The Ancient Romans : History and Society from the Early Republic to the Death of Augustus book cover
1st Edition

The Ancient Romans
History and Society from the Early Republic to the Death of Augustus

ISBN 9780415741521
Published April 28, 2021 by Routledge
818 Pages

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Book Description

This textbook provides comprehensive coverage of the political, military, and social history of ancient Rome from the earliest days of the Republic to its collapse and the subsequent foundations of the empire established by Augustus prior to his death in AD 14.

Interspersed through the discussion of the political history of the period are crucial chapters on all aspects of Roman culture, including women, religion, slavery and manumission, overseas conquests and their impact, and life in the city of Rome, giving students a full understanding of republican society, culture, and politics. With over 130 maps, illustrations, and photographs, The Ancient Romans is lavishly illustrated, with a particular emphasis on coins as a valuable historical resource. It also closely references the authors’ sourcebook, Ancient Rome: Social and Historical Documents from the Early Republic to the Death of Augustus, second edition, allowing students to engage with the documentary evidence and written sources in a deep and meaningful way.

The Ancient Romans: History and Society from the Early Republic to the Death of Augustus is an indispensable resource for undergraduate students of the Roman Republic and its society and culture, as well as offering a comprehensive and compelling introduction for the interested reader.

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of maps
List of genealogical trees
Some useful definitions
List of Roman consuls 88 BC – AD 14
List of abbreviations
Genealogical (family) trees

1 Early Republican Rome: 507–264 BC 
Geography and location
The forum Romanum
Senate and magistracies
The assemblies and tribunate
The beginnings of the ‘Conflict of the Orders’
Rome and its Italian neighbours
The origins of the Twelve Tables
The XII Tables
The Supplementary Tables
The Conflict of the Orders continues
Polybius on the Roman constitution
Rome’s struggle for Italy
Rome and the Latins
The Samnite wars and Pyrrhus

2 The Public Face of Rome 
The infrastructure of the city
Communications and public works
The ideology of the Roman senatorial class
Conspicuous consumption in Rome
The Roman triumph
Candidature for office: ambitio
The ‘novus homo’
Clientela and patrocinium
Litigation as a way of life
Oratory as part of a public career
‘Bread and circuses’

3 Religion in the Roman Republic 
Early deities and cults
Early hymns and rituals
Roman purificatory rituals
Ritual formulae and prayers
Religious calendars
The sacred chickens
Dedications and vows
The introduction of new gods
The Bacchanalia, 186 BC
Curse tables and sympathetic magic
Religion and politics
Funerary practices

4 The Punic Wars
The city of Carthage
Rome’s treaties with Carthage: 508, 348, 279 BC
The constitution of Carthage
The First Punic War
Roman victory and peace terms
The Second Punic War
The causes of the Second Punic War
The first stages of the war in Italy
The impact on the allies
The tide turns
P. Cornelius Scipio (Africanus)
Scipio in Africa
Peace terms
The Third Punic War, 151–146 BC

5 Rome’s Mediterranean Empire 
The ideology of Roman military supremacy
The military hero
The Roman army
Polybius on Rome’s military system
Military technology
Military discipline
Rome’s conquest of the Mediterranean
Antiochus III ‘the Great’
Rome as master of the Mediterranean
Rome’s imperialist stance
Rome’s conquest of Greece
The Western Mediterranean
The impact of conquest on Rome
Hellenic culture and Rome
Extravagance and luxury
Rome and the provinces

6 Slaves and Freedmen 
Slave numbers and prices
Sources of slaves
Domestic slaves
The treatment of slaves
Slaves in industry and manufacture
Slaves and the entertainment industry
Farm slaves: their occupations and training
Slaves and the law
Runaways and fugitives
Slave revolts
The manumission of slaves
The occupations of freedmen
Funerary inscriptions
Slaves and freedmen of the imperial household

7 Women, Sexuality and the Family 
Roman family names
Family law
The formalities of marriage
Old-fashioned families
Family relationships
Wives and their role
Marital discord
Adultery, conspiracy and sorcery
Heterosexual love: Catullus and Lesbia
Homosexuality and pederasty
Women as owners and consumers
Women and the gods
Women’s festivals
The Bona Dea
The Vestal virgins

8 Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus 
Family background
The tribunate of Tiberius, 133 BC
Tiberius and the senate
Boundary stones of the Gracchan period
The aftermath of Tiberius’ legislation
Rome and the allies
The career of Gaius Gracchus
The legislation of C. Gracchus
Gaius loses popular support
Assassination and reprisals
Failure of the Gracchan reforms
Later views of the Gracchi

9 Gaius Marius 
Marius’s early career
Marius in Africa
Marius and Sulla
Marius and the Germans
Army reforms
Marius, Saturninus and Glaucia
Saturninus and the land law
Marius’s later career
The command against Mithridates
Marius’ return to Rome

