Illustrations

PLATE 1 Myth-history. The Low Ham mosaic in Somerset depicts a thousand-year-old myth that has the Roman race founded by the Trojan hero Aeneas, a story immortalised for Roman (and Romanised) audiences by the great Latin poet Virgil.

PLATE 1Myth-history. The Low Ham mosaic in Somerset depicts a thousand-year-old myth that has the Roman race founded by the Trojan hero Aeneas, a story immortalised for Roman (and Romanised) audiences by the great Latin poet Virgil.

Source: The Bridgeman Art Library/Somerset County Museum, Taunton Castle, UK

PLATE 2 Myth-history. Though the twins, Romulus and Remus, were added in the Renaissance, the ‘Capitoline Wolf’ is an archaic bronze that reminded contemporary viewers that the Romans were spawn of Mars and sucklings of the She-Wolf.

PLATE 2Myth-history. Though the twins, Romulus and Remus, were added in the Renaissance, the ‘Capitoline Wolf’ is an archaic bronze that reminded contemporary viewers that the Romans were spawn of Mars and sucklings of the She-Wolf.

Source: Corbis/Araldo de Luca

PLATE 3 Ceramic, and occasionally bronze, hut-urns were used to inter the cremated remains of Rome’s 8th century BC dead. Presumably they show something of the appearance of the wattle-and-daub houses of the living – inhabitants not of a city, but of an Iron Age village.

PLATE 3Ceramic, and occasionally bronze, hut-urns were used to inter the cremated remains of Rome’s 8th century BC dead. Presumably they show something of the appearance of the wattle-and-daub houses of the living – inhabitants not of a city, but of an Iron Age village.

Source: akg-images Ltd/Andrew Baguzzi

PLATE 4 An Italic hoplite of the Early Republican period. Ancient polities were essentially armed bodies of men; military service was the defining duty of the citizen male.

PLATE 4An Italic hoplite of the Early Republican period. Ancient polities were essentially armed bodies of men; military service was the defining duty of the citizen male.

Source: The Bridgeman Art Library Ltd/Louvre, Paris, France

PLATE 5 Temple of Hera at Paestum. The Greeks had colonised half the Mediterranean, but the city-states of the 5th century BC had morphed into the pawns of kings, dictators and warlords by the 3rd, making them vulnerable to easy Roman conquest.

PLATE 5Temple of Hera at Paestum. The Greeks had colonised half the Mediterranean, but the city-states of the 5th century BC had morphed into the pawns of kings, dictators and warlords by the 3rd, making them vulnerable to easy Roman conquest.

Source: Corbis/Marco Cristofori

PLATE 6 The quinquereme, essentially a muscle-powered ram, was the battleship of the 3rd century BC. To defeat the mercantile empire of Carthage, and win an overseas empire, Rome had to become a naval power.

PLATE 6The quinquereme, essentially a muscle-powered ram, was the battleship of the 3rd century BC. To defeat the mercantile empire of Carthage, and win an overseas empire, Rome had to become a naval power.

Source: akg-images Ltd/Peter Connolly

PLATE 7 Strategic mobility was the key to victory over lightly equipped, fast-moving guerrillas like the Numidians. Roman general Gaius Marius abandoned carts and made his soldiers carry their equipment on their backs: part of the growing professionalisation of the army under the Late Republic.

PLATE 7Strategic mobility was the key to victory over lightly equipped, fast-moving guerrillas like the Numidians. Roman general Gaius Marius abandoned carts and made his soldiers carry their equipment on their backs: part of the growing professionalisation of the army under the Late Republic.

Source: DK Images/Karl Shone

PLATE 8 Coin of the Social War rebels. The revolt of Rome’s Italian subjects meant a revolt by half her army that could have brought the empire down. The rebels were defeated – but were granted Roman citizenship.

PLATE 8Coin of the Social War rebels. The revolt of Rome’s Italian subjects meant a revolt by half her army that could have brought the empire down. The rebels were defeated – but were granted Roman citizenship.

Source: The Trustees of the British Museum

PLATE 9 Pompey the Great. The Late Republic was dominated by a succession of great warlords whose power eclipsed that of their senatorial colleagues and presaged that of the emperors.

PLATE 9Pompey the Great. The Late Republic was dominated by a succession of great warlords whose power eclipsed that of their senatorial colleagues and presaged that of the emperors.

Source: Alamy Images/Visual Arts Library (London)

PLATE 10 Luxuria (the extravagant and conspicuous consumption of wealth) became more socially acceptable among the elite under the Late Republic.

PLATE 10Luxuria (the extravagant and conspicuous consumption of wealth) became more socially acceptable among the elite under the Late Republic.

