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Roman Power
A Thousand Years of Empire

$51.99 (C)

  • Date Published: August 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107152717

$ 51.99 (C)

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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 William 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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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107152717
    • length: 370 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 44 b/w illus. 7 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    List of maps
    Part I. The Long-Term Evolution of Roman Power
    Part II. The Romans against Outsiders, 400 BC to 16 AD:
    1. Armed force and enduring control under the Middle Republic: an outline
    2. Techniques of domination under the Middle Republic, to 241 BC
    3. World power, 241 to 146 BC
    4. Questions and controversies
    5. Almost irresistible
    6. Conclusion
    Part III. The Romans against Each Other, from Republic to Monarchy:
    7. Inside an aristocratic society
    8. The form and nature of the polity in the Middle Republic
    9. Late-republican discontents
    10. One-man rule and its effects on wider power-relationships
    11. Charismatic power, economic power
    12. Internal power, external power
    Part IV. The Romans against Outsiders, 16 to 337 AD:
    13. Expansion slows and ceases
    14. Desires and reasons
    15. Emperors and their rivals
    16. Military strength and weakness
    17. Knowledge and methods
    18. Conclusion
    Part V. The Romans against Each Other: from Empire to Nation?:
    19. Durability and docility: the historical problem
    20. Assimilation and identity
    21. The emperor
    22. Imperial questions
    23. Diocletian and Constantine
    24. High and mid-level officials
    25. Order and law
    26. Lower officials
    27. Social and gender power
    28. The power of ideas
    29. Internal power, external power
    Part VI. The Romans against Outsiders, 337 to 636 AD:
    30. The crucial decades
    31. Western woes
    32. An attempt at explanation
    33. Two centuries later
    34. The unsustainability of Justinian's empire
    35. Conclusion
    Part VII. The Romans against Each Other in Two Long Crises:
    36. Sixty crucial years of imperial power
    37. Bishops, priests and the state
    38. Social disintegration
    39. Ideas
    40. From Justinian to Heraclius and beyond
    41. Internal rivals
    42. Internal power, external power
    Part VIII. Retrospect and Some Reflections

  • Author

    W. V. Harris, Columbia University, New York
    William 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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