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The Romans For Dummies

Guy de la Bedoyere

ISBN: 978-0-470-03077-6 January 2007 464 Pages


"A must for anyone interested in the Roman Empire and its impact on world history."
—Tony Robinson star of Blackadder and Time Team.

This entertaining and informative guide introduces readers to the amazing world of ancient Rome and its emperors, epic wars, awesome architecture, heroes, and villains. With a complete rundown of Roman history alongside fascinating insights into the lives of everyday Romans, readers will discover the amazing people and events involved in the rise and fall of one of the greatest of all ancient civilisations and how its influence can still be felt around the world today.

Guy de la Bédoyère is a historian, archaeologist, and Roman expert, he is well known for his numerous books and appearances on TV, especially Channel 4’s Time Team.

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Introduction 1

Part I: Romans – The Big Boys of the Ancient World 7

Chapter 1: The Romans: Shaping Their World and Ours 9

Chapter 2: It’s the Cash That Counts: Roman Social Classes 29

Chapter 3: Stairway to the Stars: The Greasy Path to Power 47

Chapter 4: Rural Bliss – Roman Dreamland 61

Chapter 5: When We Were Soldiers 71

Part II: Living the Good Life 87

Chapter 6: The Urban Jungle 89

Chapter 7: Making the Roman Machine Work 103

Chapter 8: Entertainments: Epic and Domestic 121

Chapter 9: Divine Intervention 143

Part III: The Rise of Rome 165

Chapter 10: Kings? No, Maybe Not – Republicans 167

Chapter 11: This Town Isn't Big Enough for All of Us – Seizing Italy 185

Chapter 12: Carthage and the First Two Punic Wars 199

Chapter 13: While We’re at It – Let's Conquer Everywhere Else, Too 215

Part IV: When Romans Ruled the World 225

Chapter 14: Reform and Civil War 227

Chapter 15: Daggers Drawn – The Fall of the Republic 255

Chapter 16: Augustus and the Caesars – Plots, Perverts, and Paranoia 271

Chapter 17: The Five Good Emperors 303

Part V: Throwing the Empire Away 317

Chapter 18: More Civil War, Auctioning the Empire, and Paranoid Lunatics 319

Chapter 19: The Age of the Thug – The Third Century's Soldier Emperors 331

Chapter 20: East Is East and West Is West: Diocletian and Constantine 347

Chapter 21: The Barbarians Are Coming! The End of Rome 369

Part VI: The Part of Tens 389

Chapter 22: Ten Turning Points in Roman History 391

Chapter 23: Ten Interesting and Occasionally Good Romans 395

Chapter 24: Ten (Mostly) Bad Romans401

Chapter 25: Ten of Rome's Greatest Enemies 407

Chapter 26: Ten (or So) Great Roman Places to Visit 413

Index 419