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World History

Welcome to the library's guide to resources in World History!

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    Pax Romana: War, Peace and Conquest in the Roman World - Adrian Goldsworthy
    Call Number: DG 276.5 .G65 2016
    ISBN: 9780300178821
    Publication Date: 2016-09-13
    A groundbreaking and comprehensive history of the Roman Peace from one of the leading historians of the ancient world. Best-selling author Adrian Goldsworthy turns his attention to the Pax Romana, the famous peace and prosperity brought by the Roman Empire at its height in the first and second centuries AD. Yet the Romans were conquerors, imperialists who took by force a vast empire stretching from the Euphrates to the Atlantic coast. Ruthless, Romans won peace not through coexistence but through dominance; millions died and were enslaved during the creation of their empire.

    Pax Romana examines how the Romans came to control so much of the world and asks whether traditionally favorable images of the Roman peace are true. Goldsworthy vividly recounts the rebellions of the conquered, examining why they broke out, why most failed, and how they became exceedingly rare. He reveals that hostility was just one reaction to the arrival of Rome and that from the outset, conquered peoples collaborated, formed alliances, and joined invaders, causing resistance movements to fade away.

    Cover Art
    The Triumph of Empire: The Roman World from Hadrian to Constantine - Michael Kulikowski
    Call Number: DG 270 .K85 2016
    ISBN: 9780674659612
    Publication Date: 2016-11-28
    The Triumph of Empire takes readers into the political heart of imperial Rome and recounts the extraordinary challenges overcome by a flourishing empire. Michael Kulikowski's history begins with the reign of Hadrian, who visited the farthest reaches of his domain and created stable frontiers, and spans to the decades after Constantine the Great, who overhauled the government, introduced a new state religion, and founded a second Rome.

    Factionalism and intrigue sapped the empire from within, even at its apex. Roman politics could resemble a blood sport: rivals resorted to assassination; emperors rose and fell with bewildering speed, their reigns measured in weeks, not years; and imperial succession was never entirely assured. Canny emperors-including Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, and Diocletian-constantly cultivated the aristocracy's favor to maintain a grip on power. Despite such volatility, the Roman Empire protected its borders, defeating successive attacks from Goths and Germans, Persians and Parthians. Yet external threats persisted and the imperial government sagged under its own administrative weight.
    Religion, too, was in flux with the rise of Christianity and other forms of monotheism.

    In the fourth century CE, Constantine and his heirs reformed imperial institutions by separating civilian and military hierarchies, restructuring the government of both provinces and cities, and ensuring the prominence of Christianity. The Triumph of Empire is a fresh, authoritative narrative of Rome at its height and of its evolution-from being the central power of the Mediterranean world to becoming one of several great Eurasian civilizations.

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    Jim Verdini

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