Figuring in myth, religion, law, the military, commerce, and transportation, rivers were at the heart of Rome's increasing exploitation of the environment of the Mediterranean world. In Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome, Brian Campbell explores the role and influence of rivers and their surrounding landscape on the society and culture of the Roman Empire. Examining artistic representations of rivers, related architecture, and the work of ancient geographers and topographers, as well as writers who describe rivers, Campbell reveals how Romans defined the geographical areas they conquered and how geography and natural surroundings related to their society and activities. In addition, he illuminates the prominence and value of rivers in the control and expansion of the Roman Empire--through the legal regulation of riverine activities, the exploitation of rivers in military tactics, and the use of rivers as routes of communication and movement. Campbell shows how a technological understanding of--and even mastery over--the forces of the river helped Rome rise to its central place in the ancient world.
How did the Romans go from a small tribe living on the banks of the Tiber to an imperial power that at its height encompassed some 64 million people across three continents? And how can we explain the decline and eventual collapse of this vast empire? This authoritative, highly readable textbook offers a complete survey of the history of Rome from its origins, through the Republic and Empire, to the period of its decline and fall, ending with the emergence of Mohammed in the 6th century.Written by a historian with an international reputation, the book incorporates the most recent scholarship and archaeological evidence. It describes the key events in Roman history, and offers fascinating insights into Roman life and culture as they changed and developed over the centuries.
Through a series of original essays by leading international scholars, The Roman Empire in Context: Historical and Comparative Perspectives offers a comparative historical analysis of the Roman empire’s role and achievement and, more broadly, establishes Rome’s significance within comparative studies. Fills a gap in comparative historical analysis of the Roman empire’s role and achievement Features contributions from more than a dozen distinguished scholars from around the world Explores the relevance of important comparativist themes of state, empire, and civilization to ancient Rome
Classical Models in Sixteenth-century Spanish America
Author: David A. Lupher
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Romans in a New World shows how the ancient Romans haunted the Spanish conquest of the New World, more often than not as passionately rejected models. While the conquistadors themselves and their publicists challenged the reputations of the Romans for incomparable military genius and daring, Spanish critics of the conquest launched a concerted assault upon two other prominent uses of ancient Rome as a model: as an exemplar of imperialistic motives and behavior fit for Christians to follow, and as a yardstick against which to measure the cultural level of the natives of the New World. In the course of this debate, many Spaniards were inspired to think more deeply on their own ethnic ancestry and identity, as Spanish treatment of the New World natives awakened the slumbering memory of Roman treatment of the Iberian tribes whom modern Spaniards were now embracing as their truest ancestors. At the same time, growing awareness of the cultural practices--especially the religious rituals--of the American natives framed a new perspective on both the pre-Christian ancestors of modern Europeans and even on the survival of "pagan" customs among modern Europeans themselves. In this incisive study, David A. Lupher addresses the increasingly debated question of the impact the discovery of the New World had upon Europeans' perceptions of their identity and place in history. Romans in a New World holds much to interest both classicists and students of the history and culture of early modern Europe--especially, though not exclusively, historians of Spain. David A. Lupher's concern with the ideology of imperialism and colonization and with cross-cultural negotiations will be useful to students of cultural studies, as well. David A. Lupher is Professor of Classics, University of Puget Sound.
This book explores the subject of islands, their essence and identity, their isolation and their relationships in the Ancient world. It investigates Greek and Roman concepts of insularity, and their practical consequences for the political, economic and social life of the Empire. The contributions examine whether being related to an island was an externally or internally distinctive feature, and whether a tension between insularity and globalisation can be detected in this period. The book also looks at whether there is an insular material culture, an island-based approach to sacredness, or an island-based category of epigraphy.
Memory and Urban Religion in the Ancient World brings together scholars and researchers working on memory and religion in ancient urban environments. Chapters explore topics relating to religious traditions and memory, and the multifunctional roles of architectural and geographical sites, mythical figures and events, literary works and artefacts. Pagan religions were often less static and more open to new influences than previously understood. One of the factors that shape religion is how fundamental elements are remembered as valuable and therefore preservable for future generations. Memory, therefore, plays a pivotal role when - as seen in ancient Rome during late antiquity - a shift of religions takes place within communities. The significance of memory in ancient societies and how it was promoted, prompted, contested and even destroyed is discussed in detail. This volume, the first of its kind, not only addresses the main cultures of the ancient world - Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome - but also look at urban religious culture and funerary belief, and how concepts of ethnic religion were adapted in new religious environments.
In describing the triangular relationship among the Jews, the Romans and the Greeks, Michael Grant treats one of the most significant themes in world history. Unlike almost all the other subject nations of the Roman empire, the Jews have survived and have maintained a religious and cultural identity that is substantially unchanged. They provide a unique bridge with the ancient world and can bring us into peculiarly close and intimate contact with life in the Roman empire. This book embraces the period in which the Jewish religion assumed virtually its final form, and in which Jews launched their two heroic, but disastrous revolts against Roman rule. This was, moreover, the time when Judaism gave birth to Christianity. Within a century after the death of Jesus, his followers had become completely independent of Judaism. Michael Grant describes the grandeur of the great multiracial Roman empire, beneath whose rule these stirring and unique developments took place.
The spectacle of death, exemplified by the games in the Colosseum in Rome and other coliseums, effected Roman civilization and culture by introducing death as sport and entertainment. Death games led to institutionalized violence and a savage industry that produced economic gains by profiting from murder and mayhem.