The Roman World, 44 BC-AD 180

The Roman World, 44 BC-AD 180

The Roman World, 44 BC-AD 180

The Roman World, 44 BC-AD 180


Examining the Roman world from an unusual and illuminating angle, this volume explores the central period of the Roman empire from Julius Caesar to Marcus Aurelius.Martin Goodman focuses on the perspective of its peoples and its fringe areas, rather than from the Emperor's household, giving a balanced view of the Roman world in its entirety.Goodman outlines and discusses the major aspects of Roman rule and culture, as well as the marginal; the city state of Rome, politics, social and civic life and religion. The Roman World 44 BC - AD 180 offers a stimulating and provocative addition to the study of the Roman world in this period, which will be of vital interest to anyone concerned with the origins of Western civilization.


I have approached with appropriate trepidation the task of trying to encapsulate in a short book the great wealth of scholarship and novel evidence published by historians of the Early Roman Empire over recent years. I am well aware that the result is necessarily unsatisfactory. My excuse for making the attempt at all is that this synthesis may have a somewhat different perspective from that found in the standard textbooks. In addition, I confess that I have enjoyed the opportunity to set down ideas which have cropped up in teaching over the past twenty years both in Birmingham and in Oxford. I should begin by thanking the many undergraduates who have questioned my wilder suggestions and whose own insights I have over the years incorporated into my own picture of the Roman world in this period.

In order to discuss the whole Roman world within the compass prescribed by the series of the Routledge History of the Ancient World, I began work on the book in 1991 not by collecting material but by taking quite literally the advice of Fergus Millar simply to write down the history of the Early Empire as I saw it. The resulting scribble was transferred by me onto tapes, which were transcribed into print with extraordinary patience by Emma-Jayne Muir during 1992.

During the spring and summer of 1993 I tried to fill in the more blatant gaps in my knowledge. My work on the typescript was my major occupation during my tenure of a Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I am extremely grateful to the Institute for the exemplary hospitality I was shown and to Aharon Oppenheimer and Isaiah Gafni, the leaders of the group to which I was attached, for the invitation to join them.

The typescript thus amplified was complete by the summer of 1994. I had intended to correct and check the text during 1995 and 1996 but was forestalled by my appointment from October 1995 as Acting President of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies during the search for a new President. As recompense for my near total absorption in the administration of the Centre, the Governors of the Centre agreed to appoint Jane Sherwood as a research assistant for the academic year 1995-6 to help me to continue . . .

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