From Romulus to Justinian
Thomas R. Martin
September 10, 2013
256 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
13 maps, 35 b/w illus.
A beautifully written history of the ancient Roman civilization, with a unique focus on the values that propelled its rise and fall
With commanding skill, Thomas R. Martin tells the remarkable and dramatic story of how a tiny, poor, and threatened settlement grew to become, during its height, the dominant power in the Mediterranean world for five hundred years. Encompassing the period from Rome's founding in the eighth century B.C. through Justinian's rule in the sixth century A.D., he offers a distinctive perspective on the Romans and their civilization by employing fundamental Roman values as a lens through which to view both their rise and spectacular fall.
Interweaving social, political, religious, and cultural history, Martin interprets the successes and failures of the Romans in war, political organization, quest for personal status, and in the integration of religious beliefs and practices with government. He focuses on the central role of social and moral values in determining individual conduct as well as decisions of state, from monarchy to republic to empire. Striving to reconstruct ancient history from the ground up, he includes frequent references to ancient texts and authors, encouraging readers to return to the primary sources. Comprehensive, concise, and accessible, this masterful account provides a unique window into Rome and its changing fortune.
Thomas R. Martin is professor of Classics at the College of the Holy Cross. His publications include Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times, Herodotus and Sima Qian: The First Great Historians of Greece and China, and, as co-author, The Making of the West: Peoples and Cultures. He lives in Sutton, MA.
“A limpidly written, highly accessible, and comprehensive history of Greece and its civilizations from prehistory through the collapse of Alexander the Great’s empire. . . . A highly readable account of ancient Greece, particularly useful as an introductory or review text for the student or the general reader.”—Kirkus Reviews
“In this survey of ancient Greek history and civilization, Martin skillfully blends social, cultural, political, and military data to create a panoramic view of the Greek world. Novices will find the work both comprehensible and entertaining.”—Library Journal
“This comprehensive coverage of ancient Greece begins with Stone Age prehistory and moves to coverage of Greek society and politics. It can easily appeal to any general reader with a cursory interest in Greek history, exploring how the people lived and developed their society.”—Midwest Book Review