Over a millennium after the end of its unrivalled dominance, the spectre of Rome figures highly in western culture. This book explores what the empire meant to its subjects.
The idea of Rome has long outlived the physical empire that gave it form, and now holds sway over vastly more people and a far greater geographical area than the Romans ever ruled. It continues to shape our understanding of the nature of imperialism and influence the workings of the world. It is through the lens of Rome that we answer questions such as: How do empires grow? How are empires ruled? Do empires exploit their subjects or civilise them? Rejecting the simplistic narrative of military triumph followed by decline and fall, the books analyses the origins of Roman imperialism, its wide-ranging impact on the regions it conquered, and its continuing influence in debates about modern imperialism.
Neville Morley is Professor of Ancient Economic History and Historical Theory at the University of Bristol. He is the author of The Roman Empire: Roots of Imperialism (Pluto, 2010), Trade in Classical Antiquity (2007) and Antiquity and Modernity (2008).
Acknowledgements Introduction: `Empire Without End' 1. `Carthage must be destroyed': the dynamics of Roman imperialism 2. `They make a desert and call it peace': the nature of Roman rule 3. `The emporium of the world': the economic impact of empire 4. `They called it "civilisation"': the dynamics of cultural change Envoi: `Decline and Fall' Further Reading Index