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Roman People 3 Sub Edition
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About the Author
Professor Robert B. Kebric teaches Greek and Roman History, History of the Olympic Games, and the Humanities at the University of Louisville. He is the author of a number of books and articles, including Greek People, and the companion volume of Roman People. He was born in Palo Alto, California, and attended the University of Southern California, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Binghamton University in New York. He has been a historical consultant to Time-Life Books and is a published photographer. He has directed and taught programs of study in Greece, Italy, Egypt, Turkey, and Israel, and spends extended periods in England, Australia, and Hawaii. He lives with his wife, Judith Hartung Kebric, and four basenjis in Louisville, Kentucky. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Chapters are organized by time period and by theme, from Rome's expansion, though its slave revolts, transition from republic to empire, eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the Severan dynasty, and the increasing influence of Christianity. Kebric focuses attention on people one might normally think of as of secondary importance, in addition to the prominent figures, such as a chapter dedicated to Brutus, Julius Caesar's assassin, a great deal about the influence of Tiberius' astrologer Thrasyllus. Beside events and people, there are chapters dedicated to old age in Roman society and the popularity of chariot races and the Circus Maximus. There are useful "Suggestions for Further Reading" at the end of each chapter.
Kebric makes an effort to understand many of the prominent and influential women in Roman society, so women are not under-represented. The middle and lower classes get little attention due to a lack of information about specific people. There is not a lot here about lifestyles, such as daily routines, medicine, courtship, art, sex, or social mores. There is limited information about food and entertainment, but "Roman History" is not primarily a social history. It would make a useful supplement to one. I would have appreciated dates for each piece of literature that is quoted, and analysis of the individuals could have more depth. But "Roman People" is a helpful lens through which to view Roman history.
Not exactly social history, not exactly general history, this book instead considers the lives of various people throughout the history of the Roman state which are either important in their own right (those of important political figures) or else important as indicators of significant trends (e.g. the rise of Christianity).
Perhaps why I like this book most, though, is the author's crips style and lucid reasoning. Conclusions are always supported with reference to original sources, and when these are either lacking or ambigious then clear-headed deduction is used to try to reconstruct what most likely might have happened. A fine example of this is when Kebric argues that Roman incompetence was probably more responsible for the protracted siege of Syracuse than any fantastic siege inventions on the part of Archimedes.
Given how much ink has been spilled on Roman history, I can perhaps give no greater praise to this book than by saying it showed me things I had never seen or thought of before.
I thoroughly recommend this book.
I recommend this book if you want a quick overview of Roman history including a look into the lives of important Roman figures. It's a good quick and easy read.