Brian Campbell is professor of Roman history at Queen's University of Belfast.
A sweeping, "magisterial" history of the Roman Empire from one of our foremost classicists shows why Rome remains "relevant to people many centuries later" (Atlantic).
In SPQR, an instant classic, Mary Beard narrates the history of Rome "with passion and without technical jargon" and demonstrates how "a slightly shabby Iron Age village" rose to become the "undisputed hegemon of the Mediterranean" (Wall Street Journal). Hailed by critics as animating "the grand sweep and the intimate details that bring the distant past vividly to life" (Economist) in a way that makes "your hair stand on end" (Christian Science Monitor) and spanning nearly a thousand years of history, this "highly informative, highly readable" (Dallas Morning News) work examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries. With its nuanced attention to class, democratic struggles, and the lives of entire groups of people omitted from the historical narrative for centuries, SPQR will to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come.
It is long past time for the publication of a well-researched, definitive biography of the infamous western outlaw Harvey Alexander Logan, better known by his alias Kid Curry. He spent his formative years near Kansas City, Missouri, and came west with his older brother to become a cowboy. A violent conflict with a ranching neighbor in Montana caused him to flee to the Hole-in-the-Wall valley in Wyoming, where he became involved in rustling and eventually graduated to bank and train robbing as a member—and soon leader—of the Wild Bunch. This outlaw group was a melding of the best of the Hole-in-the-Wall gang and Butch Cassidy's Powder Springs gang, from the area where the borders of Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming meet. The core members of the gang came to be Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, George “Flatnose” Currie, Elzy Lay, Ben “the Tall Texan” Kilpatrick, Will Carver, and Kid Curry.
Kid Curry has been portrayed as a cold-blooded killer, without any compassion or conscience and possessed of limited intelligence. Curry indeed was a dangerous man with a violent temperament, which was aggravated by alcoholic drink. When he felt taken advantage of or was threatened with losing his freedom, he didn't hesitate to use force to defend himself by ambushing a posse or shooting at policemen. However, Mark T. Smokov shows that Curry's record of kills is highly exaggerated, and that he was not the bloodthirsty killer that many have claimed. In fact, when he was brought to trial, he was charged (and convicted) with forging and passing stolen banknotes, instead of murder or even train robbery, due to lack of evidence for the many murders attributed to him.
Smokov has researched extensively in areas significant to Curry's story (Hole-in-the-Wall, Brown's Park, the Little Rockies), talking to local ranchers and townspeople, visiting museums, and collecting pertinent material and photographs. He corrects the many false statements that have been written about Curry in the past, presenting a much more accurate and balanced account of his life. Curry was a cunning outlaw who planned and executed robberies on par with anything Butch Cassidy is reported to have pulled off. Smokov contends that Curry was the actual train robbing leader of the Wild Bunch—there is no concrete evidence that Cassidy ever robbed a train. He also presents new evidence that is virtually conclusive in resolving whether or not Curry was the “unknown bandit” who killed himself after robbing a train near Parachute, Colorado, in 1904.
Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune is one of the first comprehensive surveys of this tradition in modern times. The book covers the history, philosophy, and techniques of ancient astrology, with a special focus on demonstrating how many of the fundamental concepts underlying the practice of western astrology originated during the Hellenistic period.