Stephen P. Kershaw - A Brief History of the Roman Empire - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781780330495
    • Publication date:20 Jun 2013
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A Brief History of the Roman Empire

By Stephen P. Kershaw

  • Paperback
  • £10.99

A new look at the rise and fall of the greatest empire the world has ever known.

In this lively and very readable history of the Roman Empire from its establishment in 27 BC to the barbarian incursions and the fall of Rome in AD 476, Kershaw draws on a range of evidence, from Juvenal's Satires to recent archaeological finds.

He examines extraordinary personalities such as Caligula and Nero and seismic events such as the conquest of Britain and the establishment of a 'New Rome' at Constantinople and the split into eastern and western empires.

Along the way we encounter gladiators and charioteers, senators and slaves, fascinating women, bizarre sexual practices and grotesque acts of brutality, often seen through eyes of some of the world's greatest writers. He concludes with a brief look at how Rome lives on in the contemporary world, in politics, architecture, art and literature.

Biographical Notes

Stephen Kershaw wrote his PhD under Richard Buxton, arguably the leading scholar on Greek myth in the world. He has taught Classics in numerous establishments, including Oxford University Department for Continuing Education and Warwick University. He runs the European Studies Classical Tour for Rhodes College and the University of the South.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781780330488
  • Publication date: 21 Mar 2013
  • Page count: 480
  • Imprint: Robinson
Robinson

Barbarians

Stephen P. Kershaw
Authors:
Stephen P. Kershaw

History is written by the victors, and in the case of Rome the victors also had some extremely eloquent historians. Rome's history, as written by the Romans, follows a remarkable trajectory from its origins as a tiny village of refugees from a conflict zone, to a dominant superpower, before being transformed into the Medieval and Byzantine worlds. But throughout its rise and fall Rome faced resistance and rebellion from peoples which it regarded as barbarous and/or barbarian. These opponents of Rome's power left little in the way of their own first-hand historical accounts, but they had great deal of impact on the imaginations of the Romans, and of later ages. Resisting from outside the borders, or rebelling from within, they emerge vividly in Rome's historical tradition, and have a significant footprint in the archaeology. This new history takes a fresh and original viewpoint of Rome, building its narrative around the lives, personalities, successes and failures both of the key opponents of Rome's rise and dominance, and of the ones who ultimately brought the empire down. The book presents a selection of portrait-histories of Africans, Britons, Easterners, Egyptians, Gauls, Germans, Goths, Huns, Vandals and others which can be read individually as stand-alone pieces or collectively as a narrative 'barbarian' history of Rome. These will be based both on ancient historical writings and modern archaeological research.

Basic Books

Mortal Republic

Edward J. Watts
Authors:
Edward J. Watts

In 22 BC, amid a series of natural disasters and political and economic crises, a mob locked Rome's senators into the Senate House and threatened to burn them alive if they did not make Augustus dictator. Why did Rome--to this day one of the world's longest-lived republics--exchange freedom for autocracy?Mortal Republic is a new history of the fall of the Roman Republic that explains why Rome made this trade. Prizewinning historian Edward J. Watts shows how, for centuries, Rome's governing institutions, parliamentary rules, and political customs succeeded in fostering compromise and negotiation. Even amid moments of crisis like Hannibal's invasion of Italy in the 210s BC, Rome's Republic proved remarkably resilient, and it continued to function well as Rome grow into the premier military and political power in the Mediterranean world. By the 130s BC, however, the old ways of government had grown inadequate in managing a massive standing army, regulating trade across the Mediterranean, and deciding what to do with enormous new revenues of money, land, and slaves. In subsequent decades, politicians increasingly misused Rome's consensus-building tools to pursue individual political and personal gain, and to obstruct urgently needed efforts to address growing social and economic inequality. Their opponents then employed constitutional trickery to circumvent obstruction. Individuals--and Marius, Caesar and Cato, Augustus and Pompey--made selfish decisions that benefited them personally but irreparably damaged the health of the state. As the political center decayed, political fights evolved from arguments between politicians in representative assembles to violent confrontations between ordinary people in the street, setting the stage for the destructive civil wars of the first century BC--and ultimately for the Republic's end. The death of Rome's Republic was not inevitable. It died because it was allowed to, as a result of thousands of small wounds inflicted by Romans who assumed that it would last forever. Mortal Republic makes clear that, in ancient Rome as today, when citizens take the health and durability of their republic for granted, its future is at risk.