Source: David Bellingham

PLATE 11 The Roman Forum. Late Republicam warlords invested much of their plunder in monumentalising the city – building a downtown symbolic of slaughter and slavery.

PLATE 11The Roman Forum. Late Republicam warlords invested much of their plunder in monumentalising the city – building a downtown symbolic of slaughter and slavery.

Source: Punchstock/Brand X

PLATE 12 Cicero. Though a ‘new man’, he became the leading representative of senatorial reaction in the middle of the 1st century BC, attempting to build a conservative bloc against the popular forces behind politicians like Caesar, Antony and Octavian.

PLATE 12Cicero. Though a ‘new man’, he became the leading representative of senatorial reaction in the middle of the 1st century BC, attempting to build a conservative bloc against the popular forces behind politicians like Caesar, Antony and Octavian.

Source: Corbis/Sandro Vannini

PLATE 13 Julius Caesar, the greatest politician and general of the Late Republic, and the man who finally destroyed the power of the senatorial aristocracy and inaugurated the regime of the ‘new men’.

PLATE 13Julius Caesar, the greatest politician and general of the Late Republic, and the man who finally destroyed the power of the senatorial aristocracy and inaugurated the regime of the ‘new men’.

Source: akg-images Ltd

PLATE 14 The siege of Alesia, 52 BC, was an apocalyptic climax to Caesar’s eight-year conquest of Gaul. The war made Caesar the most powerful player in Roman politics – at a cost of a million dead and a million enslaved.

PLATE 14The siege of Alesia, 52 BC, was an apocalyptic climax to Caesar’s eight-year conquest of Gaul. The war made Caesar the most powerful player in Roman politics – at a cost of a million dead and a million enslaved.

Source: akg-images Ltd/Peter Connolly

PLATE 15 Octavian-Augustus. A murderous civil-war faction leader is transformed into a heroic monarch in all but name by the spin doctors, in-house poets and court artists of the new Augustan regime.

PLATE 15Octavian-Augustus. A murderous civil-war faction leader is transformed into a heroic monarch in all but name by the spin doctors, in-house poets and court artists of the new Augustan regime.

Source: Corbis/Roger Wood

PLATE 16 Augustus’s image-makers portrayed him both as a paternalistic ‘father of his country’ (wearing a toga) and as a statesman-like commander-in-chief who guaranteed national security and internal order (wearing a cuirass).

PLATE 16Augustus’s image-makers portrayed him both as a paternalistic ‘father of his country’ (wearing a toga) and as a statesman-like commander-in-chief who guaranteed national security and internal order (wearing a cuirass).

Source: akg-images Ltd/Nimatallah

PLATE 17 The Res Gestae – Augustus’s political testimony – was inscribed in stone and placed on public view at various places across the empire. Today he would tour the TV studios.

PLATE 17The Res Gestae – Augustus’s political testimony – was inscribed in stone and placed on public view at various places across the empire. Today he would tour the TV studios.

Source: DK Images/Mike Dunning

PLATE 18 The Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace) in Rome is rich in political symbolism. Augustus, Rome’s new military dictator, claimed to have ‘restored the Republic’. Here, then, to make the point, are Rome’s senatorial aristocracy.

PLATE 18The Ara Pacis (Altar of Peace) in Rome is rich in political symbolism. Augustus, Rome’s new military dictator, claimed to have ‘restored the Republic’. Here, then, to make the point, are Rome’s senatorial aristocracy.

Source: Ancient Art & Architecture/C M Dixon

PLATE 19 The Ara Pacis again, but now we see the imperial family, women and children included – the new power of the dynasty and apparently a complement to the old authority of the Senate.

PLATE 19The Ara Pacis again, but now we see the imperial family, women and children included – the new power of the dynasty and apparently a complement to the old authority of the Senate.

Source: Ancient Art & Architecture/C M Dixon

PLATE 20 Behind a mask of constitutional rectitude was the fist of military power. The Praetorian Guard was stationed in Rome, and, as events in AD 41 proved, it, and not the Senate, was the final arbiter of power.

PLATE 20Behind a mask of constitutional rectitude was the fist of military power. The Praetorian Guard was stationed in Rome, and, as events in AD 41 proved, it, and not the Senate, was the final arbiter of power.

Source: DK Images/De Agostini Editore Picture Library

PLATE 21 The enemy within. Onto the floor of this room fell the debris – benches, tables, writing implements – of the first-floor scriptorium where the Dead Sea Scrolls were inscribed: a call to revolutionary holy war against the Roman Empire.

PLATE 21The enemy within. Onto the floor of this room fell the debris – benches, tables, writing implements – of the first-floor scriptorium where the Dead Sea Scrolls were inscribed: a call to revolutionary holy war against the Roman Empire.

