First published in 1927 this monumental book has long been out of print. Brilliantly written, it stands on its own merits and has not been outdated by new discoveries or research. Rostovtzeff's narrative begins in the fourth century B.C. and concludes with the social and political catastrophe of the third century.' In between, he examines not only ...
First published in 1927 this monumental book has long been out of print. Brilliantly written, it stands on its own merits and has not been outdated by new discoveries or research. Rostovtzeff's narrative begins in the fourth century B.C. and concludes with the social and political catastrophe of the third century.' In between, he examines not only the political and military events of these centuries, but the social and economic milieu, the personalities, and the minutiae of day-to-day existence. For this edition, Elias J. Bickerman has prepared a completely new and up-to-date bibliography and contributed brief addenda dealing with recent discoveries and scholarship. The maps of Italy and the Empire have been entirely redrawn, and twenty-three of the most relevant plates from the original edition have been retained.
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What to say? Rostovtzeff's history of Rome is a classic and should be read by anyone interesed in history in general and Rome's history in particular. It is certainly head and shoulders above many comparale books being ground out at present. The author was a great scholar, both an historian and an archaeologist. He ended his days as a professor at Yale, but today is nearly forgotten. His ever relevant works demand reprint. Unfortunately for English only readers, his Russian publications have never been translated. His observations on the hocus-pocus of Aryan Invasion Theory should find considerable interest among more skeptical researchers, but, alas, his relevant remarks in this vein are mostly in French or Russian. I envy anyone who had the good fortune to have been one of Rostovtzeff's students. He was -- is -- a great scholar. D. L. Smithers
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