The Provinces of the Roman Empire: From Caesar to Diocletian - Vol. 1

The Provinces of the Roman Empire: From Caesar to Diocletian - Vol. 1

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The Provinces of the Roman Empire: From Caesar to Diocletian - Vol. 1

The Provinces of the Roman Empire: From Caesar to Diocletian - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The history of Rome under the Empire presents problems similar to those encountered in the history of the earlier Republic.

Such information as may be directly obtained from literary tradition is not merely without form and colour, but in fact for the most part without substance. The list of the Roman monarchs is just about as trustworthy and just about as instructive as that of the consuls of the republic. The great crises that convulsed the state may be discerned in outline; but we are not much better informed as to the Germanic wars under the emperors Augustus and Marcus, than as to the wars with the Samnites. The republican store of anecdote is very much more decorous than its counterpart under the empire; but the tales told of Fabricius and of the emperor Gaius are almost equally insipid and equally mendacious. The internal development of the commonwealth is perhaps exhibited in the traditional accounts more fully for the earlier republic than for the imperial period; in the former case there is preserved a picture-- however bedimmed and falsified--of the changes of political order that were brought at least to their ultimate issue in the open Forum of Rome; in the latter case the arrangements are settled in the imperial cabinet, and come before the public, as a rule, merely in unimportant matters of form. We must take into account, moreover, the vast extension of the sphere of rule, and the shifting of the vital development from the centre to the circumference. The history of the city of Rome widens out into that of . . .

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