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SPQR A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
  

SPQR A History of Ancient Rome

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Shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Non-Fiction Award 2016.

Mary Beard has pulled off a totally involving and immersive history of Ancient Rome. She calls it her view of why Rome matters – and it does as she makes so clear. What makes this such an involving history is that it isn't a dogged linear narrative, it darts about with Mary Beard's authorial voice acting as a guide not only to the history but the people, their language and the evidence for what we know. Bringing evidence from every corner, from funeral monuments to the contents of middens, from underwater and underground, she makes this an enthralling narrative, bringing Ancient Rome and its people to vivid life. It's well illustrated with a very good further reading list. An absolute ten out of ten from me. ~ Sue Baker


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Mary Beard's Inheritance Books...

1. Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
The classic novel about what women want, or think they want, or don't. Is 'Reader, I married him' the ultimate happy ending or not? It's a book that changes in all kinds of interesting ways as you re-read it over a lifetime.

2. Homer, The Odyssey
At the very start of Western literature, the Odyssey underlies so much of what we read right down to the present day. A story of homecoming, temptation and the perilous boundary between civilisation and barbarism.

3. Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch
The liveliest and punchiest classic of feminism: somethimg every woman and man should read. It still changes lives, like it changed mine.

Synopsis

SPQR A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard

Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the Rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today. SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists. It explores not only how Rome grew from an insignificant village in central Italy to a power that controlled territory from Spain to Syria, but also how the Romans thought about themselves and their achievements, and why they are still important to us. Covering 1,000 years of history, and casting fresh light on the basics of Roman culture from slavery to running water, as well as exploring democracy, migration, religious controversy, social mobility and exploitation in the larger context of the empire, this is a definitive history of ancient Rome. SPQR is the Romans' own abbreviation for their state: Senatus Populusque Romanus, 'the Senate and People of Rome'.

Reviews

'Fast-moving, exciting, psychologically acute, warmly sceptical' Bryan Appleyard Sunday Times

'Vastly engaging...a tremendously enjoyable and scholarly read' Natalie Haynes Observer

About the Author

Mary Beard

Mary Beard is a professor of classics at Newnham College, Cambridge, and the Classics editor of the TLS. She has world-wide academic acclaim, and is a fellow of the British Academy and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her previous books include the bestselling, Wolfson Prize-winning Pompeii, Confronting the Classics, The Roman Triumph and The Parthenon. Her TLS blog has been collected in the books It’s a Don’s Life and All in a Don’s Day.

Mary Beard's Inheritance Books...

1. Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
The classic novel about what women want, or think they want, or don't. Is 'Reader, I married him' the ultimate happy ending or not? It's a book that changes in all kinds of interesting ways as you re-read it over a lifetime.

2. Homer, The Odyssey
At the very start of Western literature, the Odyssey underlies so much of what we read right down to the present day. A story of homecoming, temptation and the perilous boundary between civilisation and barbarism.

3. Germaine Greer, The Female Eunuch
The liveliest and punchiest classic of feminism: something every woman and man should read. It still changes lives, like it changed mine.

Author photo © Catarina Turroni Lion TV

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Book Info

Publication date

1st April 2016

Author

Mary Beard

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Author's Website

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Publisher

Profile Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
608 pages

Categories

History
Biography / Autobiography
All Shortlists and Winners
eBook Favourites

Ancient history: to c 500 CE
European history

ISBN

9781846683817

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