From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 B.C. to A.D. 68

From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 B.C. to A.D. 68

From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 B.C. to A.D. 68

From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 B.C. to A.D. 68

Excerpt

Reflection on the existing number of histories of Rome might well raise doubt about the desirability of adding to them. But since research does not stand still and its more assured results often take long to reach the handbook, there may be a place for a brief account of this period which lays no claim to originality of interpretation but which attempts to benefit from the work of recent years and to put the reader on the track of some of this for further study. I am conscious of the risks involved in trying to include much in small compass, but present-day production-costs suggest that an author owes a debt of reasonable brevity to both publisher and reader. If some of my younger readers should feel that this book might profitably have been still shorter, I can only assure them that I have tried to be ever mindful of a phrase of Cicero: 'ut brevissime potui'. The purpose of the Notes that I have included is manifold. I hope that they may help to temper the dogmatism inevitable in a book of this kind, to give some indication of the sources and of some of the problems that they raise, to afford the slightly more advanced student a few hints about where to seek further information, and by no means least to give some clues to the immense obligations that I owe to modern writers. As this debt is very wide, I cannot define it in detail here, but I would mention in particular both the individual contributors to volumes IX and X of Cambridge Ancient History, and the work of my friend, the late Professor M. Cary whose generous help and wise advice in the field of ancient history I have enjoyed for over thirty years. I am greatly endebted also to another friend and colleague, Professor A. Momigliano, for his kindness in reading through the typescript of this book and for his helpful suggestions: it is hardly necessary to add the time-honoured note that this kindness does not involve any suggestion of his concurrence with any of the views expressed in it or responsibility for any of its shortcomings.

H. H. S.

January 1958 . . .

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