Da Capo Press

Sword and Scimitar

Raymond Ibrahim, Victor Davis Hanson
Authors:
Raymond Ibrahim, Victor Davis Hanson

The West and Islam--the sword and the scimitar--have clashed since the mid-seventh century, when, according to Muslim tradition, the Byzantine emperor rejected Prophet Muhammad's order to abandon Christianity and convert to Islam, unleashing a centuries-long jihad on Christendom.Sword and Scimitar chronicles the significant battles that arose from this ages-old Islamic jihad, beginning with the first major Islamic attack on Christian land in 636, through the occupation of the Middle East that prompted the Crusades and the far-flung conquests of the Ottoman Turks, to the European colonization of the Muslim world in the 1800s, when Islam largely went on the retreat--until its reemergence in recent times. Using original sources in Arabic, Greek, Latin, and Turkish, preeminent historian Raymond Ibrahim describes each battle in vivid detail and explains the effect the outcome had on larger historical currents of the age and how the military lessons of the battle reflect the cultural faultlines between Islam and the West.The majority of these landmark battles are now forgotten or considered inconsequential. Yet today, as the West faces a resurgence of this enduring Islamic jihad, Sword and Scimitar provides the needed historical context to understand the current relationship between the West and the Islamic world, and why the Islamic State is merely the latest chapter of an old history.

Sphere

A Wedding on Christmas Street

Ivy Pembroke
Authors:
Ivy Pembroke

'Heartwarmingly festive - if only all streets were like Christmas Street!' Ali McNamaraSam is about to propose to his girlfriend Libby, and his neighbours in Christmas Street all think they know the right way to do it. With their help - and sometimes hinderance - Sam gains a fiancée and the wedding planning begins. Meanwhile, Sam's nine-year-old son Teddy and his friend Pari - with their constant companion Jack the street dog - are fascinated by the arrival of a mysterious new neighbour on the street who has rented the empty, run-down house. Their attempts to spy on her are thwarted by her staying indoors with the curtains drawn most of the time. But soon Christmas Street begins to work its magic and Millie is reluctantly drawn into street activities.As Millie starts to relax into thinking she can have a different life, maybe even with Jasper, the local carpenter, someone turns up from her past to threaten that. But with all of the street looking out for her, Millie's Christmas will be filled with hope and promise.

Robinson

A Brief History of Italy

Jeremy Black
Authors:
Jeremy Black

'Jeremy Black skilfully sketches social, cultural and political trends' - Christina Hardyment, Times audiobook of the week'A remarkable mixture of cold history, wide culture and personal experience'Ciro Paoletti, Secretary General of the Italian Commission of Military HistoryDespite the Roman Empire's famous 500-year reign over Europe, parts of Africa and the Middle East, Italy does not have the same long national history as states such as France or England. Divided for much of its history, Italy's regions have been, at various times, parts of bigger, often antagonistic empires, notably those of Spain and Austria. In addition, its challenging and varied terrain made consolidation of political control all the more difficult. This concise history covers, in very readable fashion, the formative events in Italy's past from the rise of Rome, through a unified country in thrall to fascism in the first half of the twentieth century right up to today. The birthplace of the Renaissance and the place where the Baroque was born, Italy has always been a hotbed of culture. Within modern Italy country there is fierce regional pride in the cultures and identities that mark out Tuscany, Rome, Sicily and Venice to name just a few of Italy's many famous regions. Jeremy Black draws on the diaries, memoirs and letters of historic travellers to Italy to gain insight into the passions of its people, first chronologically then regionally. In telling Italy's story, Black examines what it is that has given Italians such cultural clout - from food and drink, music and fashion, to art and architecture - and explores the causes and effects of political events, and the divisions that still exist today.

Basic Books

The Field of Blood

Nicholas Morton
Authors:
Nicholas Morton

In 1119, the people of the Near East came together in an epic clash of horses, swords, sand, and blood that would decide the fate of the city of the Aleppo-and the eastern Crusader states. Fought between tribal Turkish warriors on steppe ponies, Arab foot soldiers, Armenian bowmen, and European knights, the battlefield was the amphitheatre into which the people of Eurasia poured their full gladiatorial might. Carrying a piece of the true cross before them, the Frankish army advanced, anticipating a victory that would secure their dominance over the entire region. But the famed Frankish cavalry charge failed them, and the well-arranged battlefield dissolved into a melee. Surrounded by enemy forces, the crusaders suffered a colossal defeat. With their advance in Northern Syria stalled, the momentum of the crusader conquest began to evaporate, and would never be recovered.