10 The ‘Social’ War 
The restriction of Roman citizenship
The citizenship proposals of Fulvius Flaccus and Gaius Gracchus
Marcus Livius Drusus
The grievances of the allies
The Social War
‘Brothers-in-arms’: Romans and Italians
The emergence of L. Cornelius Sulla
Citizenship for the Italians
Pro-Italian legislation and the Mithridatic command, 88 BC
The battle of the Colline Gate, 82 BC

11 Lucius Cornelius Sulla ‘Felix’ 
Sulla’s early career
Mithridates VI of Pontus
The background to the civil war
Sulla’s march on Rome, 88 BC
Sulla and Mithridates
Events in Rome: Waiting for Sulla 85–84 BC
Sulla’s return
Pompey’s triumph
Sulla’s proscriptions
Dictatorship and constitutional reforms
Sulla’s legislation
Sulla in retirement
Sulla’s abdication, 79 BC
Later views of Sulla
Sulla’s epitaph

12 The Collapse of the Republic 
The aftermath of Sulla’s dictatorship
The consulship of Crassus and Pompey, 70 BC
Pompey’s extraordinary commands
The Catilinarian conspiracy, 63 BC
Cicero and his times
Pompey’s return from the East
Cicero and Pompey
The events of 60 BC
The first triumvirate
Caesar’s consulship
Clodius and Cicero
Cato the Younger
Cicero’s return from exile
Pompey’s grain command, 57 BC
Caesar in Gaul
The conference at Luca, 56 BC
The second consulship of Crassus and Pompey
The events of 54 BC
Crassus in Parthia
Caesar’s invasions of Britain

13 Civil War and Dictatorship 
Anarchy in Rome 53–52 BC
Pompey as sole consul, 52 BC
The lead-up to civil war
The events of 50 BC
The flight of the tribunes
Crossing the Rubicon
Preparations for war
Civil war
Pompey and his supporters
Caesar in the East
Caesar’s dictatorships
Exceptional honours for Caesar
Caesar’s legislation
Caesar’s administrative measures
Caesar and his image
The Ides of March

 14 Octavian’s Rise to Power
Mark Antony (M. Antonius)
C. Octavius (C. Julius Caesar ‘Octavianus’)
The aftermath of Caesar’s assassination
Octavian arrives in Italy
Octavian and the populace
Cicero and Anthony
Events at Mutina
Cicero, Octavian and the senate
Octavian’s first consulship, 43 BC
Triumvirate and proscriptions
The ‘liberators’ and civil war
The battle of Philippi, October 42 BC
Fulvia, Lucius Antonius and the dispossessed
Anthony’s reorganisation of the East
Events in Italy
Livia Drusilla
The downfall of Sex. Pompeius and Lepidus, 36 BC
Anthony, Cleopatra and Parthia
Propaganda and invective
Civil war
The battle of Actium, September 31 BC
‘Aegypto Capta’: the defeat of Antony, Cleopatra and Egypt
C. Cornelius Gallus
Octavian’s return to Italy
Princeps and Augustus


15 The Age of Augustus
Augustus and the Res Gestae divi Augusti
Augustus takes control of government, 27 BC
Augustus as author
Principal events of Augustus’ principate: the Fasti
Augustus’s constitutional position: the ‘Second Settlement’
Augustus ‘Imperator’
Augustus and traditional religion
Marriage, divorce and adultery
The lex Papia Poppaea, AD 9
The ludi saeculares
Marcellus and Agrippa
Augustus and imperial cult
Legislation on slaves and freedmen
The family of Augustus
Augustus as administrator
Senators and new men
Maecenas and Augustan literature
The golden years
Disappointment and disaster
The end of an age
Views of Augustus and his regime


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Matthew Dillon is Professor of Classics and Ancient History in the School of Humanities at the University of New England, Australia. His main research interests are in ancient Greek history and religion. He is the author of Omens and Oracles: Divination in Ancient Greece and Asklepios and His Healing Hands.

Lynda Garland is Honorary Research Professor in the School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry at the University of Queensland, Australia. With Matthew Dillon, she is the author of Ancient Greece: Social and Historical Documents from Archaic Times to the Death of Alexander, third edition; The Ancient Greeks: History and Culture from Archaic Times to the Death of Alexander the Great; and Ancient Rome: Social and Historical Documents from the Early Republic to the Death of Augustus, second edition. Apart from ancient history, her main research interest is in the area of Byzantine studies.


"The current text is a valuable contribution to the field as it covers the Roman Republic, the dynastic period and the rise of Augustus in just over 750 pages...this is an expertly written and highly recommended text." - The Classical Review