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The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire

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The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire Cover

ISBN13: 9781400066636
ISBN10: 1400066638
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE KANSAS CITY STAR

From Anthony Everitt, the bestselling author of acclaimed biographies of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian, comes a riveting, magisterial account of Rome and its remarkable ascent from an obscure agrarian backwater to the greatest empire the world has ever known.

 

Emerging as a market town from a cluster of hill villages in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., Rome grew to become the ancient world’s preeminent power. Everitt fashions the story of Rome’s rise to glory into an erudite page-turner filled with lasting lessons for our time. He chronicles the clash between patricians and plebeians that defined the politics of the Republic. He shows how Rome’s shrewd strategy of offering citizenship to her defeated subjects was instrumental in expanding the reach of her burgeoning empire. And he outlines the corrosion of constitutional norms that accompanied Rome’s imperial expansion, as old habits of political compromise gave way, leading to violence and civil war. In the end, unimaginable wealth and power corrupted the traditional virtues of the Republic, and Rome was left triumphant everywhere except within its own borders.

 

Everitt paints indelible portraits of the great Romans—and non-Romans—who left their mark on the world out of which the mighty empire grew: Cincinnatus, Rome’s George Washington, the very model of the patrician warrior/aristocrat; the brilliant general Scipio Africanus, who turned back a challenge from the Carthaginian legend Hannibal; and Alexander the Great, the invincible Macedonian conqueror who became a role model for generations of would-be Roman rulers. Here also are the intellectual and philosophical leaders whose observations on the art of government and “the good life” have inspired every Western power from antiquity to the present: Cato the Elder, the famously incorruptible statesman who spoke out against the decadence of his times, and Cicero, the consummate orator whose championing of republican institutions put him on a collision course with Julius Caesar and whose writings on justice and liberty continue to inform our political discourse today.

 

Rome’s decline and fall have long fascinated historians, but the story of how the empire was won is every bit as compelling. With The Rise of Rome, one of our most revered chroniclers of the ancient world tells that tale in a way that will galvanize, inform, and enlighten modern readers.

Praise for The Rise of Rome

 

“Fascinating history and a great read.”Chicago Sun-Times

 

“An engrossing history of a relentlessly pugnacious city’s 500-year rise to empire.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“Rome’s history abounds with remarkable figures. . . . Everitt writes for the informed and the uninformed general reader alike, in a brisk, conversational style, with a modern attitude of skepticism and realism.”The Dallas Morning News

 

“[A] lively and readable account . . . Roman history has an uncanny ability to resonate with contemporary events.”Maclean’s

 

“[An] engaging work that will captivate and inform from beginning to end.”—Booklist

Review:

"Unlike its decline and fall, Rome's rise enjoys no literary tradition, but this fine history will satisfy curious readers. After dutifully recounting the founding legends, historian Everitt introduces the Republic. Born, according to tradition, in 509 B.C.E., after the overthrow of a monarchy, the Republic was an oligarchy ruled by elected consuls and a nonelected Senate. While violent conflicts occurred between the dominant patricians and plebeians (the Republic was designed 'not to remove royal power but to tame it'), this was a surprisingly pragmatic system, less inclined to despotism and civil war than traditional monarchies. Soldiering was considered a privilege of citizenship. Almost continual wars led to the conquest of Italy and then most Mediterranean lands by 200 B.C.E. Reforms around 100 B.C.E. created a professional army, opening enlistment to the landless poor. This improved its fighting capacity, but shifted soldiers' loyalty away from the Republic and toward their commanders, who took advantage, resulting in bloody civil wars led by such ambitious generals as Marius, Sulla, and finally Julius Caesar, whose victory in ended the republic. Sensibly avoiding parallels with today's geopolitics, Everitt delivers an often unsettling account of a stubbornly belligerent nation-state that became the West's first superpower. Photos, maps. Agent: Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Anthony Everitt, sometime visiting professor in the visual and performing arts at Nottingham Trent University, has written extensively on European culture and is the author of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome. He has served as secretary general of the Arts Council of Great Britain. Everitt lives near Colchester, England’s first recorded town, founded by the Romans.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Gold Gato, December 28, 2012 (view all comments by Gold Gato)
This is a good beginner's guide to the history of ancient Rome, without getting too worked up about it. There is nothing particularly special about it, but then again the aim of the book is to provide a chronological overview of how the Romans really came about without having the reader take on several different historical sources. It's the Starbucks coffee version of a much bigger undertaking...fast-food with some CDs at the counter.