Constable

The Throne of Caesar

Steven Saylor
Authors:
Steven Saylor

In The Throne of Caesar, award-winning mystery author Steven Saylor turns to the most famous murder in history . . . It's Rome, 44 AD, and the Ides of March are approaching.Julius Caesar has been appointed Dictator for life by the Roman Senate. Having pardoned his remaining enemies and rewarded his friends, Caesar is now preparing to leave Rome with his army to fight the Parthian Empire.Gordianus the Finder, after decades of investigating crimes and murders involving the powerful, has finally retired. But on the morning of March 10th, he's summoned to meet with Cicero and Caesar himself. Both have the same request - keep your ear to the ground, ask around, and find out if there are any conspiracies against Caesar's life. Caesar, however, has one other important matter to discuss - he is going to make Gordianus a Senator when he attends the next session on the 15th of March.With only four days left before he's made a Senator, Gordianus must dust off his old skills and see what conspiracy against Julius Caesar, if any, he can uncover. Because the Ides of March are approaching...Praise for Steven Saylor'A compelling storyteller, with a striking talent for historical reconstruction' Mary Beard'Saylor's scholarship is breathtaking and his writing enthrals' Ruth Rendell'The most reliably entertaining and well-researched novels about the ancient world [are] Steven Saylor's tales of the Roman proto-detective Gordianus the Finder. The Throne of Caesar brings the series to a satisfying conclusion [and offers] a new, compelling perspective on familiar historic events' Sunday Times'Writing a detective story about one of the most famous murders in history is no easy feat, but Saylor carries it off with characteristic brilliance . . . he has made this era his own' Ian Ross

Constable

Bethlehem

Nicholas Blincoe
Authors:
Nicholas Blincoe
Sphere

Snowflakes on Christmas Street

Ivy Pembroke
Authors:
Ivy Pembroke
Robinson

The World's 100 Weirdest Sporting Events

Geoff Tibballs
Authors:
Geoff Tibballs

When we think of the world's great sporting events, we tend to focus on spectacles such as the World Cup, the Olympics, the Derby, the Monaco Grand Prix or the University Boat Race. Yet there is also an alternative world of competition where participants risk life, limb and often dignity for meagre rewards in truly weird sporting pursuits. Step forward the Indonesian sport of sepak bola api, a variation of football in which the barefoot players kick a ball that is on fire; Germany's Mud Olympics, at which competitors play soccer, volleyball and handball while knee-deep in mud; yak racing from Mongolia; Oregon's Pig-N-Ford Races where drivers speed around the track while carrying a live pig under one arm; and Australia's variation of the Boat Race, the Henley-on-Todd Regatta, where, instead of rowing, teams carry their boats along the dry bed of the River Todd.This book lists geographically the world's 100 weirdest sports events, giving full details of their rules and colourful history. They include the grotesque (the national sport of Afghanistan is buzkashi, in which riders on horseback aim to drag the headless carcass of a dead goat towards their opponents' goal), the dangerous (Japanese hardcore wrestlers batter each other with glass fluorescent light tubes instead of their bare hands), and the downright daft in the form of the World Black Pudding Throwing Championships, the World Flounder Tramping Championships, the World Gravy Wrestling Championships and the World Shin-Kicking Championships.Races are staged in all kinds of transportation. Canada is home to the Great Klondike Outhouse Race (for portable toilets), the Vancouver Bathtub Race, and the Windsor Pumpkin Regatta; Colorado hosts the annual Emma Crawford Coffin Races; and the pride of Yorkshire is the Great Knaresborough Bed Race, where teams push a bed (containing human occupant) along a 2.4-mile course that requires a wet crossing of the River Nidd. Animals feature heavily, too. As well as traditional races for ostriches (complete with jockeys), cockroaches (no jockey required), armadillos, sheep, and Oklahoma City's splendid Dachshund Dash, rubber-duck racing is one of the fastest growing sports of recent years with events being held in several countries. Other competitions test an animal's ability to do more than just run or float, such as elephant polo, dog surfing, camel wrestling, rabbit show jumping and pig diving. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that in the near future we may even be treated to synchronized pig diving.Although the plunging porkers might disagree, the appeal of many of these sports is enhanced by taking part. If cheese rolling or volcano boarding are too energetic for your taste, ice golf or underwater hockey too uncomfortable, and lingerie football wouldn't show off your legs to best effect, you could always enjoy more leisurely pursuits like the world championships in rock, paper, scissors or pooh sticks. If, on the other hand, you prefer a watching brief, you could try your hand at cow patty bingo, a North American contest where a field is divided into numbered squares, and contestants bet on which square the cow will take a poop. It is probably the only occasion in life when you can make money from one number two on top of another.

