This book is an EXTREMELY academic view of the creation of Rome and its Emperors to a certain point. The book is broken down like a college course where you jump back and forth through centuries based on the topic of conversation.
The Book in one sentence
Going back to school for the history of Rome.
This book is an EXTREMELY academic view of the creation of Rome and its Emperors to a certain point. The book is broken down like a college course where you jump back and forth through centuries based on the topic of conversation (In fact while looking up something for this review I learned the book is Written by a professor at Oxford. So that makes sense). Not what I expected, but informative.
This book covers the history of Rome based on the SPQR - The Senate and the People of Rome. From the politics to leaders and how the Roman culture changed with the introduction of Dictators and the aversion of a King.
Why did I read this?
Mostly I chose this book because of the familiarity to SPQR phrase and how it is used in modern conversation. I also chose this because I want to know about the history that so influences democracy and our general way of life. Lastly, because I was given a precursor to this in a book called Echoes of Babylon.
This book is deep. Knowing now that the book was written by a professor it makes so much more sense. There are things in Roman history that I thought had a bigger significance, but from this book, it might have been a much smaller event than I expected/gleamed from the book.
Some of the most interesting things that I learned were more of the lack of real establishments as well as what we mentally picture of Rome is really Greek Culture that the Romans' adopted and coveted. Also, I don't understand how a group of people who hated kings could allow a Cesar. They are the same thing, right? At least we know that today.
I think that is also the item that I learned is that they constantly had a change of plan, change of leadership which would mean a change of business was run much more felt by the day to day people that we do here in America every 4 years.
The book is hard to read. If I had known that I was basically reading a textbook, it would have stayed in the ether. No way would I have picked it up, but that is what I get for choosing a book by its cover and title.
As a side note, I fully expected Hannibal to have a bigger part in the story of Rome as well as in the book, but he is basically a footnote.
SPQR gets a 2 because the books structure. While as a college professor it is important to group your conversation based on topic, I think this book would have been better represented by time periods and then topics. Example: pre-Cesar politics, war, etc. post-Cesar politics, war, etc.