Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome

UNC Press Books
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Figuring in myth, religion, law, the military, commerce, and transportation, rivers were at the heart of Rome's increasing exploitation of the environment of the Mediterranean world. In Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome, Brian Campbell explores the role and influence of rivers and their surrounding landscape on the society and culture of the Roman Empire.

Examining artistic representations of rivers, related architecture, and the work of ancient geographers and topographers, as well as writers who describe rivers, Campbell reveals how Romans defined the geographical areas they conquered and how geography and natural surroundings related to their society and activities. In addition, he illuminates the prominence and value of rivers in the control and expansion of the Roman Empire--through the legal regulation of riverine activities, the exploitation of rivers in military tactics, and the use of rivers as routes of communication and movement. Campbell shows how a technological understanding of--and even mastery over--the forces of the river helped Rome rise to its central place in the ancient world.

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About the author

Brian Campbell is professor of Roman history at Queen's University of Belfast.

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Additional Information

Publisher
UNC Press Books
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Published on
Aug 15, 2012
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Pages
608
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ISBN
9780807869048
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Ancient / Rome
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This content is DRM protected.
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New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Foreign Affairs, and Kirkus Reviews
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award (Nonfiction)
Shortlisted for the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)
A San Francisco Chronicle Holiday Gift Guide Selection
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection

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.

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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.

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