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

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

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.

PublicAffairs

The Storm Before the Storm

Mike Duncan
Authors:
Mike Duncan

The Roman Republic was one of the most remarkable achievements in the history of civilization. After its founding in 509 BCE, Rome grew from an unremarkable Italian city-state to the dominant superpower of the Mediterranean world. Through it all, the Romans never allowed a single man to seize control of the state. Every year for four hundred years the annually elected consuls voluntarily handed power to their successors. Not once did a consul give in to the temptation to grab absolute power and refuse to let it go. It was a run of political self-denial unmatched in the history of the world. The disciplined Roman republicans then proceeded to explode out of Italy and conquer a world filled with petty tyrants, barbarian chieftains, and despotic kings.But the very success of the Republic proved to be its undoing. The republican system was unable to cope with the vast empire Rome ruled. Bankrolled by mountains of imperial wealth and without a foreign enemy to keep them united, ambitious Roman leaders began to stray from the republican austerity of their ancestors. Almost as soon as they had conquered the Mediterranean, Rome would become engulfed in violent political conflicts and civil wars that would destroy the Republic less than a century later.The Storm Before the Storm tells the story of the beginning of the end of the Roman Republic--the story of the first generation that had to cope with the dangerous new political environment made possible by Rome's unrivaled domination over the known world. The tumultuous years from 133-80 BCE set the stage for the fall of the Republic.The Republic faced issues like rising economic inequality, increasing political polarization, the privatization of the military, endemic social and ethnic prejudice, rampant corruption, ongoing military quagmires, and the ruthless ambition and unwillingness of elites to do anything to reform the system in time to save it--a situation that draws many parallels to present-day America. These issues are among the reasons why the Roman Republic would fall. And as we all know, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Basic Books

Crucible of Faith

Philip Jenkins
Authors:
Philip Jenkins

One of America's foremost scholars of religion examines the tumultuous era that gave birth to the modern Judeo-Christian traditionIn The Crucible of Faith, Philip Jenkins argues that much of the Judeo-Christian tradition we know today was born between 250-50 BCE, during a turbulent "Crucible Era." It was during these years that Judaism grappled with Hellenizing forces and produced new religious ideas that reflected and responded to their changing world. By the time of the fall of the Temple in 70 CE, concepts that might once have seemed bizarre became normalized-and thus passed on to Christianity and later Islam. Drawing widely on contemporary sources from outside the canonical Old and New Testaments, Jenkins reveals an era of political violence and social upheaval that ultimately gave birth to entirely new ideas about religion, the afterlife, Creation and the Fall, and the nature of God and Satan.

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

A Brief History of France, Revised and Updated

Cecil Jenkins
Authors:
Cecil Jenkins

When we think of France, we tend think of fine food and wine, the elegant boulevards of Paris or the chic beaches of St Tropez. Yet, as the largest country in Europe, France is home to extraordinary diversity. The idea of 'Frenchness' emerged through 2,000 years of history and it is this riveting story, from the Roman conquest of Gaul to the present day, that Cecil Jenkins tells: of the forging of this great nation through its significant people and events and and its fascinating culture. As he unfolds this narrative, Jenkins shows why the French began to see themselves as so different from the rest of Europe, but also why, today, the French face the same problems with regard to identity as so many other European nations.

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.

Robinson

An Introduction to Coping with Health Anxiety, 2nd edition

Brenda Hogan, Charles Young
Authors:
Brenda Hogan, Charles Young

Learn how to control your health anxietyHealth anxiety affects many people across the world - a preoccupation with physical illness that is equally bad for your mental health. This self-help guide explains how it develops and what keeps it going. This updated edition gives you clinically proven cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques to help you challenge the way you think and behave, such as:- What health anxiety is and how it develops - Physical symptom - How to spot and challenge thoughts that make you anxious. - Reducing your focus on illness- How to spot and challenge thoughts that make you anxious- Reducing your focus on your body and on illness

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

Basic Books

The Big Stick

Eliot A. Cohen
Authors:
Eliot A. Cohen

Speak softly and carry a big stick" Theodore Roosevelt famously said in 1901, when the United States was emerging as a great power. It was the right sentiment, perhaps, in an age of imperial rivalry but today many Americans doubt the utility of their global military presence, thinking it outdated, unnecessary or even dangerous. In The Big Stick , Eliot A. Cohen,a scholar and practitioner of international relations,disagrees. He argues that hard power remains essential for American foreign policy. While acknowledging that the US must be careful about why, when, and how it uses force, he insists that its international role is as critical as ever, and armed force is vital to that role. Cohen explains that American leaders must learn to use hard power in new ways and for new circumstances. The rise of a well-armed China, Russia's conquest of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, nuclear threats from North Korea and Iran, and the spread of radical Islamist movements like ISIS are some of the key threats to global peace. If the United States relinquishes its position as a strong but prudent military power, and fails to accept its role as the guardian of a stable world order we run the risk of unleashing disorder, violence and tyranny on a scale not seen since the 1930s. The US is still, as Madeleine Albright once dubbed it, the indispensable nation."

