SPQR A History of Ancient Rome By BCE the city of Rome was a sprawling imperial metropolis of than a million inhabitants But how did this massive city the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria emerge from

  • Title: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome
  • Author: Mary Beard
  • ISBN: 9780871404237
  • Page: 159
  • Format: Hardcover
  • By 63 BCE the city of Rome was a sprawling, imperial metropolis of than a million inhabitants But how did this massive city the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy In S.P.Q.R Beard changes our historical perspective, exploring how the Romans themselves challenged the ideaBy 63 BCE the city of Rome was a sprawling, imperial metropolis of than a million inhabitants But how did this massive city the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy In S.P.Q.R Beard changes our historical perspective, exploring how the Romans themselves challenged the idea of imperial rule, how they responded to terrorism and revolution, and how they invented a new idea of citizenship and nation, while also keeping her eye open for those overlooked in traditional histories women, slaves and ex slaves, conspirators, and losers Like the best detectives, Beard separates fact from fiction, myth and propaganda from historical record She introduces the familiar characters of Julius Caesar, Cicero, and Nero as well as the untold, the loud women, the shrewd bakers, and the brave jokers S.P.Q.R promises to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come 100 illustrations 16 pages of color 5 maps

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      Posted by:Mary Beard
      Published :2018-07-03T08:30:26+00:00

    One thought on “SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome”

    1. I have a weird thing with acronyms. The minute I see one, I start thinking what it might stand for, and there are no rational limitations to what that particular grouping of letters might encompass.Needless to say, when I picked up SPQR, my brain exploded…I mean, how often do you get an acronym with a Q in it?! Sure, there are some limitations with that, but also possibilities that don’t generally arise. To wit—here is what I thought this book might be about before I actually read the subt [...]

    2. Mary Beard writes about how Rome grew, not about why it collapsed. That focus is rare in books about Rome. And she doesn't look at Rome out of admiration, or as a guide to how the world works (the past repeats in the present, etc) "The Romans were as divided about how they thought the world worked, or should work, as we are. . . .There is no simple 'Roman' model for us to follow (p. 535).") She writes about the Romans because they are interesting, because they left us a considerable record, and [...]

    3. In spite of her incessant, unsubstantiated opinions, in spite of her chatty conjectures, in spite of her tenuous statements directly followed by her own contradictory analytics, (Mary loves talking to herself) in spite of the absolutely needless references to contemporary culture and politicians, Mary Beard's "SPQR" is worth reading with a golf-ball size grain of salt if one is a devout Roman history nerd, a blizzard is raging outside your window and the snowplows have yet to drop by.Somehow, en [...]

    4. Given the 5o years Mary Beard poured into the crafting of this book, and my own interest in the subject matter, I was tempted to give this four stars, but kept getting hung up by the author's decision to fall sway to the modern trends in academia of giving a postmodernist veneer to any narrative. Plenty of reviewers have given Beard the equivalent of four or five stars, but when someone says this is a definitive history of Rome from the pre-republic kings to Caracalla, I'd have to say "No, not r [...]

    5. Books that span 1000 years of Roman history are usually about the empire’s decline; this one is how Rome was built. Mary Beard’s sweep of events goes beyond the consuls, senators, generals and emperors to cover the lives of their spouses, the middle class, the poor, and the slaves. She tells what is known and what is not.Starting with Romulus and Remus she gives exactly the background the general reader wants. She tells the purported story of their mother; their mother’s explanation for th [...]

    6. "SPQR" tells the history of the first millennium of ancient Rome--from the mythical Romulus and Remus in the 8th Century BCE to 212 CE when Roman citizenship was given to every free inhabitant of the empire by Caracalla. SPQR stands for the phrase "Senatus Populusque Romanus", meaning "The Senate and People of Rome". Quite a bit of information is included about the lives of the lower classes, slaves, women, and people in the far-flung provinces of the Roman empire in addition to the history of t [...]

