the political configuration of the state and the establishment of the Roman Empire. Chapters 1-6 supply a political narrative history of the period. In chapters 7-12 the institutions of government are described and analysed. Chapters 13-14 offer a survey of the Roman world in this period region by region, and chapters 15-21 deal with the most important social and cultural developments of the era (the city of Rome, the structure of society, art, literature, and law). Central to the period is the achievement of the first emperor, Augustus.
Description : “A provocative history” of intrigue and class struggle in Ancient Rome—“an important alternative to the usual views of Caesar and the Roman Empire” (Publishers Weekly). Most historians, both ancient and modern, have viewed the Late Republic of Rome through the eyes of its rich nobility—the 1 percent of the population who controlled 99 percent of the empire’s wealth. In The Assassination of Julius Caesar, Michael Parenti recounts this period, spanning the years 100 to 33 BC, from the perspective of the Roman people. In doing so, he presents a provocative, trenchantly researched narrative of popular resistance against a powerful elite. As Parenti carefully weighs the evidence concerning the murder of Caesar, he adds essential context to the crime with fascinating details about Roman society as a whole. In these pages, we find reflections on the democratic struggle waged by Roman commoners, religious augury as an instrument of social control, the patriarchal oppression of women, and the political use of homophobic attacks. The Assassination of Julius Caesar offers a whole new perspective on an era thought to be well-known. “A highly accessible and entertaining addition to history.” —Book Marks
Description : During the Principate (roughly from 27 BC to AD 235), when the empire reached its maximum extent, Roman society and culture were radically transformed. But how was the vast territory of the empire controlled? Did the demands of central government stimulate economic growth or endanger survival? What forces of cohesion operated to balance the social and economic inequalities and high mortality rates? How did the official religion react in the face of the diffusion of alien cults and the emergence of Christianity? These are some of the many questions posed here, in an expanded edition of the original, pathbreaking account of the society, economy and culture of the Roman empire. As an integrated study of the life and outlook of the ordinary inhabitants of the Roman world, it deepens our understanding of the underlying factors in this important formative period of world history. Additions to the second edition include an introductory chapter which sets the scene and explores the consequences for government and the governing classes of the replacement of the Republic by the rule of emperors. A second extra chapter assesses how far Rome's subjects resisted her hegemony. Addenda to the chapters throughout offer up-to-date bibliography and point to new evidence and approaches which have enlivened Roman history in recent decades.
Description : Ancient History: Key Themes and Approaches is a sourcebook of writings on ancient history. It presents over 500 of the most important stimulating and provocative arguments by modern writers on the subject, and as such constitutes an invaluable reference resource. The first section deals with different aspects of life in the ancient world, such as democracy, imperialism, slavery and sexuality, while the second section covers the ideas of key ancient historians and other writers on classical antiquity. Overall this book offers an invaluable introduction to the most important ideas, theories and controversies in ancient history, and a thought-provoking survey of the range of views and approaches to the subject.
Description : The very idea of empire was created in ancient Rome and even today traces of its monuments, literature, and institutions can be found across Europe, the Near East, and North Africa--and sometimes even further afield. In Rome, historian Greg Woolf expertly recounts how this mammoth empire was created, how it was sustained in crisis, and how it shaped the world of its rulers and subjects--a story spanning a millennium and a half of history. The personalities and events of Roman history have become part of the West's cultural lexicon, and Woolf provides brilliant retellings of each of these, from the war with Carthage to Octavian's victory over Cleopatra, from the height of territorial expansion under the emperors Trajan and Hadrian to the founding of Constantinople and the barbarian invasions which resulted in Rome's ultimate collapse. Throughout, Woolf carefully considers the conditions that made Rome's success possible and so durable, covering topics as diverse as ecology, slavery, and religion. Woolf also compares Rome to other ancient empires and to its many later imitators, bringing into vivid relief the Empire's most distinctive and enduring features. As Woolf demonstrates, nobody ever planned to create a state that would last more than a millennium and a half, yet Rome was able, in the end, to survive barbarian migrations, economic collapse and even the conflicts between a series of world religions that had grown up within its borders, in the process generating an image and a myth of empire that is apparently indestructible. Based on new research and compellingly told, this sweeping account promises to eclipse all previously published histories of the empire.