I also found the section on games and gambling full of new information too. Other than that, I was starting from nowhere. One thing became clear q I recently resolved to start reading more nonfiction again. Mary Beard attended an all-female direct grant school. However, it is very fortuitous for the book's structure.
In the beginning was the Catiline conspiracy Beard begins her history in the middle of the story with Cierco's denunciation of Catiline, the point that I felt Beard was making was that Roman history more or less began around that time, with authors from then on either looking back or discussing the events of their own life times, and when looking back they saw past events in the light of the struggles with which they were familiar. It's heavily biased towards the Republic and the transition to Imperial structures, so you learn virtually nothing about the last, say, 150 of the years the book claims to cover. Its power was founded on people power. Relevant in our times of chaos. In fact, the early kings are as legendary as the Tuatha De Denaan in Ireland, and have to be accepted as little more than fairy tales.
This book provides one attempt at an answer - insofar as there can be one. The book is well worth buying and consulting, but, first, it is worth reading for the sheer pleasure of seeing a first-class mind at work. In fact she is simply exchanging the bunk of one generation of historians for her own twaddle. Liveright What was exceptional about this particular Italian tribe, as Beard explains with welcome clarity, was the way the Romans combined military prowess with a radically expansive notion of what it meant to be Roman—a notion that enabled them to spread the tendrils of Romanitas all over the Mediterranean world. That said, there is much to admire in the scope and breadth of Ms.
Beard ends her survey with a useful message I take to heart. The problem was that Rome never enjoyed a democracy at all. Her lens focuses intently on Julius Caesar as one would expect , the civil wars that followed, and the reign of Augustus. Image credit: Roman anthem - Gabriel Machado - YouTube It is unknown when the abbreviation appeared for the first time, but it can be seen on inscriptions of the Late Republic, from c. Mary Beard's history of the first thousand years or so of ancient Rome never flags, maintaining a brisk, engaging tone and offering a level of detail just right for a general audience. There is a useful timeline in the back of the book, but if only a trace of more sequentiality could have been added to the book itself! I listened to the audio version of this, published by Recorded Books and read by Phyllida Nash, with the physical book on hand for reference the illustrations are certainly not necessary, but are nice to have , and enjoyed it tremendously.
Hopefully, some new synthesis historian will appear who will be able to truly integrate the findings from the archeological work of the last fifty years with the older school of history based on the analysis of contemporary historians and essayists. There is no simple 'Roman' model for us to follow p. This apparently was fine in Rome, just so long as you didn't want to be called a king - that alone was unforgivable. Beard takes a subject that has hundreds of books written about it and makes something new. And of course, instead of focusing on why the Roman Empire fell, Beard focuses here on why it became great while never glossing over the defeats and setbacks they suffered, which people can be prone to do. The meaning refers to a period where the Senate and the People exercised supreme power in the city of Rome, which was a city-state to begin with, then the capital city of Italy, and the capital of an Empire.
Mary Beard has put together an intelligent, in depth, and readable book about at ancient Rome. She also puts serious effort in discussing Roman slaves and women, despite the scant records. Beard, who recently suffered some nasty sexist abuse for her sensible remarks in defense of immigrant workers in the United Kingdom, leaves the contemporary resonances mostly implicit. It also should remind us that there was no golden age of Rome when its Senate was virtuous and incorruptible. I listened to the audio version of this, publish Fantastic! I enjoyed this book immensely and found much new to me at least in it. Augustus For Beard the first thousand years give or take of Rome are a continuity. That focus is rare in books about Rome.
Second, Polybiu Although this book is unquestionably fun to read, it is truly dreadful. Mary Beard writes in a breezy, often anecdotal, style which makes her book both informative and entertaining. One of those areas is history and where better to start than with the ancient Romans? In one such establishment in Pompeii, there was a frieze picturing seven notable Greek philosophers, but rather than discussing deep philosophical topics, they are depicted as giving scatological advice. The writing is not pretentious or textbook-like. I would recommend it as a place to start or as a place to have a new perspective on the subject. She jumps about constantly, going off on tangents, skipping over entire periods - the book is mostly a lethal combination of boring and confusing.
In the republic there were civil wars and a slave rebellion; in empire years there was no such foment. Maybe it is a book worth additional consideration. Makes you want to reach out to your local library and take out Cicero's letters or Suetonius's writings. Beard became Classics editor of the Times Literary Supplement in 1992. I suppose some of you are wondering about the book, and whether it was any good…if so, you should know better than to read my reviews for any sort of useful content.
She would have my vote to become President of the Confederated Britannic Republics - without even needing to shake my hand. The emperors were considered the representatives of the people. Finally, the significant advances in archeology of the last fifty years do not provide any information on Rome's political history. She deploys an immense range of ancient sources, in both Greek and Latin, and an equally wide range of material objects, from pots and coins to inscriptions, sculptures, reliefs, and temples. She is able to step back to see the entire Roman world….
There are valuable pieces of information in this book. Most pressingly for a general audience, Beard offers an insight into the way academic Classicists think about the discipline, especially ancient history: rather than taking the sources at If you're looking for a linear history of Rome made up of events and dates then look away now: that's not what Beard gives us here. Me ha gustado mucho eso, el hacer hincapié en toda la información que falta y en las teorías que existen para explicar lo que no sabemos por medio de las fuentes que nos han llegado o hemos encontrado. Apart from the contents, the book is beautifully written, for my taste, with a strong authorial voice and a sharp wit. She shows us how to engage with the history, culture, and controversies that made Rome—and why it still matters.