A Companion to the Roman Empire (Blackwell Companions to the by David S. Potter

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By David S. Potter

A significant other to the Roman Empire offers readers with a consultant either to Roman imperial background and to the sector of Roman reports, taking account of the latest discoveries.

This better half brings jointly thirty unique essays guiding readers via Roman imperial background and the sphere of Roman studies.
Shows that Roman imperial heritage is a compelling and colourful subject.
Includes major new contributions to varied parts of Roman imperial history.
Covers the social, highbrow, monetary and cultural background of the Roman Empire.
Contains an in depth bibliography.

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Extra resources for A Companion to the Roman Empire (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World)

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Finley arrived in England with a mind unfettered by the constraints of the British curriculum. He had initially been trained in the study of modern, and then ancient, law at Columbia, and his first book had been on Greek boundary stones. But he had rapidly moved beyond his training, aided by conversations with others at Columbia, and made his reputation with a brilliant study of the economic attitudes evident in the Homeric poems. He was a natural comparative historian. His greatest contribution to the subject was not his use of the work of Karl Polanyi to study the ancient economy; it was rather his ability to inspire others to take equally innovative approaches.

In the past century, the most substantial contributions in this area came from the pen of Ronald Syme. His brilliantly erudite studies both of the members of this class, and of the ways in which they described their interests, set a standard against which other work was measured. In 1939 Syme shattered prevailing modes of thought about Roman history that were based upon the constitutional theories of Theodor Mommsen, which had been dominant for the previous half century. In Mommsen’s view the Romans had elaborate constitutional rules, and the crisis of the late republic stemmed from efforts of democratic reformers to overthrow a corrupt aristocracy.

The interests of Jones and Brunt melded with the interests of Moses Finley (more below) to suggest a middle ground between Syme’s style of analysis and Rostovtzeff’s. In a series of brilliant articles Brunt began to ask just how the government managed. What did procurators really do? What did senators do? And, in his great work on Roman population of 1971, Brunt offered an empirical look at the issue of Roman demography. While the demographic aspects of this book now seem dated in light of the application of modern demographic methods to the ancient evidence pioneered by Bruce Frier, and now championed by a new generation of scholars, the originality of Brunt’s questions at the time that he asked them cannot be underestimated (Bagnall and Frier 1994; Frier 1982).

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