"Neil Faulkner's dynamic and provocative new history proves that there is a fresh, exciting new perspective to be found... the narative is compelling." - History Today May 2008
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From the Back Cover
Neil Faulkner's dynamic and provocative new history proves that there is a fresh, exciting new perspective to be found
A thrilling and often coruscating fusion of narrative with scholarship. The Romans have rarely before seemed quite so terrifying.
Tom Holland, author of Rubicon: the Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic (2004)
This unashamedly partisan book is a must for anyone who wants to be challenged and outraged by our familiar image of Rome's contribution to world history.
Guy de la Bédoyère, co-presenter of Channel 4s Time Team
The Roman Empire is widely admired as a model of civilisation. In this compelling new study, Neil Faulkner argues that it was, on the contrary, a ruthless system of robbery and violence. War was used to enrich the state, the imperial ruling classes and favoured client groups. In the process millions of people were killed or enslaved.
Within the empire, the state and the landowning elite creamed off taxes and rents from the countryside to fund their army, their towns, and their villas. The mass of people slaves, serfs, poor peasants were the victims of the exploitation that made the empire possible. This system, riddled with tension and latent conflict, contained the seeds of its own eventual collapse from the outset.
Neil Faulkner works as a freelance lecturer, editor, writer, excavator and occasional broadcaster. His previous books include The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain (2004); Apocalypse: The Great Jewish Revolt against Rome, AD 66-73 (2002); and Hidden Treasure: Digging up Britains Past (written to accompany the BBC archaeology series in 2003).