Seal Press

The Future Tense of Joy

Jessica Teich
Authors:
Jessica Teich

No one was less likely to take her own life.' That's what her Oxford thesis advisor wrote. From the moment I stumbled across the obituary, late at night when I couldn't sleep, I was captivated, and it wasn't the terrible details of her death: That she leapt from the balcony of a high rise in Century City. That she was 27, and a newlywed." So begins Jessica Teich's quest to unravel a mystery: the suicide of someone she never met. Bright and accomplished, with a loving family, Jessica knows she should be happy. But a violent childhood has left its mark. Jessica fears she will never be free of her past,until she discovers the obituary of a young woman, whose life is a ghostly echo of her own. Can Jessica discover what drove this brilliant young woman to kill herself? And will discovering the truth save Jessica from the fissures tearing apart her own life? A deeply intimate psychological memoir, The Future Tense of Joy is the luminous account of one woman's efforts to free herself, and her family, from the demons of the past. Witty, brave and suspenseful, the book has been hailed by Meryl Streep as beautiful, compassionately imagined." Steve Martin called it a daring and intimate journey into the soul of motherhood."

Basic Books

The Constitution Today

Akhil Reed Amar
Authors:
Akhil Reed Amar
Nation Books

Injustices

Ian Millhiser
Authors:
Ian Millhiser

Now with a new epilogue.Few American institutions have inflicted greater suffering on ordinary people than the Supreme Court of the United States. Since its inception, the justices of the Supreme Court have shaped a nation where children toiled in coal mines, where Americans could be forced into camps because of their race, and where a woman could be sterilized against her will by state law. The Court was the midwife of Jim Crow, the right hand of union busters, and the dead hand of the Confederacy. Nor is the modern Court a vast improvement, with its incursions on voting rights and its willingness to place elections for sale.In this powerful indictment of a venerated institution, Ian Millhiser tells the history of the Supreme Court through the eyes of the everyday people who have suffered the most from it. America ratified three constitutional amendments to provide equal rights to freed slaves, but the justices spent thirty years largely dismantling these amendments. Then they spent the next forty years rewriting them into a shield for the wealthy and the powerful. In the Warren era and the few years following it, progressive justices restored the Constitution's promises of equality, free speech, and fair justice for the accused. But, Millhiser contends, that was an historic accident. Indeed, if it weren't for several unpredictable events, Brown v. Board of Education could have gone the other way.In Injustices , Millhiser argues that the Supreme Court has seized power for itself that rightfully belongs to the people's elected representatives, and has bent the arc of American history away from justice.

Constable

The St. Tropez Lonely Hearts Club

Joan Collins
Authors:
Joan Collins

Contessa Carlotta di Ponti, stunningly beautiful and filthy rich, has finally escaped her abusive marriage and is looking to find true love in St. Tropez. The party season kicks off with a spectacular bash at billionaire Harry Silver's palatial mansion, but tragedy soon strikes. Could seemingly innocuous events - a bad oyster, a fatal wasp sting, a faulty funicular - mean something more sinister for the bejewelled citizens of St. Tropez?It is up to glamorous detective Gabrielle Poulpe to save the day and find the murderer in their midst or life on St. Tropez as its residents know it could be over forever. Can Gabrielle find the culprit before it's too late?Join the wealthy and the fabulous in the ultimate playground of the rich and the famous, for sun, sin, sex and scandal as they battle a threat from within...

Robinson

A Brief History of the Amazons

Lyn Webster Wilde
Authors:
Lyn Webster Wilde

'Golden-shielded, silver-sworded, man-loving, male-child slaughtering Amazons,' is how the fifth-century Greek historian Hellanicus described the Amazons, and they have fascinated humanity ever since. Did they really exist? For centuries, scholars consigned them to the world of myth, but Lyn Webster Wilde journeyed into the homeland of the Amazons and uncovered astonishing evidence of their historic reality.North of the Black Sea she found archaeological excavations of graves of Iron Age women buried with arrows, swords and armour. In the hidden world of the Hittites, near the Amazons' ancient capital of Thermiscyra in Anatolia, she unearthed traces of powerful priestesses, women-only religious cults, and an armed, bisexual goddess - all possible sources for the ferocious women.Combining scholarly penetration with a sense of adventure, Webster Wilde has produced a coherent and absorbing book that challenges preconceived notions, still disturbingly widespread, of what men and women can do.

Basic Books

The Gates of Europe

Serhii Plokhy
Authors:
Serhii Plokhy
Basic Books

The German War

Nicholas Stargardt
Authors:
Nicholas Stargardt

As early as 1941, Allied victory in World War II seemed all but assured. How and why, then, did the Germans prolong the barbaric conflict for three and a half more years?In The German War , acclaimed historian Nicholas Stargardt draws on an extraordinary range of primary source materials,personal diaries, court records, and military correspondence,to answer this question. He offers an unprecedented portrait of wartime Germany, bringing the hopes and expectations of the German people,from infantrymen and tank commanders on the Eastern front to civilians on the home front,to vivid life. While most historians identify the German defeat at Stalingrad as the moment when the average German citizen turned against the war effort, Stargardt demonstrates that the Wehrmacht in fact retained the staunch support of the patriotic German populace until the bitter end.Astonishing in its breadth and humanity, The German War is a ground-breaking new interpretation of what drove the Germans to fight,and keep fighting,for a lost cause.