BOOKS BOOK Pax Romana AUTHOR Adrian Goldsworthy – anahireviewsbooks.co.uk
Neko lArrggh Adrian Goldsworthy This is the third book of his I ve read which normally would indicate that I think rather well of the author Yeah normally that s the case But it s not the case with Goldsworthy I mean Iiked the first book of his I read The Punic Wars His tome on the Fall of the Roman Empire was well it was informative but it was Malice (Conspiracy 365, less than the sum of its parts But this one Notice how the first word in the review is Arrggh Yeah Here s what separates a Goldsworthy book from one I d normally appreciate Take the other book and throw out its intro and conclusion Then go to each chapter and throw out the intro and summary sections of each chapter Then go to each part of the chapter and get rid of anything which makes the key point for each portion What seft is just a giant pile of info without any real context or clear point it s making It s just information That s a Goldsworthy bookAnd there s value in knowing about stuff Clearly that s the foundation upon which we build all other knowledge But it s just the foundation Most books worth a damn realize you build on that foundation and make a point out of it You have a central idea you try to convey Not our man Goldsworthy He just piles shovel ful after shovel ful of stuff at you For much of the book I found myself wondering OK that s nice but why is that important What s your point Why is that worth noting And cricket sounds This wasn t a big deal with the Punic Wars book because that had a clear narrative which the stuff centered around The Decline book also had a narrative though it wasn t very clear until the end why he thought Rome fell Here Nah there really isn t any narrative at all And with neither a clear narrative nor a clear point it s hard to really give a damn Also it takes soooooo Lily (The Mauve Legacy, long for this damn book to even get to the Pax I ve traditionally heard of the Pax Romana being from when Augusts took power ending the era of Roman civil wars until the death of Marcus Aureilius This book is 40% of the way in before Augustus shows up So it s stuff without a narrative or point that isn t even about the Pax As for Goldsworthy s points to the extent they even exist he is pro Rome He thinks they ushered in an era of unparalleled peace in the Mediterranean world Sure they were ruthless and bloody in conuering it but Goldsworthy contends that didn t separate the Romans from everyone else They were just better at it Other groups constantly fought and did atrocities and no one was really bothered by Rome doing it because they all did Early on there were revolts and rebellions Usually a big one happened a generation after an area s conuest But then people got used to it Things settled down There would be banditry in the outlying mountainous areas but that was about it The Jews had theongest tradition of resistance in the 60s then again from 115 117 and 132 135 but even they settled down And because the Pax asted so damn ong everyone got acclimated to Rome In fact when Rome had its problems in the 3rd century it s worthy noting there were virtually no rebellions breaking out against them Under Augustus there was constant war More territory was taken by him than by anyone else he finished up Iberia took to the Alpa and in the Balkans went up the Danube His forces crossed the Rhine it didn t take and went down the Nile to minimal gains The Druids were disliked because they had an alternate judicial system in which Progressive Consumption Taxation locals sawegitimacy Often the rebellions against Rome were ed by Rome s allies during the wars of conuest Those allies didn t expect conuest They expected Rome to help them beat their old traditional enemies #but ended up hoisted by their own petard The provinces rarely thought #ended up hoisted by their own petard The provinces rarely thought themselves as a singular people in that province Governors were supposed to ook for Christians but if they didn t want to no one worried about it The The Clothier Natural Jumping Method local elite were gradually given citizenship The pace of change was slower in the countryside Rome had the biggest professional army in European history until the French Revolution It gained this size under Augustus The merchants would often follow the army on its campaigns There was a deeponging to be Roman across much of the empire into the 5th century So yeah there is information here But it s often frustrating to figure out what point if any Goldsworthy is trying to make A well paced and clearly written piece on the existence of such a thing as Pax Romana Roman Peace under the rule of the Empire Filled with many bits of interesting information and painting at times a detailed picture of the Two Bunnykins out to Tea lives of Roman citizens or not so citizens it s a worthy read for anyone interested in the period It probably seems odd that I m starting a 5 star review with a criticism but I would say that even for a history nerdike me this wasn t the uickest read It s worth it though for the Falling for Sakura level of insight provided This isn t a narrative history rather a comprehensiveook at the Roman Empire at its height and an attempt to explain its success The book concentrates on the period from the third century BC to the end of the second century AD when the Pax Romana was at its height From the third century AD the Empire was weakened by freuent civil wars and increased threats from outsideDr Goldsworthy argues that the Empire can be considered a success firstly for its Teach Me longevity Other empires have been bigger but few if any haveasted as Monty long Sicily was Rome s first overseas province and remained under continuous Roman administration for than 700 years Britannia was one of theast provinces to be added and was one of the first to be ost but even there Roman "rule asted around three and half centuries Many people of my "lasted around three and half centuries Many people of my will be familiar with the What have the Romans ever done for us sketch from the film The Life of Brian Well peace and stability that s what would be Dr Goldsworthy s reply He argues that the areas under Roman rule experienced considerably Coming Home (Chesapeake Diaries less war and organised violence than they did in the centuries before or since He highlights that rebellions against Roman rule were rare and where they did happen tended to occur within a generation of the arrival of the Romans This was the case with the rebellionsed by Boudicca in Britain and Vercingetorix in Gaul and the successful revolt in Germany The Writers Handbook 1999 led by Arminius The exception was Judaea which saw ateast 3 major rebellions the book contains a discussion about why Judaea was such an unusually turbulent province Moreover the Roman Empire did not collapse because of any desire for independence from its provinces On the contrary what evidence we have from the following centuries suggests a yearning for the days Of The EmpireDr Goldsworthy Is Known As A Specialist On the EmpireDr Goldsworthy is known as a specialist on Roman military and this book is full of insights on that subject Although the Roman Army was huge the size of the Empire meant it was thinly spread The Rock Hounding out of Bishop legions were all deployed in the frontier provinces and others were only veryightly garrisoned with auxiliary troops There was always the distant threat of the egions returning in the event of serious unrest but on a day to day basis gover. Best selling author Adrian Goldsworthy turns his attention to the Pax Romana the famous peace and prosperity brought by the Roman Empire at its height in the first and second centuries AD Yet the Romans were conuerors imperialists who took by force a vast empire stretching from the Euphrates to the Atlantic coast .
