Ancient Rome – The Roman Empire – History


Ancient Rome, History of Ancient Rome, Mystery religions, early Christianity, How the Roman Empire Ended, Imperialism, Caesar’s wives, Culture of Ancient Rome, Roman Women, the Etruscans, Fall of Roman Republic, art of Rome, Marc Antony, The Destruction of Pompeii, Mithra, and Roman Civilization.

 

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History of Ancient Rome Collection

Numerous free online books at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “History Ancient Rome”. Be patient as the page loads.

The Common People of Ancient Rome: Studies of Roman Life and Literature

Abbott, Frank F.
Scribner’s Sons 1911        Dewey Dec.   937

“This book deals with the life of the common people, with their language and literature, their occupations and amusements, and with their social, political, and economic conditions. We are interested in the common people of Rome because they made the Roman Empire what it was. They carried the Roman standards to the Euphrates and the Atlantic; they lived abroad as traders, farmers, and soldiers to hold and Romanize the provinces, or they stayed at home, working as carpenters, masons, or bakers, to supply the daily needs of the capital.” -Author’s Preface

Society and Politics in Ancient Rome: Essays and Sketches

Abbott, Frank F.
Scribner’s Sons 1909        Dewey Dec.   937

A collection of papers written by the author over a period of “ten or fifteen years”.

Contents: Municipal Politics in Pompeii – The Story of Two Oligarchies – Women and Public Affairs under the Roman Republic – Roman Women in the Trades and Professions – The Theatre as a Factor in Roman Politics under the Republic – Petronius: A Study in Ancient Realism – A Roman Puritan – Petrarch’s Letters to Cicero – Literature and the Common People of Rome – The Career of a Roman Student – Some Spurious Inscriptions and their Authors – The Evolution of the Modern Forms of the Letters of our Alphabet

Also see our collection of articles on Ancient Rome and Its Empire

The Mystery-Religions and Christianity: A Study in the Religious Background of Early Christianity

Angus, Samuel
Carol 1989        Dewey Dec.   937

“When Alexander the Great completed his conquest of the Near East in 331 B.C., one world died and another was born. The spiritual crisis of the age found expression in new types of religions as conquered peoples became disillusioned with their traditional gods and as local cults were eclipsed by broken boundaries. On one hand, the philosophy of the Greeks changed the perspectives of Eastern minds; on the other, the exoticism and flamboyance of Oriental cults and modes appealed to a jaded Greek world whose ancient gods had long since left Olympus. A new cosmopolitanism led to a search for religions which would represent on a spiritual level an integration into the New Order. Whether they were manifested in a desperate fusion of faiths or symbolic reinterpretations of time-honored ceremonies, the Mystery Religions preceding Christianity hold behind their bizarre dramas and transience a clear and continuing truth.” -Book cover

The Legacy of Rome

Bailey, Cyril, ed.
Clarendon 1924        Dewey Dec.   937

Essays by various authors on Empire, Administration, Communications and Commerce, Law, Family and Social Life, Religion and Philosophy, Science, Literature, Language, Architecture and Art, Building and Engineering, and Agriculture.

The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found

Beard, Mary
Belknap 2008        Dewey Dec.   937

“Pompeii is the most famous archaeological site in the world, visited by more than two million people each year. Yet it is also one of the most puzzling, with an intriguing and sometimes violent history, from the sixth century BCE to the present day. Destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 CE, the ruins of Pompeii offer the best evidence we have of life in the Roman Empire. But the eruptions are only part of the story. In The Fires of Vesuvius, acclaimed historian Mary Beard makes sense of the remains. She explores what kind of town it was–more like Calcutta or the Costa del Sol?–and what it can tell us about “ordinary” life there. From sex to politics, food to religion, slavery to literacy, Beard offers us the big picture even as she takes us close enough to the past to smell the bad breath and see the intestinal tapeworms of the inhabitants of the lost city.” -Publisher

The Roman Triumph

Beard, Mary
Belknap 2007        Dewey Dec.   937

“The most lavish of Roman rituals was the triumphus, a grandiose procession honoring a general for a glorious victory. In this book, classicist Beard uses–and debunks–modern conceptions of this celebration in order to explore not only what we know and don’t know about ancient times, but how we know.” -Publisher

