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The Oxford History of the Roman World [Paperback]

By John Boardman (Editor), Jasper Griffin (Editor) & Oswyn Murray (Editor)
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Item description for The Oxford History of the Roman World by John Boardman, Jasper Griffin & Oswyn Murray...

In less than fifty-three years, Rome subjected most of the known world to its rule. This authoritative and compelling work tells the story of the rise of Rome from its origins as a cluster of villages to the foundation of the Roman Empire by Augustus, to its consolidation in the first two centuries CE. It also discusses aspects of the later Empire and its influence on Western civilization, not least of which was the adoption of Christianity.
Packed with fascinating detail and written by acknowledged experts in Roman history, the book expertly interweaves chapters on social and political history, the Emperors, art and architecture, and the works of leading Roman poets, historians, and philosophers. Reinforcing the book's historical framework are maps, diagrams, a useful chronology, and a full bibliography.
Taken as a whole, this rich work offers an indispensable resource on the history of one of the world's greatest empires.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Oxford History of the Roman World by John Boardman, Jasper Griffin & Oswyn Murray has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 1112
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 874

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Oxford University Press, USA
Pages   536
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.6" Width: 5.1" Height: 1.3"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 29, 2001
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0192802038  
ISBN13  9780192802033  

Availability  2 units.
Availability accurate as of Nov 21, 2017 05:00.
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More About John Boardman, Jasper Griffin & Oswyn Murray

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Sir John Boardman is Emeritus Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art, University of Oxford, and has been based at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, since 1955. Jasper Griffin is Professor of Classical Literature, University of Oxford, and Dyson Fellow in Greek Culture, Jowett Fellow, Jowett Lecturer and Tutor in Classics, Balliol College, Oxford. Oswyn Murray is MacGregor Fellow, Jowett Fellow, Jowett Lecturer, and Tutor in Ancient History, Balliol College, Oxford.

John Boardman was born in 1927.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > General
2Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > Rome
3Books > Subjects > History > Europe > General
4Books > Subjects > History > World > General
5Books > Subjects > History > World

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Oxford History of the Roman World?

Oxford History of The Roman World  Mar 28, 2008
Disapointing. Too little history and too much culture. Writing also not up to ususal Brit quality
A decent survey  Mar 23, 2008
I purchased this after finishing the excellent Oxford History of Greece and the Hellenistic World, and while I found this book useful it was a bit of a let down after in comparison with its counterpart.

I appreciate the broad range of both, devoting significant space to social and cultural topics. However, the structure of the Greek history was much better in the way it divided the history of Greece by era and addressed each more or less in a parallel manner, beginning with a basic political history that was both useful in and of itself and grounded the following sections on religion, literature etc.

In contrast, this book has far less straight history and what exists is all front-loaded, essentially unmooring some of the later chapters from any historical contrast. Additionally, entire eras of political history are left unaddressed or are merely alluded to, which can be confusing for a neophyte like myself. Finally, there are some sections (particularly the first) where the style can be a little opaque.

As I said, this was still an interesting book, but in my opinion it's not an ideal primer on the subject and falls short of the standard set by the companion edition on Greece.
Excellent, if a bit flawed.  Feb 9, 2005
The Oxford History of the Roman World is, first and foremost, an excellent edition and a perfect primer for the lay-historian and undergraduate. I am not denying that fact (though in this case I wish it was possible to give this book 4 1/2 stars, but nevertheless...); what I will do now, however, is go into a bit more detail about the positives and negatives of this broad history.

Being The Oxford HISTORY of the Roman World, one logically starts with the pure historiography. It is very good indeed, but, unlike the Oxford History of Greece (a superior volume), the pure history stops about mid-way through the book and is replaced with more specific chapters dealing with literature, philosophy, religion, art and architecture. All of these are fascinating, in particular literature and philosophy, but the history of the later Imperial times becomes somewhat muddled due to no chapter dedicated solely to the background of the period. This is disappointing, even more so because it certainly could have been done: the final chapter, Envoi: Taking Leave of Antiquity, is an excellent chapter on, among other things, the (very) general history of the fifth century Roman Empire (up to it's collapse in 476 AD by the Goths), and the Cambridge authority who wrote it, I feel, could have easily written a larger chapter on solely the history of the Imperial period to be slotted into it's appropriate place. Unfortunately that is not the case and the volume, in this regard, is left feeling naggingly incomplete.

The chapters on philosophy and literature, as I have said, are excellent (philosophy, I feel, more interesting.) Like the Greek history had it's chapter dedicated to Homer, so does the Roman history have a chapter dedicated to Virgil - both are fascinating. Roman literature, however (and this is no fault of the essayists), a bit more uninteresting than it's greek counterpart, usually being Romanised copies of earlier Greek works or endless rhetorical ramblings. Of course there are exceptions (The Aeneid, Ovid's works, et cetera). The philosophy component is excellent, but I felt it was underrepresented in this volume. It had a large presence in the Greek edition and I found it enthralling reading.

The chapters on art and architecture were interesting indeed, but there were too many and they were too lengthy. Art and architecture for the casual historian is important but perhaps too specialised a field to have such a large presence in the general history of a period. They would do better to be either cut down in length and number or saved for another, more comprehensive, volume. As they stand they are interesting; but it leaves me wondering what they left out to include these (perhaps my missing history of later Imperial Rome!)

Overall, this is an excellent volume and a great primer for those wishing to understand ancient Rome from it's foundations to the collapse of the Western Empire. For all it's faults I couldn't bear to give it four stars - four and a half would have been perfect but alas! that cannot be done. So I shall give it five and be content.

As always, the bibliography and further reading sections are excellent, as are the maps and the overall quality of the book's construction.

Enjoy (and I won't hold it against you if you skip the Art and Architecture essays!). You won't regret it.
Too heavily focused on literature  Mar 15, 2004
This book might perhaps be good for those who whish to learn about Roman literature. It contain almost no information on poltics or economics. The corresponding Oxford book on Greek history is generally speaking a much better book than this one.

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