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Roman History

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 October 2017


Let's begin at the beginning, with a book by Jeremy Armstrong that takes us back to the Early Republic, from the sixth to fourth centuries bce, examining the social and political transformations of that period and looking at the very foundation of the Roman state. The challenges of working on this early period are well known. Indeed, Armstrong early on says that he will eschew an overly optimistic, positivistic approach to the later literary account and make use of the substantial archaeological evidence. This archaeological evidence is crucial in drawing up a picture of the social and economic context of early Latium. However, the problematic literary accounts still often appear as rather too unproblematic framing narratives for what follows. Armstrong's account is chronological, taking us, as the title suggests, from the early ‘warlords’ to the military society of the Republic in the wake of the Latin Settlement in 338 bce. What we have here is a properly ambitious attempt to explain this crucial transition – but many problems and questions undoubtedly remain in the study of the early days of the Republic.

Subject Reviews
Copyright © The Classical Association 2017 

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1 War and Society in Early Rome. From Warlord to Generals. By Armstrong, Jeremy. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. xiv + 317. 10 illustrations, 3 maps. Hardback £64.99, ISBN: 978-1-107-09357-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

2 Note, too, that the same author has also just published a more ‘popular’ but related book: Early Roman Warfare. From the Regal Period to the First Punic War. By Armstrong, Jeremy. Barnsley, Pen and Sword Books Ltd, 2016. Pp. xvi + 176. Hardback £19.99, ISBN: 978-1-78159-254-0 Google Scholar.

3 Approaching the Roman Revolution. Papers on Republican History. By Sir Syme, Ronald, edited by Santangelo, Federico. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. xv + 428. Hardback £90, ISBN: 978-0-19-87670-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

4 Constantine and the Cities. Imperial Authority and Civic Politics. By Lenski, Noel. Empire and After. Philadelphia, PA, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016. Pp. 416. Hardback £69, ISBN: 978-0-8122-4777-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

5 The Oxford Handbook of Roman Law and Society. Edited by Plessis, Paul J. Du, Ando, Clifford, and Tuori, Kaius. Oxford Handbooks. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. xvii + 728. Hardback £110, ISBN: 978-0-19-872868-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

6 The Romans and Trade. By Tchernia, André. Oxford Studies on the Roman Economy. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. xi + 380. Hardback £85, ISBN: 978-0-19-872371-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

7 Religion, Society and Culture at Dura-Europos. Edited by Kaizer, Ted. Yale Classical Studies 38. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Pp. xxii + 310. 54 illustrations. Hardback £64.99, ISBN: 978-1-107-12379-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

8 Reviving Roman Religion. Sacred Trees in the Roman World. By Hunt, Ailsa. Cambridge Classical Studies. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. xii + 333. 17 illustrations. Hardback £80, ISBN: 978-1-107-15354-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

9 The Religious Worlds of the Laity in Late Antique Gaul. By Bailey, Lisa Kaaren. London, Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. Pp. viii + 247. Hardback £90, ISBN: 978-1-4725-1903-0 Google Scholar.

10 Performance, Memory, and Processions in Ancient Rome. The Pompa Circensis from the Late Republic to Late Antiquity. By Latham, Jacob A.. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. xxii + 345. 86 illustrations, 3 maps. Hardback £74.99, ISBN: 978-1-107-13071-5 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

11 Rome. An Urban History from Antiquity to the Present. By Taylor, Rabun, Rinne, Katherine W., and Kostof, Spiro. New York, Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. xvi + 432. 228 illustrations. Hardback £69.99, ISBN: 978-1-107-01399-5; paperback £24.99, IBSN: 978-1-107-60149-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.