The Complete Pompeii

Berry, Joanne
Thames & Hudson 2007        Dewey Dec.   937

“The dramatic story of Pompeii’s destruction has been handed down to us by Roman writers, its paintings and mosaics have astonished visitors since their discovery in the eighteenth century, and its houses and public buildings to this day present a vivid picture of life, disaster, and death in a Roman town.Pompeii is not quite a time capsule, a frozen moment in history, but it is probably the closest we will ever get to one. This up-to-date new survey draws on evidence produced at the cutting edge of modern archaeological research, revealing how the evidence for life in this city was first uncovered, and how archaeologists over the centuries have unpeeled the layers that enable us to reconstruct Pompeii’s history.With its lavish illustrations, covering monumental architecture and inscriptions, shops, graffiti, wall-paintings, and mosaics, plus its numerous box features ranging from theatrical entertainments to water supply, The Complete Pompeii is the ultimate resource and inspirational guide to this iconic ancient town.” -Publisher

Collected books on the area of the Ancient World that includes Mesopotamia, the Assyrian Empire, Babylonia, and Persia, at Ancient Mesopotamia

A History of Rome to 565 AD

Boak, Arthur E.R.
MacMillan 1922        Dewey Dec.   937

“This sketch of the History of Rome to 565 A.D. is primarily intended to meet the needs of introductory college courses in Roman History. However, it is hoped that it may also prove of service as a handbook for students of Roman life and literature in general.” -Author’s Preface

Contents:The forerunners of Rome in Italy – The early monarchy and the republic, from prehistoric times to 27 B.C. – The principate or early empire: 27 B.C.-285 A.D. – The autocracy or late empire: 285-565 A.D.

A Syllabus of Roman History

Botsford, George W.
MacMillan 1915        Dewey Dec.   937

“This Syllabus, which has arisen from the needs of my own classroom, is offered to the public in the hope that it may prove useful to students of college and university grade in other institutions. Its aim is not to convey information but
to present a scheme for the organization of the facts and ideas essential to a good knowledge of Roman history, whether obtained by lectures or by reading. The books recommended fairly cover the topics ; so that, even without lectures, a student with the Syllabus and a few shelves of books may make himself substantially acquainted with the subject.” -Author’s Preface

The Mysteries of Mithra

Cumont, Franz V.M.
Dover 1956        Dewey Dec.   937

“The colorful religion of Mithra originated in Persia and an immense popularity in the Roman Empire, becoming so powerful in the valleys of the Danube and Rhine and in Great Britain that for a time Europe almost became Mithraic. When Mithra and Early Christianity met, the result was a ferocious implacable duel, whose marks can still be detected on the body of present-day Christian doctrine. This definitive treatment of Mithraic religion by the recognized authority on classical religions pieces together information from the fragments of texts, bas-reliefs, statuary, etc., remaining from the almost total destruction of the religion centuries ago. In a work of masterful scholarship. Dr. Cumont reconstructs the characteristics of the principal divinities, the rituals, the mystery teachings, the liturgy and clergy, the attitude towards Mithra of the typical Roman soldier, the rapid dissemination of the religion in the early years of the Christian era. 70 illustrations—photographs and drawings of Mithraic art —are included.” -Book cover

An Economic History of Rome to the End of the Republic

Frank, Tenney
Johns Hopkins 1920        Dewey Dec.   937

Contents: Agriculture in early Latium – The early trade of Latium and Etruria – The rise of the peasantry – New lands for old – Roman coinage – The establishment of the plantation – Industry and commerce – The Gracchan Revolution – public finances – The Plebs Urbana – Industry at the end of the Republic – Industry, continued – Capital – Commerce – The laborer – The exhaustion of the soil

A History Of Rome

Frank , Tenney
Henry Holt 1923        Dewey Dec.   937

“This book is intended primarily for general readers who are interested in the political and cultural fortunes of the ancient republic which in so many respects did pioneer work in democratic government… [Our concern is with Rome’s] attempts at developing an effective government while trying to preserve democratic institutions.” – Author’s Preface

Roman Imperialism

Frank , Tenney
MacMillan 1914        Dewey Dec.   937

“My purpose in the following pages has been to analyze, so far as the fragmentary sources permit, the precise influences that urged the Roman republic toward territorial expansion… In the days of the early republic the Mediterranean world consisted of hundreds of independent city-states, and in the second century Rome numbered more than a hundred allies in her federation and perhaps as many more states in her circle of ” friends,” while on the periphery were countless semi-barbaric tribes ever ready to serve as catalytic agents of war… One is surprised not at the number of wars Rome fought but at the great number of states with which she lived in peace.” -Author’s Preface

Caesar’s Wives: Sex, Power, and Politics in the Roman Empire

Freisenbruch, Annelise
Free Press 2010        Dewey Dec.   937

“In scandals and power struggles obscured by time and legend, the wives, mistresses, mothers, sisters, and daughters of the Caesars have been popularly characterized as heartless murderers, shameless adulteresses, and conniving politicians in the high dramas of the Roman court. Yet little has been known about who they really were and their true roles in the history-making schemes of imperial Rome’s ruling Caesars; indeed, how they figured in the rise, decline, and fall of the empire. Now, in ‘Caesars Wives’, Annelise Freisenbruch pulls back the veil on these fascinating women in Rome’s power circles, giving them the chance to speak for themselves for the first time. With impeccable scholarship and arresting storytelling, Freisenbruch brings their personalities vividly to life, from notorious Livia and scandalous Julia to Christian Helena.” -Publisher

How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower

Goldsworthy, Adrian K.
Yale University 2009        Dewey Dec.   937

“In AD 200, the Roman Empire seemed unassailable. Its vast territory accounted for most of the known world. By the end of the fifth century, Roman rule had vanished in western Europe and much of northern Africa, and only a shrunken Eastern Empire remained. What accounts for this improbable decline? Here, Adrian Goldsworthy applies the scholarship, perspective, and narrative skill that defined his monumental ‘Caesar’ to address perhaps the greatest of all historical questions: how Rome fell… Ultimately, this is the story of how an empire without a serious rival rotted from within, its rulers and institutions putting short-term ambition and personal survival over the wider good of the state.” -Publisher

Contents: pt. 1. Crisis? The third century. The kingdom of gold — The secret of empire — Imperial women — King of kings — Barbarians — The queen and the ‘necessary’ emperor — Crisis — pt. 2. Recovery? The fourth century. The four–Diocletian and the tetrarchy — The Christian — Rivals — Enemies — The pagan — Goths — East and west — pt. 3. Fall? The fifth and sixth centuries. Barbarians and Romans : generals and rebels — The sister and the eternal city — The Hun — Sunset on an outpost of empire — Emperors, kings and warlords — West and east — Rise and fall.

The Etruscans

Grant, Michael
Scribner 1980        Dewey Dec.   937

“At the height of their achievement, between the eighth and fifth centuries B.C., the Etruscans, of west-central Italy, enjoyed a civilization comparable to that of the Greeks or the Romans. But despite the Etruscans’ ready absorption of these cultures and more eastern influences, they attained a true and distinctive originality. Michael Grant takes account of the most recent advances in Etruscology – excavations and research have transformed our knowledge of the Etruscans – and he describes in detail the civilization’s political, economic, cultural, and social developments.” -Book jacket

Imperialism in the Roman Republic

Gruen, Erich S., ed.
Holt, Rinehart and Winston 1970        Dewey Dec.   937

A volume in the publisher’s ‘European Problem Studies’ series. Collected essays.

Contents: The setting: Rome as mistress of Italy: Rome on the brink of expansion, by A. J. Toynbee.–War with Carthage; calculation or accident? Defensive imperialism, by H. H. Scullard. Roman war guilt, by J. H. Thiel. An accidental war, by M. Cary.–Expansion into the Greek world; philhellenism or self-defense? Philhellenism, by T. Mommsen. Preventive warfare, by M. Holleaux. A logical development, by E. Badian.–Roman brutality in Spain; is it explicable? Reaction to Spanish treachery, by T. Frank. Roman cruelty and extortion, by A. Schulten. Foreign policy dictated by structure of government and character of generals, by A. E. Astin.–Annexation of Africa; fear of Numidia or Carthage? Prevention of Numidian expansion, by B. L. Hallward. Fear of Carthage and irrationality, by F. E. Adcock.–Economic motivation; did it play a role? The role of economic motivation, by M. Rostovtzeff. The lack of economic motivation, by E. Badian.–The character and consequences of Roman imperialism: City-state unable to act as world power, by R. E. Smith. Patrol-state and client-state, by E. Badian. Economic and social consequences of imperialism, by A. H. McDonald

Lectures on the History of Roman Religion from Numa to Augustus

Halliday, William R.
University Press of Liverpool 1922        Dewey Dec.   937

This book was written out from “a course of lectures, which were actually delivered as public lectures in our Institute of Archaeology, but were primarily designed for students in the first or second year of study in the Honours School of Classics in Liverpool University. Their aim was to summarise very briefly the character and the historical development of Roman religion up to the death of Augustus.” -Author’s Preface

Contents: Religion of the household – religion of the farm – Religion of the state – Religion of Numa and its objects of worship – From the Etruscan monarchy to the second Punic War – The last century of the Republic – The Augustan revival

Also see our collections of Articles on Ancient History and Podcasts & Videos on Ancient History & Archaeology

Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic

Holland, Tom
Doubleday 2003        Dewey Dec.   937

“In 49 B.C., the seven hundred fifth year since the founding of Rome, Julius Caesar crossed a small border river called the Rubicon and plunged Rome into cataclysmic civil war. Tom Holland’ s enthralling account tells the story of Caesar’ s generation, witness to the twilight of the Republic and its bloody transformation into an empire. From Cicero, Spartacus, and Brutus, to Cleopatra, Virgil, and Augustus, here are some of the most legendary figures in history brought thrillingly to life. Combining verve and freshness with scrupulous scholarship, “Rubicon “is not only an engrossing history of this pivotal era but a uniquely resonant portrait of a great civilization in all its extremes of self-sacrifice and rivalry, decadence and catastrophe, intrigue, war, and world-shaking ambition.” -Publisher

Contents: Paradoxical republic — Sibyl’s curse — Luck be a lady — Return of the native — Fame is the spur — Banquet of Carrion — Debt to pleasure — Triumvirate — Wings of Icarus — World war — Death of the Republic.

Mark Antony: A Biography

Huzar, Eleanor G.
University of Minnesota 1978        Dewey Dec.   937

“In a chronological/topical approach, Professor Huzar recounts the details of Mark Antony’s life and his role in the history of Rome and the Roman Empire. The book serves as an excellent introduction to the shifting alliances, the feuds, and the ambitions of the rival politician/generals who held the fate of the Roman Republic in their hands. As Caesar’s lieutenant, Octavian’s rival, Cicero’s murderer, and Cleopatra’s lover, Antony led an exciting life, and this biography, written in a lively, readable style, reflects the excitement.” -Publisher

Contents: I. The Setting; II. Heir; III. Lieutenant; IV. Across the Rubicon; V. Henchman to the Dictator; VI. Caesar’s Successor; VII. Challenged by Octavian; VIII. Avenger of Caesar; IX. Relinquishing the West; X. Reorganizing Eastern Provinces and Allies; XI. Parthia Invicta; XII. Breaking with Octavian; XIII. The Lion at Bay; XIV. “My Fame is Shrewdly Gored”; XV. Marcus Antonius, Vir Vitalissimus;

The Roman Empire, B.C. 29 – A.D. 476

Jones, H. Stuart
Putnam’s Sons 1908        Dewey Dec.   937

Contents: Augustus – The Julio-Claudian dynasty – The year of four emperors – The Flavian dynasty – Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian – The age of the Antonines – The dynasty of the Severi – The disintegration of the empire – The restoration of imperial unity – Diocletian and Constantine – Epilogue

The End of Empire: Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome

Kelly, Christopher
Norton 2009        Dewey Dec.   937

“History remembers Attila, the leader of the Huns, as the Romans perceived him: a savage barbarian brutally inflicting terror on whoever crossed his path. Christopher Kelly, a professor of ancient history at Cambridge University, presents quite a different portrait. Drawing on original texts, including the only eyewitness description of Attila and his court, Kelly reveals Attila to be both a master warrior and an astute strategist. His Attila brilliantly exploited the strengths and weaknesses of the Roman Empire, conspiring with a treacherous Roman general, avoiding the assassination plots of a powerful eunuch, and accepting a marriage proposal from the emperor’s sister. A compelling and original exploration of the clash between empire and barbarity, ‘The End of Empire’ challenges our own ideas about imperialism, civilization, terrorists, and superpowers.” -Book cover

Contents: The Strava of Attila the Hun — pt. 1. Before Attila — First contact — The axis of evil — A backward steppe — Romans and barbarians — How the West was won — pt. 2. Huns and Romans — A tale of two cities — War on three fronts — Brothers in arms — Fighting for Rome — Shock and awe — Barbarians at the gates — The price of peace — pt. 3. Dinner with Attila — Mission impossible — Close encounters — Eating with the enemy — What the historian saw — Truth and dare — End game — pt. 4. The failure of empire — Hearts and minds — The bride of Attila — Taking sides — The fog of war — The last retreat — Endings — Epilogue : Reputations

The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire from the First Century A.D. to the Third

Luttwak, Edward
Johns Hopkins University 1976        Dewey Dec.   937

“At the height of its power, the Roman Empire encompassed the entire Mediterranean basin, extending much beyond it from Britain to Mesopotamia, from the Rhine to the Black Sea. Rome prospered for centuries while successfully resisting attack, fending off everything from overnight robbery raids to full-scale invasion attempts by entire nations on the move. How were troops able to defend the Empire’s vast territories from constant attacks? And how did they do so at such moderate cost that their treasury could pay for an immensity of highways, aqueducts, amphitheaters, city baths, and magnificent temples? In The Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, seasoned defense analyst Edward N. Luttwak reveals how the Romans were able to combine military strength, diplomacy, and fortifications to effectively respond to changing threats. Rome’s secret was not ceaseless fighting, but comprehensive strategies that unified force, diplomacy, and an immense infrastructure of roads, forts, walls, and barriers.” -Publisher

