The Roman Empire: Economy, Society and Culture, Edition 2

Univ of California Press
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During the Principate (roughly 27 BCE to 235 CE), when the empire reached its maximum extent, Roman society and culture were radically transformed. But how was the vast territory of the empire controlled? Did the demands of central government stimulate economic growth or endanger survival? What forces of cohesion operated to balance the social and economic inequalities and high mortality rates? How did the official religion react in the face of the diffusion of alien cults and the emergence of Christianity?

These are some of the many questions posed here, in the new, expanded edition of Garnsey and Saller's pathbreaking account of the economy, society, and culture of the Roman Empire. This second edition includes a new introduction that explores the consequences for government and the governing classes of the replacement of the Republic by the rule of emperors. Addenda to the original chapters offer up-to-date discussions of issues and point to new evidence and approaches that have enlivened the study of Roman history in recent decades. A completely new chapter assesses how far Rome’s subjects resisted her hegemony. The bibliography has also been thoroughly updated, and a new color plate section has been added.
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About the author

Peter Garnsey is Emeritus Professor of the History of Classical Antiquity and a Fellow of Jesus College, University of Cambridge. His publications include Social Status and Legal Privilege in the Roman Empire; Famine and Food Supply in the Graeco-Roman World; Ideas of Slavery from Aristotle to Augustine; Cities, Peasants and Food; Food and Society in Classical Antiquity; and Thinking about Property: From Antiquity to the Age of Revolution.

Richard Saller is Dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. He is the author of Personal Patronage under the Early Empire and Patriarchy, Property, and Death in the Roman Family, and he is coeditor of The Cambridge Economic History of Greco-Roman Antiquity.

Contributing authors include Jas Elsner, Martin Goodman, Richard Gordon, and Greg Woolf.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Univ of California Press
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Published on
Nov 24, 2014
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Pages
328
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ISBN
9780520961302
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Ancient / Rome
Political Science / History & Theory
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The death of the Roman Empire is one of the perennial mysteries of world history. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Peter Heather proposes a stunning new solution: Centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors Rome called barbarians into an enemy capable of dismantling an Empire that had dominated their lives for so long. A leading authority on the late Roman Empire and on the barbarians, Heather relates the extraordinary story of how Europe's barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome on every possible level, eventually pulled the empire apart. He shows first how the Huns overturned the existing strategic balance of power on Rome's European frontiers, to force the Goths and others to seek refuge inside the Empire. This prompted two generations of struggle, during which new barbarian coalitions, formed in response to Roman hostility, brought the Roman west to its knees. The Goths first destroyed a Roman army at the battle of Hadrianople in 378, and went on to sack Rome in 410. The Vandals spread devastation in Gaul and Spain, before conquering North Africa, the breadbasket of the Western Empire, in 439. We then meet Attila the Hun, whose reign of terror swept from Constantinople to Paris, but whose death in 453 ironically precipitated a final desperate phase of Roman collapse, culminating in the Vandals' defeat of the massive Byzantine Armada: the west's last chance for survival. Peter Heather convincingly argues that the Roman Empire was not on the brink of social or moral collapse. What brought it to an end were the barbarians.
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