We have directed this work not only to students of ancient history but also to those interested in frontier studies who may lack an extensive background in Roman history. For this reason, we have attempted to supply the reader with some amenities not usually provided in monographs in ancient history. We have tried to define all Latin expressions in the course of discussion and generally to use English equivalents if it is possible to do so without distorting the precise meaning of the terms involved. (We have provided a glossary at the back of the book, as well.) Where it is helpful to do so, we have provided the modern names, as well as the contemporary Latin names, of places.
There are several subjects, such as the army, the villa, and agriculture, that are particularly important to our discussion, and we have introduced each with a description of its general nature. The first chapter, for instance, begins with a portrayal of the organization and conditions of service of the Roman army in early imperial times; the third chapter, on farming, includes discussions of Roman agricultural technology and the organization of the villa system. The reader will appreciate that these characterizations are necessarily general and brief. The reader who is interested in greater detail and fuller treatments of the complexities of a subject will find that the bibliography offers both general introductions and specific studies in the areas discussed.
Although Roman history has a long tradition of intellectually rigorous scholarship, opinions still differ on many matters. Syntheses and generalizations frequently require extensive citations and justifications for the authors' accepting one point of view over another. It is also often necessary to acknowledge apparent exceptions to the general