The story of the Roman empire, from the beginnings to the crisis of the Middle Ages: why it was so large, why it was so durable, and why it was different from any other empire before or since.
- Completely revised to take into account a decade's research since the first edition was published in 2012
- Includes expanded treatment of material culture and of late antiquity
- Includes studies of climate change and ecology which now are now more understood
About the Author(s)
Greg Woolf, Director, Institute of Classical Studies, University of London.
Greg Woolf is Director of the Institute of Classical Studies at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Formerly Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews, he has held visiting appointments in France, Germany, Italy, and Brazil, and he has lectured widely around the world. He has published research on a wide range of topics in ancient history and Roman archaeology, including ancient literacy, European prehistory, the Roman economy, and ancient patronage. He maintains an interest in the
comparative historical sociology of ancient empires. More recently he has been working on ancient science, in particularly ethnography, and on Roman religion, and he was awarded a Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust, for a project on the origins of religious pluralism. His previous publications include Et tu Brute? The murder of Caesar and political assassination (2006) and The Life and Death of Ancient Cities (2020).
"Review from previous edition 'a magnificent achievement.'" - Peter Jones,BBC History Magazine
"'A fine foundation for further learning about the Roman Empire.'" - Booklist
"'[A] passionately told exploration of the history of Rome.'" - Publishers Weekly
"'This is a marvellous book. Woolf provides a sweeping history of Rome's rise and fall, and asks the big questions of why and how this happened. Better yet, he offers no simple or simplistic answers, but instead well considered discussion of the evidence and how we try to understand it.'" - Adrian Goldsworthy, author of How Rome Fell
"'Greg Woolf's new history will be a boon for the student and general reader alike.'" - The Scotsman
"'Makes for exceptionally interesting and provocative reading.'" - Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post
"'Could [this] be the best single-volume introduction to the history of ancient Rome? It is conceptual yet avoids the pitfalls of overgeneralizing, a difficult balance to strike. It also has a superb (useful rather than exhaustive) bibliography. A good measure of books such as this is whether they induce you to read or order other books on the same topic and this one did. A sure thing to make my "Best Books of 2012" list.'" - Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
"'Greg Woolf's dazzling account of ancient Rome's story will entrance the general reader ... [and] will equally impress historians ... the best general history of ancient Rome available in English.'" - Ronald Mellor, Times Higher Education Supplement
"'A remarkable work of synthesis that describes the rise, flourishing and decline of the Roman Empire.'" - David Gress, Wall Street Journal
"'It's a swift and easy read, filled with the kind of rich details designed to illustrate the major trends of Roman history for a general audience.'" - Weekly Standard