Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $53.00
  • January 2014
  • ISBN: 978-0-500-29124-5
  • 368 pages
  • Territory Rights: USA and Dependencies, Philippines and Canada.

Ancient Rome

A New History

Second Edition


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David Potter (Author)


The new Second Edition of the definitive history of Rome—from its beginnings to the Arab conquest, and beyond.

The Second Edition adds further nuance to its highly readable narrative with extended coverage of the following:
• The evolution of Roman historiography and early Roman rites
• The Roman state and Latin literature in the second century BC
• The use of the fleet in the First Punic War
• The Late Republic
• The development of courtlike structures in the decades before the death of Caesar
• The Roman army, including evidence from Vindolanda
• Constantine’s conversion to Christianity

Incorporating contributions from economics, archaeology, anthropology, literary criticism, and primary sources, David Potter’s thought-provoking and accessible text shows students how Roman historians evaluate evidence from sources as diverse as art, coins, and architecture. The book is beautifully illustrated with over 200 illustrations—maps, battle plans, portraits, paintings, sculpture, and more.


Endorsements & Reviews

“David Potter has written what will be the definitive new overview of Roman history from very early times to the end of antiquity. In a narrative that is clear and concise, while also scholarly and informed, Potter affords his readers a panoramic view of the political history and cultural development of the Roman Empire over a period of nearly fourteen centuries. Meanwhile, he explains the strengths and shortcomings of the extant ancient sources, from literary and legal texts to inscriptions and coins. Ample illustrations and maps give valuable insight into ancient life and culture. This introduction goes far beyond the basics to show the kinds of issues and debates that have made Roman history a perennial topic of study across the ages.” — Harriet Flower, Princeton University

    Introduction: Methods and Sources

    Part 1: The Formation of the Roman Identity (800–350 BC)
    1.1 The First Roman Communities
    1.2 Domestic and Intellectual World of Early Rome
    1.3 Rome in the Sixth Century BC
    1.4 The Emergence of the Roman Republic
    1.5 Summary

    Part II: War and Empire (350–133 BC)
    2.1 Rome and the Latins
    2.2 The Wars of the Third Century BC
    2.3 Why Did Rome Fight?
    2.4 The Empire: Patrons and Clients
    2.5 The Wars of the Second Century BC
    2.6 The Consequences of Empire
    2.7 Summary

    Part III: The Failure of the Roman Republic (133–59 BC)
    3.1 The Gracchi
    3.2 Popular Sovereignty and Senatorial Control (121–100 BC)
    3.3 The Age of Sulla (100–78 BC)
    3.4 Life after Sulla (78–59 BC)
    3.5 Summary

    Part IV: The Transition from Republic to Principate (59 BC–AD 70)
    4.1 Explaining the Change
    4.2 The Domination of Caesar (59–44 BC)
    4.3 Octavianus and Antony (44–31 BC)
    4.4 The House of Augustus (31 BC–AD 14)
    4.5 Eccentric Stability: The Successors to Augustus (AD 14–69)
    4.6 Summary

    Part V: The Age of Stability (AD 70–238)
    5.1 The New Dynasties (AD 70–180)
    5.2 Imperial Culture
    5.3 Running the Roman Empire
    5.4 An Age of Rust and Iron (AD 180–238)
    5.5 Summary

    Part VI: The Transformation of the Roman World (AD 238–410)
    6.1 Third-Century Crises (AD 238–70)
    6.2 The Restoration of the Empire (AD 270–305)
    6.3 Constantine and His Empire ( AD 306–37)
    6.4 The Struggle for Control (AD 337–410)
    6.5 Summary

    Part VII: The Endings of the Roman Empire (AD 410–642)
    7.1 The Course of Events (AD 410–642)
    7.2 Explaining Decline
    7.3 Summary