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The Collapse of Rome: Marius, Sulla and the First Civil War Hardcover – November 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Pen and Sword (November 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848843267
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848843264
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #576,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

After a successful career in corporate finance, Dr Gareth Sampson returned to the study of ancient Rome and gained his PhD from the University of Manchester, where he also taught ancient history for several years. He now lives in Plymouth. His previous books, The Defeat of Rome (2008) and The Crisis of Rome (2010), were also published by Pen & Sword.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By JPS TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was initially a bit worried when first seeing the title of the book and could not help wondering whether its title - "the Collapse of Rome" - was not a bit "far-fetched" to describe the first Roman Civil War. This was especially the case since we know that Rome went on for centuries and that a numerous civil wars would follow. In fact, this title is not overblown, and the author, who seems to have worked on this period (91-70 BC) for his PhD, explains why.

I did not need to worry for the author has done a very convincing job to explain and justify the book's title, showing to what extent the collapse was political, economic and financial, and moral. Just about all the most sacred laws of the Republic was breached during the period, with mobs raised by one side lynching the leaders of the other side, or Roman soldiers mutinying and murdering their commanding officers. A step further was taken when Roman troops were actually marched on Rome, with the city being attacked, besieged and taken over several times during the period, and the opposition being purged and persecuted.

Another good feature of this book is that it does present the period and its multiple events as a whole, showing, in particular, how the various issues were intertwined and interacted. For instance the so-called "Social War" that opposed Rome and its Italian allies was a direct consequence of conquering an Empire, with the allies wanting, among other things, equal rights and an equal share to the spoils they had fought for. The clashes between Marius and Sylla, which are sometimes narrowly defined as the First Civil War cannot in fact be entirely dissociated from the Social War.
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