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Roman Power
A Thousand Years of Empire


  • Date Published: February 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316606667


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About the Authors
  • The Roman Empire was one of the largest and most enduring in world history. In his new book, distinguished historian W. V. Harris sets out to explain, within an eclectic theoretical framework, the waxing and eventual waning of Roman imperial power, together with the Roman community's internal power structures (political power, social power, gender power and economic power). Effectively integrating analysis with a compelling narrative, he traces this linkage between the external and the internal through three very long periods, and part of the originality of the book is that it almost uniquely considers both the gradual rise of the Roman Empire and its demise as an empire in the fifth and seventh centuries AD. Professor Harris contends that comparing the Romans of these diverse periods sharply illuminates both the growth and the shrinkage of Roman power as well as the Empire's extraordinary durability.

    • Explores the history of the relationship between imperial and internal power across the entire history of the Roman Empire
    • Makes fruitful comparisons between the Romans of widely diverse periods
    • Integrates analysis with a highly readable narrative accessible to all those interested in the history of empire and power
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a thought provoking work, and an essential one for anyone seriously interested in the rise, greatness, and fall of the Romans.' New York Military Affairs Symposium Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316606667
    • length: 379 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.54kg
    • contains: 44 b/w illus. 7 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of maps
    1. The long-term evolution of Roman power
    2. The Romans against outsiders, 400 BC to AD 16
    3. The Romans against each other, from republic to monarchy
    4. The Romans against outsiders, AD 16 to 337
    5. The Romans against each other: from empire to nation?
    6. The Romans against outsiders, AD 337 to 641
    7. The Romans against each other in two long crises
    8. Retrospect and some reflections

  • Author

    W. V. Harris, Columbia University, New York
    W. V. Harris is William R. Shepherd Professor of History at Columbia University, New York. The author of War and Imperialism in Republican Rome (1985), Ancient Literacy (1989), Restraining Rage: The Ideology of Anger Control in Classical Antiquity (2002, winner of the Breasted Prize of the American Historical Association), Dreams and Experience in Classical Antiquity (2009) and Rome's Imperial Economy (2011), he has also edited books about ancient money, the ancient Mediterranean, and the spread of Christianity, among other subjects. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy, among other honours.

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