Source: author’s collection

PLATE 22 A Roman base in the Judean Desert outside the Jewish fortress of Masada, where the last of the revolutionaries of AD 66–73 defied the might of Rome. Classical civilisation was sometimes bitterly contested by its victims.

PLATE 22A Roman base in the Judean Desert outside the Jewish fortress of Masada, where the last of the revolutionaries of AD 66–73 defied the might of Rome. Classical civilisation was sometimes bitterly contested by its victims.

Source: author’s collection

PLATE 23 Nero the lyre-player had laid out a pleasure park here, but the ‘blood and iron’ Flavian dynasty preferred an amphitheatre for the games. The Colosseum is Rome’s Auschwitz: built for the mass murder of slaves as a form of public entertainment.

PLATE 23Nero the lyre-player had laid out a pleasure park here, but the ‘blood and iron’ Flavian dynasty preferred an amphitheatre for the games. The Colosseum is Rome’s Auschwitz: built for the mass murder of slaves as a form of public entertainment.

Source: DK Images/Mike Dunning

PLATE 24 Hadrian’s Wall. For more than half a millennium, Rome had expanded. But the wilderness was unconquerable, and by the early 2nd century AD the frontiers had become permanent.

PLATE 24Hadrian’s Wall. For more than half a millennium, Rome had expanded. But the wilderness was unconquerable, and by the early 2nd century AD the frontiers had become permanent.

Source: Alamy Images/Robert Estall Photo Agency

PLATE 25 Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens. Built by Hadrian, the temple symbolises the emperor’s policy of constructing a commonwealth of the civilised behind the frontier walls he was also raising.

PLATE 25Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens. Built by Hadrian, the temple symbolises the emperor’s policy of constructing a commonwealth of the civilised behind the frontier walls he was also raising.

Source: Alamy Images/Steve Allen Travel Photography

PLATE 26 The ride turns. The Column of Marcus Aurelius in Rome has the form of a traditional victory monument – but this had been a war to eject Germanic invaders after the frontier defences on the upper Danube had collapsed.

PLATE 26The ride turns. The Column of Marcus Aurelius in Rome has the form of a traditional victory monument – but this had been a war to eject Germanic invaders after the frontier defences on the upper Danube had collapsed.

Source: Corbis/Araldo de Luca

PLATE 27 A return to normality? On the Arch of Septimus Severus at Leptis Magna in Libya, the new emperor, victor in civil war, appears with his two sons, Caracalla and Geta, in a conventional scene. In fact, the developing ‘military monarchy’ represented a radical break with the past.

PLATE 27A return to normality? On the Arch of Septimus Severus at Leptis Magna in Libya, the new emperor, victor in civil war, appears with his two sons, Caracalla and Geta, in a conventional scene. In fact, the developing ‘military monarchy’ represented a radical break with the past.

Source: Marcus Prinis & Jona Lendering

PLATE 28 A victory monument with a difference. The Sassanid emperor (mounted) receives the submission of the captive Roman emperor Valerian (kneeling) on a rock carving at Naqsh-i-Rustarn. Defeats were many in the mid-3rd century AD.

PLATE 28A victory monument with a difference. The Sassanid emperor (mounted) receives the submission of the captive Roman emperor Valerian (kneeling) on a rock carving at Naqsh-i-Rustarn. Defeats were many in the mid-3rd century AD.

Source: Alamy Images/Robert Harding

PLATE 29 The end of the pax Romana. Portchester Castle, a Roman fort on the ‘Saxon Shore’ – one of many new frontier defences built by the embattled empire of the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.

PLATE 29The end of the pax Romana. Portchester Castle, a Roman fort on the ‘Saxon Shore’ – one of many new frontier defences built by the embattled empire of the 3rd and 4th centuries AD.

Source: author’s collection

PLATE 30 Roman towns were also walled by the Late Empire – even as urban life within declined – turning them into the strong points of a developing system of defence-in-depth.

PLATE 30Roman towns were also walled by the Late Empire – even as urban life within declined – turning them into the strong points of a developing system of defence-in-depth.

Source: author’s collection

PLATE 31 A bureaucratic empire. The Notitia Dignitatum of c. AD too, with its titles, lists and badges of office, bears testimony to a bloated centralised state expanding at the expense of civil society.

PLATE 31A bureaucratic empire. The Notitia Dignitatum of c. AD too, with its titles, lists and badges of office, bears testimony to a bloated centralised state expanding at the expense of civil society.

Source: TopFoto

PLATE 32 Theodosius the Great, the last emperor of a united empire, whose political authoritarianism and Christian militancy was not enough to reconstruct a viable polity.

PLATE 32Theodosius the Great, the last emperor of a united empire, whose political authoritarianism and Christian militancy was not enough to reconstruct a viable polity.

Source: akg-images Ltd/Pirozzi

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