The story of the greatest empire the world. Roman Empire was firmly rooted in the long history of the Roman Republic that preceded it. The transition from that city state governed by a Senate to an Empire ruled by an Emperor was a gradual affair. Augustus was the first Emperor, and it was he who established the tradition of Imperial succession, passing on control to his step-son Tiberius. The Empire expanded in fits and starts reaching its greatest extent in AD117, under the Emperor Trajan. The succeeding Emperor Hadrian called a halt to continual conquest and annexation and enclosing the Empire within fixed boundaries. But the 'Barbarians' fought back and frontiers fell, and the Empire was constantly at war. By the end of the third century AD, the Roman world changed almost beyond recognition. Society became much more rigidly classified, and the gap between rich and poor widened. Civil wars broke out between rival contenders for the throne. The beginning of the end came in the fifth century when the Empire split into two.
The western provinces fragmented into different states under Germanic rulers, some of whom tried to become more Roman than the Romans, ensuring that Roman culture, traditions and law are still in evidence today, underpinning much of western society. The eastern half of the Roman world survived as the Byzantine Empire, traditionally until Constantinople fell to a western Christian army in the fifteenth century. This book provides a comprehensive history of the Roman Empire from 30BC to the late fifth century AD, describing the Emperors and other personalities who dealt with the administration of the provinces and the command of the armies, some of them more successfully than others.
Patricia Southern is an authority of the history of ancient Rome and the author of eleven books on the subject. Her other books include: CLEOPATRA ('In the absence of Cleopatra's memoirs, Southern's commendably balanced biography will do very well' THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH. 'Scholarly and readable... looks carefully behind the rhetoric of a hostile ancient press' DR PETER JONES); JULIUS CAESAR ('Her style is delightfully approachable: lean and lucid, witty and pacy' ANTIQUITY); DOMITIAN: TRAGIC TYRANT ('A lively and wittily written book - the story of a strange life, enjoyably told' CLASSICAL JOURNAL); THE ROMAN EMPIRE FROM SEVERUS TO CONSTANTINE ('Writing with her usual surpassing skill for a broader readership, Patricia Southern distills and immense body of scholarship in history, military archaeology and numismatics' ANTIQUITY); AUGUSTUS, POMPEY THE GREAT, EMPRESS ZENOBIA, ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, THE ROMAN ARMY: A SOCIAL AND INSTITUTIONAL HISTORY AND THE LATE ROMAN ARMY. She lives in Northumberland.
Preface & Acknowledgements A Note About Dates 1. Octavian Augustus: The Republic Becomes an Empire 30 BC-AD 14 2. Julio-Claudians: Tiberius to Nero AD 14-68 3. Expanding Empire: Pushing the Boundaries AD 69-117 4. Within Limits: The Empire Enclosed AD 117-193 5. Military Rule: Emperors & Usurpers AD 193-260 6. Hard Times: The Empire Fragments AD 260-284 7. Another World: The Empire Transformed AD 284-324 8. New Rome: Constantine to Theodosius the Great AD 324-395 9. Lost World: The Transformation of the Western Empire & the Survival in the East AD 395-476 Glossary Select Bibliography for Further Reading List of Illustrations Index
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