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The Roman World 44 BC-AD 180 (The Routledge History of the Ancient World) Hardcover – January 12, 2012

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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About the Author

Martin Goodman is Professor of Jewish Studies at Oxford. He is a Fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He has written numerous books, including The Ruling Class of Judaea (1987) and Rome and Jerusalem: the clash of ancient civilizations (2007).

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Product Details

  • Series: The Routledge History of the Ancient World
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2 edition (January 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415559782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415559782
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,179,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Historiography is tricky. Pure narrative history tends to be a bit shallow and to conceal a great deal of interpretation under the surface, despite looking like a "factual" account. Thematic history, which has been popular for decades, tends to be inaccessible to the less advanced, as well as challenging to those in need of a review of the "basics" to appreciate the era better. So, with a book I recently read from the Oxford Shorter History of Europe, I had to go to the timeline in the back repeatedly, as well look up a few things in other books, to keep the basic historical framework in mind, so that I could appreciate the thematic discussions.

One can see how often people complain on Amazon about the inaccessibility of what they thought were more basic overviews of a given era. Martin Goodman found a great solution to this problem.

After a brief introduction on the nature of the sources, the reader gets about 70 pages of narrative history. It's fast, but well-organized, and situates the reader nicely. The account also introduces many major themes to be discussed later, as well as preparing the reader to reconsider the era by geographic units. Thereafter, a thematic section discusses economy, culture, the emperor, etc., characterizing the entity whose development had been described previously in terms of politics, warfare, and organization. Now that the Early Empire has been described in such detail, the next section breaks down the members of this state by class, ethnicity, gender, and geography and examines in what manner each group participated in, benefited or suffered from, accepted or did not accept this state and the overarching culture.
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Martin Goodman is a recognized specialist in the Ancient Roman period. This book is one of his best--to the point, well written readable by both academic and layman.
Its coverage is all embracing, and the organisation of sections provides an in depth coverage of all aspects of Roman society, trade, religion,and foreign policy
Allan Leibler
Jerusalem
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