Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-84b7d79bbc-4hvwz Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-25T10:12:13.082Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

1 - Sources

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 March 2008

A. E. Astin
The Queen's University of Belfast
Get access



The period covered by this volume saw a vast expansion of Roman power, an expansion which extended Roman military and political domination over virtually the entire Mediterranean world, from west to east, from Spanish tribes to Hellenistic kingdoms. At the beginning of the period the cities, leagues and kingdoms of the Hellenistic world which lay to the east of the Adriatic lived a largely separate existence, as yet barely touched by Rome; by the end, although (except in Macedonia) the imposition of Roman administration still lay in the future, effective Roman political control was an established fact. This outcome had a profound influence upon the nature of the literary sources which yield both the framework and much of the detail of our knowledge; for the greater part of them have Rome at the centre of their interest and show us the rest of the Mediterranean peoples, both of the west and of the east, primarily in relationship to Rome. Thus although in the western lands there is much archaeological evidence, revealing military constructions, habitations, and a multitude of artifacts, the historical context to which this has to be related is almost entirely Roman. In the east, though the nature of the material is somewhat more complicated, it is still difficult to build up independently of Roman affairs a picture which has much coherence and detail, even for the early part of the period. Admittedly some help can be obtained here from the considerable body of numismatic and of epigraphic evidence. The evidence of coins is particularly useful in resolving a number of chronological problems, especially in connection with some of the dynasts and usurpers whose reigns were short, while for certain of the more remote Hellenistic kingdoms it is fundamental; and the survival of numerous inscriptions, especially inscriptions erected by Hellenistic cities, casts many shafts of light – usually narrow but often intense – upon matters of chronology, political allegiance, administration and royal policies.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1989

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Astin, A. E. Cato the Censor. Oxford, 1978
Boissevain, U. P. , Boor, C. and Büttner-Wobst, T. Excerpta Historica Iussu Imp. Constantini Porphyrogeniti Confecta. 4 vols, in 5. Berlin, 1903–10
Briscoe, J. A Commentary on Livy Books xxxi – xxxiii. Oxford, 1973
Briscoe, J. A Commentary on Livy Books xxxiv – xxxvii. Oxford, 1981
Crawford, M. H. Roman Republican Coinage. 2 vols. Cambridge, 1974
Klotz, A. Livius und seine Vorgänger. Berlin and Leipzig, 1940–1
Luce, T.J. Livy. The Composition of his History. Princeton, 1977
Malcovati, H. Oratorum Romanorum Fragmenta. 2 vols. 4th edn. Turin, 1976–79
Musti, D.Syria and the East’, in The Cambridge Ancient History2 vii.i. 175220. Cambridge, 1984 Google Scholar
Nissen, H. Kritische Untersuchungen über die Quellen der vierten und fünften Dekade des Livius. Berlin, 1863
Ogilvie, R. M. A Commentary on Livy, Books 1–5. Oxford, 1965
Peter, H. G. W. Historicorum Romanorum Reliquiae. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1906–14
Sherk, R. K. Roman Documents from the Greek East. Baltimore, 1969
Walbank, F. W. A Historical Commentary on Polybius. 3 vols. Oxford, 1957–79.
Walbank, F. W. Polybius. Berkeley, 1972
Walsh, P. G. Livy. Cambridge, 1961
Weissenborn, W. and Müller, H. J. Titi Livi ab Urbe Condita. Berlin, 1880–1911
Welles, C. B. Royal Correspondence in the Hellenistic Period. New Haven, 1934
White, K. D. Roman Farming. London, 1970

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats