ISBN: 978-0-745-66549-8 July 2013 Polity 216 Pages
This insightful book is the first to treat such disasters as a conceptual unity. It shows that vulnerability to disasters was affected by politics, social status, ideology and economics. Above all, it illustrates how the resilience of their political and cultural system allowed the Romans to survive the impact of these life-threatening events. The book also explores the important role disaster narratives played in Christian thought and rhetoric.
Engaging and accessible, Roman Disasters will be enjoyed by students and general readers alike.
Table of contents
1. What is a Disaster?
2. Rome's Disasters
3. The Disaster Experience
4. Dealing with the Aftermath
5. Thinking about Disaster
6. A Culture of Risk
7. Narratives of Disaster
8. Inflicting Catastrophe
9. The Psychological Impact
10. Roman Disasters in Context
Journal of Social History
"A compelling and unexpected look at the ancient world, one peppered with refugee camps, tent cities, and displaced populations all looking for - and not necessarily finding - imperial benificence."
"Accessible in style, wide-ranging in scope, and innovative in its combination of ancient sources and relevant modern scholarship, Toner’s book constitutes an excellent and long-overdue survey of Roman disasters generally, as well as offering insightful analyses of an array of topics, from Roman attitudes towards maritime risk to early Christian notions of divine causation."
Greg Aldrete, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
"Professor Toner offers a fascinating portrait of how disaster was treated in the Roman world, at once so different from our own and offering compelling parallels. For me, a good grasp of the modern disasters field adds to the interest. In entertaining a wider range of issues than is usual, the study offers cause for reflection and a broadening of contemporary approaches."
Kenneth Hewitt, Wilfrid Laurier University