Rome began as a collection of primitive huts on the banks of the Tiber, some considerable time before Romulus founded the great city. Ruled by kings for the first two and a half centuries, the Romans abolished the monarchy and created for their little city state a form of government that was successfully adapted to control an Empire. The Romans learned how to weld together a larger state by integrating other city states and tribes, offering them the benefits and privileges of Roman citizenship in return for services and manpower in the army and government. Roman society was based on wealth, and extreme snobbery permeated every level of the social hierarchy. Upward mobility was rare during the Republic, and equal rights were out of the question. At the bottom of the heap were the slaves, with no rights at all. Although little remains of Roman architecture from this period, the famously straight Roman roads began during the Republic, fanning out from the capital towards all parts of Italy. Patricia Southern charts the rise of Rome from its humble origins to its dominance of the western world, describing the personalities who helped to shape it, such as rebel gladiator Spartacus, Hannibal, the Carthaginian leader who invaded Italy, Caesar and Pompey, and finally Octavian, Cleopatra and Mark Antony.
Patricia Southern is an acknowledged expert the history of ancient Rome. Her interest began very early, fostered by books and the wonderful epic films that they don't make any more. This obsession with the Romans has never waned, so whilst working full time as a librarian she studied for a BA degree in Ancient History with the external department of the University of London, and for an MPhil in Roman Frontier Studies at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, where she was Librarian of the Archaeology Department for many years. She has written many books on Roman history and contributed numerous articles on Roman history to the BBC History website and the academic Roman studies journal Britannia.
Preface & Acknowledgements A Note About Dates Chapter 1 Proud Tyrants: the Kings of Rome c.753 to c.509 BC Chapter 2 Fierce Neighbours: the Expansion of Rome in Italy 509 to 290 BC Chapter 3 Strong Rivals: the Republic Meets Foreign Enemies 290 to 201 BC Chapter 4 World Power: Rome Begins to Dominate 201 to 133 BC Chapter 5 Reforming Zeal: the Republic Comes of Age 133 to 83 BC Chapter 6 Commanding Generals: the Republic Under Duress 83 to 48 BC Chapter 7 Civil Wars: the Rise of Octavian 48 to 30 BC Glossary Select Bibliography for Further Reading List of Illustrations Index