    7. Let's get this out of the way: this is in no way a history of ancient Rome; this is a history of Rome from its mythical founding up till the year 212. It's heavily biased towards the Republic and the transition to Imperial structures, so you learn virtually nothing about the last, say, 150 of the years the book claims to cover. That's fine, but to say that Beard is breaking new ground by writing about the Republic and early Empire is ridiculous, and to give the book such a broad subtitle is simp [...]

    8. Senatus Populus Que RomanusRead by Phyllida NashDescription: By 63 BCE the city of Rome was a sprawling, imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants. But how did this massive city—the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria—emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? In S.P.Q.R Beard changes our historical perspective, exploring how the Romans themselves challenged the idea of imperial rule, how they responded to terrorism and revoluti [...]

    9. I recently resolved to start reading more nonfiction again. I used to read a ton of it but, for reasons I can't recall or explain, I stopped quite a few years ago, focusing entirely on fiction. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but I wanted to broaden my literary horizons again and to explore some areas I'd previously neglected.One of those areas is history and where better to start than with the ancient Romans? This book came recommended by a friend so I dove right in.One thing became clear q [...]

    10. Smart, smart, smart and so readable that you will be tempted to sit up all night in order to finish it. Not that I did, of course. Okay, I did. Because it is history written with common sense, a point of view and a healthy level of snark just to keep things interesting. I am not going to sprinkle quotes from SPQR throughout this review because spoilers, but just as an example of her common sense, read the account of Caligula's life and reign. Or Nero's. She isn't doing revisionist history --- ne [...]

    11. Fantastic! Mary Beard's history of the first thousand years or so of ancient Rome never flags, maintaining a brisk, engaging tone and offering a level of detail just right for a general audience. If you've previously read a bit about Rome, Beard's book probably won't offer much new information, but she has a knack for posing interesting questions, suggesting fresh juxtapositions, and presenting seemingly familiar stories in thought-provoking ways. I listened to the audio version of this, publish [...]

    12. "Roman historians complained about almost exactly the same issue as the modern historian faces: when they tried to write the history of this period, they found that so much of importance had happened in private, hater than publicly in the senate house or Form as before, that it was hard to know exactly what had taken place, let alone how to explain it."- Mary Beard, SPQRSenātus PopulusQue Rōmānus (SPQR)I've been reading a bunch of classics the last couple years. I'm right in the middle of the [...]

    13. Extraordinary. A great book for someone like me, coming to Roman history with only basic prior knowledge - let's say Asterix-level knowledge (as we all know, SPQR stands for "sono pazzi questi romani" - these Romans are crazy). The book is so much more than a blood-and-sandles account of battles, patricide and betrayal. It covers the status of women. How the poor lived. How did Rome feed itself, where did it get its marble, where did the money come from, the people to populate the armies. How, i [...]

    14. I enjoyed this book immensely and found much new (to me at least) in it. In particular, Mary Beard carefully analyses the creation myth of Rome and finds it to be just that with no evidence for the existence of Romulus and Remus and not much more for its line of kings. Mary Beard is very hard on poor old Claudius as well as Cicero and other prominent figures. She writes fascinatingly on the growth of Rome from being a small village on the banks of the Tiber into a grand empire and on the evoluti [...]

    15. An excellent history of Rome's first thousand years for the general readerI have always been fascinated as to how one small town in central Italy came to dominate the whole Mediterranean for centuries. This book provides one attempt at an answer - insofar as there can be one.It is easy to read - one minute giving a broad overview, then illustrating it with a detail from the life of a real person. The text is augmented by diagrams, photos and maps to aid understanding and reinforce certain points [...]

    16. Originally posted on A Frolic Through FictionSo here’s a review from someone who has limited experience with nonfiction books, and zero experience with learning about Ancient Rome.I adore learning about history – but I am by no means a “history buff”. I can’t remember names and dates for the life of me. I just remember the stories and find everything absolutely fascinating.So I was going into this book with a fairly average interest/knowledge rate. I knew vaguely of names and the fact [...]

