The Provincial at Rome: And, Rome and the Balkans 80 BC-AD 14

The Provincial at Rome: And, Rome and the Balkans 80 BC-AD 14

The Provincial at Rome: And, Rome and the Balkans 80 BC-AD 14

The Provincial at Rome: And, Rome and the Balkans 80 BC-AD 14

Synopsis

This volume offers a new insight into the development of a great historian, as well as giving an exciting and immensely readable new approach to late Republican and early Imperial Roman history. Drafted in 1934-35, but laid aside in favour of 'The Roman Revolution' (1939), 'The Provincial at Rome' was to have been Ronald Syme's first book. It is a brilliantly written study of the enlargement of the Roman elite in the early empire, an analysis, in thirteen chapters, of the Emperor Claudius' enrolment of 'Gallic chieftains' into the Senate in AD 48. The edition also includes five unpublished papers dealing with Rome's conquest of the Balkans, a region Syme knew intimately.

Excerpt

Ronald Syme began writing The Provincial at Rome in 1934. It was to have been his first book, focused on the Emperor Claudius’ speech on the primores Galliae, which is partly preserved on an inscription at Lyon and of which a summary (and much more coherent) version was composed by Tacitus. Syme had clearly been stimulated—or provoked—by the appearance of Momigliano’s short monograph on Claudius and by Carcopino’s review of Fabia’s Table claudienne. But a year later Syme laid aside the almost complete manuscript (only some of the annotation and a concluding chapter were unwritten) in favour of work on The Roman Revolution. That great book was published a few days after the outbreak of the Second World War, in September 1939. The war took Syme, in government service, first to Belgrade and then to Ankara, from which he moved to Istanbul to become a professor at the university. There, among other activities, he composed most of a third book, on Strabo.

But The Provincial at Rome was not forgotten—parts of it were developed into an important section of his magnum opus, Tacitus, which appeared in 1958; and the underlying themes continued to engage his interest. More books and scores of papers flowed from his pen right up till his death in 1989. Not all were published. His literary executor, Professor Fergus Millar, found in Syme’s rooms at Wolfson College not only The Provincial at Rome but manuscripts or typescripts of over thirty unpublished articles and drafts of books, composed between the 1930s and 1980s. As I had already edited several volumes of Syme’s articles (Roman Papers iii-vii), he invited me to consider bringing out a further selection, and I readily began work. But soon afterwards I found the Strabo manuscript, the editing of which took priority. After it was published, under the title . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.