The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction [#150]
The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction [#150]


  • Descibes the astonishing logistical feats, the politics, and the oppression, which the Romans used to rule their vast empire.
  • Looks at the daily lives of the empire's people: both those in Rome as well as those living in its furthest colonies. Religion, culture, social structure, and law and order all played an important part in maintaining the empire.
  • Brings the empire right up to date, examining how it has been considered and depicted since the eighteenth century, from the comparisons which the British made with their own empire, to the latest Hollywood blockbuster films.

The Roman Empire was a remarkable achievement. It had a population of sixty million people spread across lands encircling the Mediterranean and stretching from drizzle-soaked northern England to the sun-baked banks of the Euphrates in Syria, and from the Rhine to the North African coast. It was, above all else, an empire of force - employing a mixture of violence, suppression, order, and tactical use of power to develop an astonishingly uniform culture. 
This Very Short Introduction covers the history of the Empire from Augustus (the first Emperor) to Marcus Aurelius, describing how the empire was formed, how it was run, its religions and its social structure. It examines how local cultures were "romanised" and how people in far away lands came to believe in the emperor as a god. The book also examines how the Roman Empire has been considered and depicted in more recent times, from the writings of Edward Gibbon, to the differing attitudes of the Victorians and recent Hollywood blockbuster films.


1: Conquest
2: Imperial Power
3: Collusion
4: History Wars
5: Christians to the Lions
6: Living and Dying
7: Rome Revisited


Christopher Kelly is University Lecturer in Classics, Director of Studies in Classics, and Senior Tutor of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He regularly writes for the Times Literary Supplement, he is an editor of the Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society, and has contributed major chapters to the Cambridge Ancient History, The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Constantine, and to Harvard University Press' Late Antiquity: A Guide to the Postclassical World. His monograph, Ruling the Later Roman Empire was published by Harvard in 2004.

"This mervellous little book...succeeds in sketching the remarkable way in which the Roman Empire spread across Europe..." - Barbara Finney, The Journal of Classics Teaching

""...the author has succeeded admirably. This is no cop out - themes are chosen sensibly and well presented. This book does what it says on the cover... This book is intellectual, yet accessible, well written, stimulating, original, and essential for those who wish to gain a rapid overview of the subject without getting bogged down."" - Dr Mark Merrony, Minerva


ISBN : 9780192803917

Christopher Kelly
168 ページ
111 x 174 mm
Very Short Introductions





The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction [#150]

The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction [#150]

The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction [#150]