    17. Es interesante, como habitantes de lo que denominamos "Occidente", conocer la antigua Roma, porque muchas de nuestras instituciones, conocimientos y costumbres (por no mencionar nuestro idioma) provienen de ellos. Eso no quiere decir que seamos romanos 2.0. Nos separan siglos e innumerables cambios, tanto sociales, como políticos, como culturales. Sin embargo, es muy interesante que ya entonces se enfrentaran a ciertos problemas que aún hoy se mantienen vigentes, como la multiculturalidad o qu [...]

    18. Fascinating. Not strictly chronological--starts with Cicero and Catiline: how Cicero "saved" Rome, then Roman history from its beginnings--two founding stories: Romulus and Remus & Aeneas up through Caracalla, who in 212 AD made every freeborn Roman automatically a citizen. Beard shatters many of our misconceptions. I enjoyed most the section on Pliny the Younger and on the "haves and have-nots"--rich and poor. Over half covered early Rome through the Republic, then why the Republic fell and [...]

    19. I was all ready to roll up my sleeves to outline some of my disappointments in this book but found that the words had already been taken out of my mouth. Here's an exceptional review, as I might have written! /review/showWhile I enjoyed it well enough, I felt there was just enough disorganization within it to leave me slightly annoyed with Beard's process.

    20. Although this book is unquestionably fun to read, it is truly dreadful. In a highly engaging style, Ms. Beard reviews most of what I learned forty years ago when I took an undergraduate course on Roman history. The new items however are considerably less than her distressing omissions.Ms. Beard repeats the same points about the historical sources that were explained to me in the mid 1970s. First, no new contemporary histories or written documents have appeared in over 1000 years. Second, Polybiu [...]

    21. There’s so much out there about the “Decline and Fall” of the Roman Empire, it’s kind of refreshing to have a book about the very origins. Most of it isn’t new to me, though the boundaries between fact and imperial fiction can be; I have a GCSE and an A Level in Classics, so I was aware of the foundation myths of Rome, the rape of the Sabine Women, the seven kings, etc. It was nice to get more context for that, to know more about the actual grounding in fact — and to learn about Rome [...]

    22. After fighting my way through the first hundred pages, much of which focuses on the limitations of historical sources and the myths Romans told themselves about their history, I skipped to the end to see if there was anything to salvage from this tome. On the penultimate page, Beard explains her purpose and made me think that I should have expended more effort with her book:"I no longer think as I once naively did, that we have much to learn directly from the Romans. But I am more and more convi [...]

    23. Mary Beard attempts to do the almost impossible: write a history of Rome that focuses on the "P" of SPQR (Senatus Populus Que Romanus), the Senate and thePeopleof Rome. When Rome is invoked, a sweeping narrative of crazy emperors, stoic senators, resplendence, and military conquest emerges. But Beard tries to show what life was like and how it changed for individual Romans, those at the top and at the bottom of an incredibly complex society. And she mostly succeeds at this difficult task.As a st [...]

    24. (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)So why have you not seen any new book reviews from me in something like a month now? Because I've been spending that entire time slogging my way through one single book, the 600-page SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by British historian and sometimes archaeologist Mary Beard, and wanted to go nice and slow so t [...]

    25. Beard shows us how Rome went from a village to a Republic to an autocratic empire. But rather than just the details of battles, headline events, and the sordid intrigues of the emperors, we get the big picture of Roman society. How did its institutions develop and change? What was its character? How did the Empire operate? What was it like to live there? What did liberty mean in Rome? How did the Republic come about? What led to its demise? Beard goes beyond the lives of the rich and famous to t [...]

    26. “Who could be so indifferent or so idle that they did not want to find out how, and under what kind of political organisation, almost the whole of the inhabited world was conquered and fell under the sole power of the Romans in less than 53 years, something previously unparalleled?” - Polybius

    27. Leer la historia de la antigua Roma es como leer una parte de la nuestra propia, dado que ninguna civilización influyó tanto en la configuración misma de la cultura occidental como lo hizo Roma a través de la expansión de su poderío, y esa influencia puede ser apreciada en múltiples ámbitos y, sobre todo en uno tan fundamental como el idioma, pues del latín derivan idiomas como el italiano, el español, el portugués, el francés, catalán, etc y, asimismo, en la configuración del sist [...]

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