Everitt has broken up the book into LEGEND, STORY, and HISTORY, which makes it easy on the reader (and very logical). Now, when it comes to 'legend', ancient Rome has it over everyone else. Any nation that can start their beginnings with the Trojan War is going to be pretty illustrious. However, the author has a hard time bringing the magic alive for that section. Virgil, of course, would be a better read but I expected more. Whether it's the Romans who migrated from Troy or the Etruscans (I vote for Tuscany), we DO know there was a migration from the geographic area of ancient Troy, thanks to DNA analysis. So why isn't the first chapter more, um, "alive"?

The second chapter gets going a bit, as there are better historical sources to base the evidence. Still, I yearned for more and started thinking of the Starbucks comparison. The third chapter picks up dramatically and saves the book from a lower rating. Even though he could have done so much more, Everitt has some zingers for the latter portion of the Republic, and I applaud him for his new thinking about the Gracchi, who are usually portrayed as dangerous revolutionaries. It is here that we begin to see the corrosion of the ideals of Cincinnatus and when Gaius Marius and Sulla ("Sulla is a mulberry sprinkled with barley meal") step into the picture, it's okay to forget time and space and just concentrate on the book.

There is a brief afterword focusing on Cicero and Varro...so brief I don't know why it's there except to quote The Whiner (Cicero) on the loss of the Republic. The Sources, Bibliography, and Notes are excellent and quite helpful. Still, I wanted more. So much more.

"His words have won me more cities than my own military campaigns." (Pyrrhus on Cineas)

I wanted more cities, not a tall latte.

Book Season = Autumn (Hannibal is at the gates)
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400066636
Author:
Everitt, Anthony
Publisher:
Random House
Subject:
Ancient - Rome
Subject:
World History-Ancient Near East
Subject:
history;rome;ancient history;ancient rome;roman empire
Subject:
history;rome;ancient history;ancient rome;roman empire;roman republic
Publication Date:
20120831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
PHOTO INSERT; 4 MAPS
Pages:
512
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.5 x 1.4 in 1.9063 lb

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The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire Sale Hardcover
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Product details 512 pages Random House - English 9781400066636 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Unlike its decline and fall, Rome's rise enjoys no literary tradition, but this fine history will satisfy curious readers. After dutifully recounting the founding legends, historian Everitt introduces the Republic. Born, according to tradition, in 509 B.C.E., after the overthrow of a monarchy, the Republic was an oligarchy ruled by elected consuls and a nonelected Senate. While violent conflicts occurred between the dominant patricians and plebeians (the Republic was designed 'not to remove royal power but to tame it'), this was a surprisingly pragmatic system, less inclined to despotism and civil war than traditional monarchies. Soldiering was considered a privilege of citizenship. Almost continual wars led to the conquest of Italy and then most Mediterranean lands by 200 B.C.E. Reforms around 100 B.C.E. created a professional army, opening enlistment to the landless poor. This improved its fighting capacity, but shifted soldiers' loyalty away from the Republic and toward their commanders, who took advantage, resulting in bloody civil wars led by such ambitious generals as Marius, Sulla, and finally Julius Caesar, whose victory in ended the republic. Sensibly avoiding parallels with today's geopolitics, Everitt delivers an often unsettling account of a stubbornly belligerent nation-state that became the West's first superpower. Photos, maps. Agent: Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson (U.K.)." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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