Constable

Death on the Canal

Anja de Jager
Authors:
Anja de Jager
PublicAffairs

The Storm Before the Storm

Mike Duncan
Authors:
Mike Duncan
Basic Books

Crucible of Faith

Philip Jenkins
Authors:
Philip Jenkins
Robinson

A Brief History of Atlantis

Stephen P. Kershaw
Authors:
Stephen P. Kershaw

The Atlantis story remains one of the most haunting and enigmatic tales from antiquity, and one that still resonates very deeply with the modern imagination. But where did Atlantis come from, what was it like, and where did it go to?Atlantis was first introduced by the Greek philosopher Plato in two dialogues the Timaios and Kritias, written in the fourth century BC. As he philosophises about the origins of life, the Universe and humanity, the great thinker puts forward a stunning description of Atlantis, an island paradise with an ideal society. But the Atlanteans degenerate and become imperialist aggressors: they fight against antediluvian Athens, which heroically repels their mighty forces, before a cataclysmic natural disaster destroys the warring states. His tale of a great empire that sank beneath the waves has sparked thousands of years of debate over whether Atlantis really existed. But did Plato mean his tale as history, or just as a parable to help illustrate his philosophy?The book is broken down into two main sections plus a coda - firstly the translations/commentaries which will have the discussions of the specifics of the actual texts; secondly a look at the reception of the myth from then to now; thirdly a brief round-off bringing it all together.

Robinson

Mandela, The Graphic Novel

Umlando Wezithombe
Authors:
Umlando Wezithombe
Robinson

A Brief History of France, Revised and Updated

Cecil Jenkins
Authors:
Cecil Jenkins
Twelve

Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

Al Franken
Authors:
Al Franken

AL FRANKEN, GIANT OF THE SENATE is a book about an unlikely campaign that had an even more improbable ending: the closest outcome in history and an unprecedented eight-month recount saga, which is pretty funny in retrospect. It's a book about what happens when the nation's foremost progressive satirist gets a chance to serve in the United States Senate and, defying the low expectations of the pundit class, actually turns out to be good at it. It's a book about our deeply polarized, frequently depressing, occasionally inspiring political culture, written from inside the belly of the beast. In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics.

Life and Style

Classic Style

Kate Schelter
Authors:
Kate Schelter

In CLASSIC BY DESIGN, illustrator, stylist, and fashion "It Girl" Kate Schelter curates a collection of 100 iconic, essential "classics" (clothes, accessories, beauty products, objects, and travel items), that exemplify great design, simplicity, and timeless American fashion. Tapping into the current minimalism trend--brought into focus by The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up--Kate shows readers how to develop personal style by paring down to the pieces you truly love.As a stylist and branding expert, Kate spent years showing clients how to simplify fashion by following an easy mantra: buy less, buy better, and reinvent the pieces you already have. Now in her first book, she guides readers through these principles in a mix of stunning watercolor illustrations, stories, memories, quotes, and advice from a long list of friends in the fashion world. A visual gem, CLASSIC BY DESIGN will inspire readers to pare down those stuffed closets and storage units, find joy in simplicity and usefulness, and discover what is truly essential to personal style.

Da Capo Press

Henry Clay

Harlow Giles Unger
Authors:
Harlow Giles Unger

In a critical and little-known chapter of early American history, a fearless young Kentucky lawyer threw open the doors of Congress during the nation's formative years and prevented dissolution of the infant American republic.The only freshman congressman ever elected Speaker of the House, Henry Clay brought an arsenal of rhetorical weapons to subdue feuding members of the House of Representatives and established the Speaker as the most powerful elected official after the President. During fifty years in public service-as congressman, senator, secretary of state, and four-time presidential candidate-Clay constantly battled to save the Union, summoning uncanny negotiating skills to force bitter foes from North and South to compromise on slavery and forego secession. His famous "Missouri Compromise" and four other compromises thwarted civil war "by a power and influence," Lincoln said, "which belonged to no other statesman of his age and times."Explosive, revealing, and richly illustrated, Henry Clay is the story of one of the most courageous -and powerful - political leaders in American history.

Robinson

An Introduction to Coping with Panic, 2nd edition

Charles Young
Authors:
Charles Young

Learn how to manage your feelings of panic Panic disorder and panic attacks affect many people across the world. This self-help guide explains how panic develops and what keeps it going. This updated edition gives you clinically proven cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques to help you recognise the link between your thoughts and your panic:How to spot and challenge thoughts that make you panicKeeping a panic diaryLearn calming breathing techniques