Who's Who in the Roman World

Who's Who in the Roman World

Who's Who in the Roman World

Who's Who in the Roman World

Synopsis

Who's Who in the Roman World is a wide-ranging biographical survey of one of the greatest civilizations in history. Covering a period from the 5th century BC to AD 364, this is an authoritative and hugely enjoyable guide to an era which continues to fascinate today. The figures included come from all walks of Roman life and include some of history's most famous - not to mention infamous - figures as well as hitherto little-known, but no less fascinating, characters. These include :* the notorious emperors - Caligula; Nero; Elagabalus; Commodus* the great poets, philosophers and historians - Virgil; Tacitus; Seneca; Ovid* the brilliant politicians and soldiers - Hannibal; Scipio; Caesar; Mark Antony; Constantine* noteworthy citizens - Acte, mistress of Nero; Catiline, the revolutionary; Spartacus, champion of the slaves; Gaius Verres, the corrupt governor of Sicily.The inclusion of cross-referencing, a glossary of terms, select bibliographies, maps, genealogies and an author's preface complete what is at once a superb reference resource and an enormously entertaining read.

Excerpt

Roman history is a huge subject and its timespan is enormous. In compiling this work of reference, I have tried as far as possible to avoid overlap with its two sister volumes, Who's Who in Classical Mythology, which I wrote many years ago in collaboration with Michael Grant, and Who's Who in the Greek World, freshly published as I write. The latter has provided the harder task, as there are inevitably personages of historical, philosophical or scientific interest who can reasonably claim a place, so to speak, in both the Greek and the Roman 'worlds', such as the later kings of Macedonia, the later Seleucids and Ptolemies, and Pyrrhus; philosophers like Plotinus and Porphyry; scientists like Galen; and historians such as Plutarch and Polybius.

Inevitably our information is much greater and our sources better for some periods than for others, and much depends on the survival of documents, especially historical accounts, from the ancient world. In this respect we are particularly fortunate in the coverage of the last century BC and the first AD. Our knowledge of the period of the Punic Wars is also good. From what we can discern, we have been lucky in that those are surely the most interesting periods from a historic and cultural point of view. It is almost impossible to distinguish history from myth in the days of the monarchy; the 'enlightened' Age of the Antonines does not offer much to excite; and the succession of short-lived emperors of the third century is tedious. The period of time from Diocletian to Julian, however, provides much variety, being a time of important development and retrenchment. I decided to limit the scope of the book by ending with the deaths of the last non-Christian emperor, Julian, and his short-lived successor, which mark the passing of the world that the great Romans of earlier days might have recognised as having an affinity with their own.

Cross-referencing has been made easy by the printing of q.v. items in small capitals, with a figure in brackets where necessary to indicate which subentry is in question. The spelling of Greek names adopted is conventional, the Latinised forms (with c rather than k) being given. As Romans always had more than one name, I have chosen to enter best known, usually the cognomen or last of the three names. Sometimes an English form exists, such as Livy, Ovid or Virgil, and

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