The Complete Idiot's Guide to The Roman Empire
Part 1: All Roads Lead to Rome
You’re no idiot, of course. The battle scenes in Gladiator had you on the edge of your seat and wondering where you could find more information on the rise and fall of ancient Rome. But so far, your search has left you feeling like a blundering barbarian.
Pick yourself up off the coliseum floor! Consult The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to the Roman Empire—a fun-to-read introduction to the fascinating history, people, and culture of ancient Rome. In this Complete Idiot’s Guide®, you get:
--The history of the Roman Empire’s rise and fall.
--An idiot-proof introduction to the great epic literature of the Roman Republic.
--A survey of the Romans in arts and popular culture.
--Fascinating details of some of history’s most nefarious emperors, including Nero, Caligula, and Commodus.
1. Dead Culture, Dead Language, Dead Emperors: Why Bother?
Learn different perspectives for approaching Rome and the Romans, and grasp the periods of Roman history and literature.
2. Roma FAQ: Hot Topics in Brief
Get some quick responses to frequently asked questions about Rome and the Romans, and learn where else to look in this book for more information.
3. How Do We Know? Discovering the Romans
Discover what remains of Rome, as well as some of the ways that we know who the Romans were, what they did, and what they thought.
4. Club Mediterrania: Rome in the Context of Other Civilizations
Put early Rome in context by finding out about other ancient civilizations that preceded and influenced it.
5. Seven Hills and One Big Sewer: Rome Becomes a City
Learn how Rome, under the kings, developed from a group of villages at a crossing on the Tiber in a city, and how this early formation influenced Roman culture.
Part 2: Rome Wasn't Built in a Day: The Roman Republic (509-27 B.C.E.)
6. On Golden Pond: Rome Conquers Italy and the Mediterranean
Follow Rome's conquests of Latium, Italy, and the Mediterranean to become a vast empire reaching from the Near East to Spain.
7. Let's Conquer...Ourselves! The Roman Revolution and the End of the Republic
Learn how Rome's political and cultural forces combined to create interval tensions that eventually brought about a series of civil wars and ended the Republic
8. Rome, Rome on the Range: Romans at Home
Take a look at Roman culture at its most basic level, the family, and how the Romans conceived of themselves as a part of this unit. You'll also learn about Roman women and slaves.
9. The Romans Among Themselves
Here you'll get a picture of Roman class divisions and how the Romans operated among themselves in politics, the army, and the law courts.
10. The Romans at Large
Discover the Romans among other people, and how people outside of Rome belonged to the Roman systems of alliances and citizenship. You'll also enter the world of Roman commerce, business, and work.
11. Literature and Culture of the Republic
Follow the rise of Latin literature from the importation of Greek slaves and Latin translations of Greek works to the full development of Latin as a literary language.
12. If They Build I: Roman Engineering
Learn how the Romans built for success, and their achievements in constructing roads, buildings, bridges, aqueducts, and machines of war.
Part 3: Empire Without End: Roman Imperial History
13. Easing into Empire
See how Augustus and his few intimates transformed the Republic under his Principate into an empire, and how the way he did things set the stage for the dynastic struggles to come.
14. All in the Family: The Julio-Claudian Emperors
Learn about the first dynasty of Rome, and follow the careers of some of the most famous and infamous of all the emperors.
15. The (Mostly) Good Emperors: The Flavians to Marcus Aurelius
See how the Flavians reestablished order after Nero's fall, and how a line of adopted emperors established Rome on a more secure basis during the time of its greatest power.
16. The (Mostly) Not-So-Good Emperors: Commodus to Aurelian
Follow the decline and near break-up of Rome in a period of civil unrest, imperial crisis, and barbarian invasions.
17. Divide and (Re)Conquer: Diocletian to Constantine
Learn how the emperor Diocletian reestablished order, and how his solutions to rule led to Constantine the Great, who established Constantinople as a new capital and a triumphant Christianity as Rome's state religion.
18. Barbarians at the Gates: The Fall of the Western Empire
Discover in what way Rome "fell" in the west, and how the barbarian invasions changed and challenged what survived.
Part 4: Roman Imperial Life and Culture
19. Roman Mass Culture of the Imperial Period
Meet the Roman urband culture that grew during the Empire to unite broadly disparate regions and left a lasting imprint upon the world.
20. (Un)Protected Sects: Religions, Tolerance, and Persecutions
Investigate the ways in which Rome persecuted threatening religious orders and sects in the context of Roman attitudes toward religion and personal belief.
21. Cogito Ergo Sum: The Life of the Mind
Discover the literature of the Empire, and the wide variety of writers, poets, and theologians who published in both Greek and Latin during the Silver Age and Late Antiquity, including the development of Christian sacred texts.
22. That's Entertainment! Public Spectacles
Thrill and chill to the Roman games: chariot racing, theatrical productions of every description, and the macabre arena games for which the Romans are especially known.
Part 5: Where Did the Romans Go?
23. And the East Goes On
Follow Rome's legacy in the east through Justinian's attempt to reclaim the Empire to the sack of Constantinople by the Crusades and then the Turks.
24. Nothing Quiet on the Western Front
Learn how Rome's legacy in the West developed though the concept of reinventing the Roman Empire in the west, the Crusades, and Latin literature's influence on western thought.
B: Finding the Romans on Earth and in Cyberspace
C: Lights, Camera, Actio! A Short List of Rome and Romans in Film