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The Fall of the Roman Republic (Lancaster Pamphlets in Ancient History) Paperback – October 23, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0415319409 ISBN-10: 0415319404 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Lancaster Pamphlets in Ancient History
  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (October 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415319404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415319409
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #835,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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"An excellent study of the fall of the Roman Republic." -- Religious Studies Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Professor Emeritus, University of Lancaster, UK

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By David E. Blair on December 3, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Any literate adult with a passing knowledge of Roman Republican history will find this book a relatively easy read and quite enlightening. Any specialist in Roman Republican history will find this work a concise, accurate, and extremely valuable synthesis of scholarly opinion on the fall of the Roman Republic that is fully informed by most all works on the topic from Syme to the present. In my opinion, this book stands as the current state of the art on its subject. While my reading on the topic is not encyclopedic, I believe it is extensive enough for me to render that judgement. The author, David Shotter, is a prolific writer and respected historian of Rome both imperial and republican. What is striking here is the degree to which this writer has been able to detach himself from his present and paint an objective assessment of the period from the Gracchi to the emergent principate of Augustus. Any reader in this area will know that this has been a problem for writers on topics Roman from Edward Gibbon to Tom Holland.

As the previous reviewer has pointed out, Shotter finds the seeds of the downfall of the Republic in the growth of the Roman Empire. With the terms of proconsular power stretching out for years at a time, a new class of warrior politicians arose much to the discomfort of the old vested consular and praetorian nobility. The wealth, power, and "dignitas" of men like Sulla, Pompey, Crassus and Ceasar overwhelmed a system based on weak annual magistracies. From the Gracchi through the Social Wars and Marius followed by the Sullan restoration, the author provides a fast paced rendition of the events and personalities while painting a picture of an ever more volatile situation.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ilmk on February 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
Shotter provides a concise and up-to-date (at the time, bearing in mind it is nearly a decade old now) look at the Fall of the Roman Republic that is invaluable to any student of the period. Indeed it is useful as a general guide to the general reader. Commencing with an explanation of the governemnt of Rome and detailing the concept of the res publica he makes it clear that the republic was divided amongst what he terms the 'aristocratic class' and the plebian. He makes the sweeping statement that the downfall of the republic was caused by the growth of empire and talks of the Social War, the Gracchi and enfranchisement, sweeping on through Marius' reforms to construct a professional standing army to the inevitable conflict between military brilliance as shown under Sulla and oligarchic steadiness as employed by the Senate. A chapter on Pompey focuses on Cicero and Clodius' involvement in the Bona Dea in 61 and Shotter concludes with three chapters on the first triumvirate between Caesar, Pompey and Crassus, Caesar's dictatorship and the second triumvirate of Octavian, Anthony and Lepidus culminating in the battle of Actium in 31. He confirms that this battle is the decisive watershed in the move from republic to empire - though a modern-designated pivotal piece of history. In some respects this admission leads us to realise that whilst modern scholarship neatly splits the Roman domination of the Mediterranean into Republic and Empire, for Rome itself there would have been no such distinction. Indeed, one could argue that the premise of the book is indeed artificial by nature. However, it does allow Shotter to boundary his period of Roman history to 31 and discuss more fundamentally the nature of political power of the time and its shift from oligarchy to principate.
This concise yet fluid discussion on the shift in Rome's power is worth reading as both a general introduction and a more interesting discussion on the nature of political power.
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Format: Paperback
As I say in my Amazon’s Home page I’m a history buff and Rome’s history from the Republic to the late Empire exceedingly interest me. I enjoy well researched historical novels as McCullough’s series “Masters of Rome” or classic texts as Suetonius’ “The Twelve Caesars” and Plutarch’s “Lives”.

Not so log ago I discovered the “Lancaster Pamphlets” series that, in their own words, “offer concise and up-to-date accounts of major historical topics… to provide the reader with some of the results of recent research”.

David Shotter has studied the end of the Republican Rome period and the Julian emperors in depth, producing several interesting books on the topic.

This is an excellent, very readable and concise study about the last century and a half of the Roman Republic.

The first two chapters describe the background of the agonizing Republic trying to cope with an empire that exceeds its administrative capacities.
Chapter 3 describes the surge of factionalism and the Gracchus. Chapters 4 and 5 portray Marius and Sulla. Chapter 6 and 7 depicts the growth of Pompey and the first Triumvirate. Chapter 8 is consecrated to Caesar and finally chapter 9 to the very end of the Republic and the emergence of the Principate.

The appendixes and description of roman magistracies are very illustrative and practical.

This book is precious stone for Roman history students and fans alike do not miss it!

Reviewed by Max Yofre.
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By moises nadal on September 28, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The topic is too important to be ignored. I recommend this book. I liked the quick service and fast delivery by this store. Thanks.
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