Links to over 120 magazines free online, from the early 1800s to today, at Old Magazines Online

Latin Literature

Mackail, J.W.
John Murray 1896        Dewey Dec.   937

Contents: Part I: The Republic: Origins of Latin Literature: Early epic and tragedy – Comedy: Plautus and Terence – Early Prose: The Satura, or mixed mode – Lucretius – Lyric poetry: Catullus – Cdicero -Prose of the Ciceronian age.
Part II: The Augustan Age: Virgil – Horace – Propertius and the Elegists – Ovid – Livy – The lesser Augustans.
Part III: The Empire: The Rome of Nero – The silver age – Tacitus – Juvenal, the younger Pliny, Suetonius: Decay of classical Latin – The ‘Elocutio Novella’ – Early Latin Christianity – The fourth century – The beginnings of the Middle Ages

The Founding of the Roman Empire

Marsh, Frank B.
University of Texas – Austin 1922        Dewey Dec.   937

Contents: The administrative problem of the Republic – The development of the military system – The supremacy of Pompey – The first Triumvirate – Caesar – The destruction of the Republicans – The triumph of Octavian – The restoration of the Republic – The transformation of the Principate

A Source Book of Roman History

Munro, Dana C., ed.
Heath 1904        Dewey Dec.   937

This volume of extracts from original sources was intended for use by students along with a textbook; apparently any of the widely-used introductory textbooks of that time for students of the classics.

Contents: Italy – Rome. Sources and credibility of early Roman history – Religion – The Roman army – Monarchical institutions – Early history – Conquest of the Mediterranean. Punic wars – Results of foreign wars – The last century of the Republic – The early empire – Christianity and Stoicism – Roman life and society – Provinces and provincial administration

The Grandeur that was Rome: A Survey of Roman Culture and Civilisation

Stobart, J.C.
Sidgwick & Jackson 1920        Dewey Dec.   937

Contents: Introduction – The beginnings of Rome – Conquest – The last century of the Republic – Augustus – Augustan Rome – The growth of the Empire – Epilogue

Teuffel’s History of Roman Literature; the Republican Period, Vol 1

Volume 2

Teuffel, Wilhelm
George Bell & Sons 1891        Dewey Dec.   937

Vol. 1: The Republican Period, Vol. 2: The Imperial Period.

The Art of the Romans

Walters, H.B.
Methuen 1928        Dewey Dec.   937

With 72 plates and 10 illustrations.

Contents: Roman art, its origin and character – Roman architecture – Roman sculpture-1. The Augustan age – Later Roman sculpture (Vespasian to Constantine) – Roman painting and mosaic – Roman gem-engraving and metal-work – Roman fictile work – Roman art in the provinces

The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization

Ward-Perkins, Bryan
Oxford University 2005        Dewey Dec.   937

“Was the fall of Rome a great catastrophe that cast the West into darkness for centuries to come? Or, as scholars argue today, was there no crisis at all, but simply a peaceful blending of barbarians into Roman culture, an essentially positive transformation? In ‘The Fall of Rome’, eminent historian Bryan Ward-Perkins argues that the “peaceful” theory of Rome’s “transformation” is badly in error. Indeed, he sees the fall of Rome as a time of horror and dislocation that destroyed a great civilization, throwing the inhabitants of the West back to a standard of living typical of prehistoric times. Attacking contemporary theories with relish and making use of modern archaeological evidence, he looks at both the wider explanations for the disintegration of the Roman world and also the consequences for the lives of everyday Romans, who were caught in a world of economic collapse, marauding barbarians, and the rise of a new religious orthodoxy.” -Publisher

The Religious Experience of the Roman People: From the Earliest Times to the Age of Augustus

The Gifford Lectures for 1909-10 delivered in Edinburgh University

Warde, Fowler W.
1911        Dewey Dec.   937

Titles of Lectures: Introductory – On the threshold of religion: survivals – On the threshold of religion: magic – The religion of the family – The calendar of Numa – The divine objects of worship – The deities of the earliest religion: general characteristics – Ritual of the Ius Divinum Ritual – The first arrival of new cults in Rome – Contact of the old and new in religion – The Pontifices and the secularisation of religion – The Augus and the art of divination – The Hannibalic war – After the Hannibalic war – Greek philosophy and Roman religion – Mysticism-ideas of a futre life – Religious feeling in the poems of Virgil – The Augustan revival – Conclusion

Also see our collection of articles at Ancient History Articles


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