Best-selling author Adrian Goldsworthy turns his attention to the Pax Romana, the famous peace and prosperity brought by the Roman Empire at its height in the first and second centuries AD. Yet the Romans were conquerors, imperialists who took by force a vast empire stretching from the Euphrates to the Atlantic coast. Ruthless, Romans won peace not through coexistence but through dominance; millions died and were enslaved during the creation of their empire.
Pax Romana examines how the Romans came to control so much of the world and asks whether traditionally favorable images of the Roman peace are true. Goldsworthy vividly recounts the rebellions of the conquered and examines why they broke out, why most failed, and how they became exceedingly rare. He reveals that hostility was just one reaction to the arrival of Rome and that from the outset, conquered peoples collaborated, formed alliances, and joined invaders, causing resistance movements to fade away.
©2016 Adrian Goldsworthy (P)2016 Tantor
I have read (listened) all his Rome books. They are all good to very good but this is over the top wonderful. This is Rome at 20,000 feet with occasional landings. But he at his best in contrasting our view of things with 2016 eyes with how things were perceived over the last 1000 years. Sure Romans had terrible maps but so did Napoleon. This is a wonderful book which is better digested after reading a few of the earlier works. Bravo.
I am glad there are writers like Adrian Goldsworthy for Roman history to read . Very interesting and well narrated as well, so makes it a pleasure to listen to .
I wouldn't recommend it to a friend unless they specifically wanted to review it within a larger body of study. I have read several of Goldworthy's other books and this is at the bottom of that list in terms of quality and academic integrity. In many respects it is a well researched and academically solid text, in others I have some concerns which I will address below.
I have not listened to Derek Perkins before, but I thought he did a very good job in his narration. His speech was clear and the tonal quality of his voice was easy to listen to, even for extended periods of time.
No, nothing other than to keep reading and researching the vast and often complicated history of the Roman Empire.
I would have liked to give this book a higher rating, but could not bring myself to do so. For one, at times the dialog seemed to lag and in my opinion could have been presented in a more direct manner. In regards to academic integrity, it is apparent in several places (chapters 11-12) that Goldworthy is either pandering to popular Christian traditions or attempting to validate the historically questionable nature of the Pauline Epistles and Book of Acts. The use of such documents as historical sources, while questionable, isn't without some possible relevance in the construction of an argument or narrative. To give fair and impartial analysis of this period of history, contrasted against the contents of these sources, it is necessary for a serious historian to discuss (in more than just an aside) the numerous issues concerning the authenticity, authorship, biases, known forgeries and date of the original writings- as well as known internal inconsistencies before offering them in the same context as known (and historically credible) historical documents available through Roman and non-Roman sources. This is my chief complaint about the book. Otherwise I would have given it an overall rating of 4 stars.
I was dissapointed not to find more on agriculture. The entire Roman empire was made possible by agricultual surpluses and almost all residents in Roman lands were producing food. Were the people better fed clothed and shelterred as a result of the imperium? I remember one paper that mentioned rural people grew taller and more healthy after Rome itself was reduced from 500,000 to 50,000 population. More food available to those who produced it?
Hes an excellent writer and historian, well balanced and realistic.
this book however, has too much recycled material from his other books and some of the lengthy chapters are badly organized...especially 8 and 9..those chapters wore me out
the chapter on cicero's governorship are interesting
the intro and the conclusion are his same warning hes used in other books not to use rome as a lens for today etc etc etc
Deep, Robust, and Detailed
It was very helpful to hear the correct pronunciations of the names and terms that I know that I would have struggled with. He also read at a pleasing pace that didn't drag on.
This was a very heavy book that took a while to get through. It was not bad though. The subject material was well laid out and balanced. I had to listen to several parts multiple times to fully grasp what was going on. This would be best listened while taking breaks to digest what is being discussed. It is clear that Mr. Goldsworthy is very knowledgeable on the topic and he is excited to share it with the reader. After finishing this book, I was very excited to read more about ancient Rome and some of the key events and characters involved. I will probably go to his book about Caesar next.
I am a national speaker on the relationship between the ancient western civilization and present day politics. Follow me!
A very detailed work and very balanced in its over all scope as well as its occasional micro analyses of Rome during its hay day. I would read all his other work except the fall of Rome ( saving it for last). This read this one second to last. The reader is great as well!
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