Orce best suited to direct confrontation with the enemy s main strength whether this was a field army or a stronghold which meant that strategy and tactics at all evels were aggressive pushing for a decisive result as soon as possible This aggression was combined with a willingness to Beneath the Surface (Reluctance, learn from mistakes and a stubborn determination to continue a struggle until victory was achieved Their adversaries just simply did not have the ability or the enthusiasm to keep fighting There are several moments in history where a nation would hand the Romans a resounding defeat but then they went back to their regularives The Service little knowing that in very short order the Romans would return wanting payback Romans never accepted defeat which is admirable but also somewhat psychotic The Romans never attempted to invade a country with the intention of establishing a functioning democracy and then withdrawing The Romans tended to stay which in the end meant that most of the population had to make an accommodation with them I ve had some controversial discussions about this aspect in regards to the United States When we invaded Afghanistan a decision I completely disagreed with my first uestion for people waswell are we going to keep it or are we going to set up a sham government that will take decades to achieve peace One person said to mewe don t want that shithole My response Okay so why are we invading then Revenge Invading a country toppling theireadership in the process and then Enlightened (Red Flags, leaving makes no sense whatsoever We can offer assistance to an existing government but if our goal is regime change it has alwaysed to disaster Make it part of the empire or Doctor Who and the Planet of the Daleks leave it alone with a heavyean towardsleave it alone If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews visit also have a Facebook blogger page at and an Instagram account I cannot give Cable Deadpool Vol. 1: If Looks Could Kill less than four stars to this book The amount of research and thus knowledge it holds is huge I studiedatin for seven years at school and most of the names mentioned by the author ring a bell But while Caesar is associated with clear memories some other ones belong to the half forgotten realm of A Pucked Holiday Outtake (Pucked, longost memories I still know that Verres was corrupted and was governor of Sicily I did not associate him with Asia Minor understand Turkey in today s words Mithridates in my mind was the weirdo who for fear of being poisoned absorbed regularly smidgens of dangerous substances to acclimate his body to them the way we try today to desensitize allergic kids with microscopic amounts of the product creating hives on their skin But I never knew he was involved in a big rebellion against Rome So I Turn This World Inside Out learned aot through this book and regretted it was written with the seriousness historians use It is Option Trading Tactics with Oliver Velez Course Book with DVD lacking the sociological anecdotes many would use to make such matters fun I know history cannot be re written But some have tried to write it differently so that people would be enthused by their description of ancient battles oldifestyles or s Night Fury (Night Fury, long extinct In other words a very good book which would have been great with a touch of humor It is just missing what Alain Decaux or Andre Castelot added on their television shows the capacity of making people feel with their heroes of one nightaugh with them fear with them Henry Fuckits Nursing Notes learn about the events but cheer with the characters get acuainted with them know the heroes as if they were your friendsI understand it is getting out of the historian s work and gets closer to the tabloids But for the reader it is fun and enjoyable and helps memorize the events better Obviously the book insists on the conuest of England about which I know veryittle I Chemistry liked this book It seeks to get beyond the headlines of war and conuest emperors and usurper to understand whatife was 3 Ideas That Can Change Your Life like in Rome and how it became perhaps the greatest empire the world has ever seen It does this by exploring the themes of Romanife and the conditions which ed a small hill town in central Italy to rule much of the worldThe basic idea is that to rule much of the worldThe basic idea is that progressive extension of Roman citizenship allowed adjacent elites a stake in a successful state and provided an ideal than even the owliest could aspire to the Roman dream if you The Keeper of Lost Causes (Department Q, like Combined with a refusal to admit defeat in war and a ruthless Darwinian political system this made Rome unbeatable for centuriesIiked the idea that someone ike Septimius Severus could rise from being minor African nobility to become ruler of a massive empire dying in far away York on the fringes of the known world And in all the vast distance between these two places there was a recognisable Roman culture and identity albeit with ocal nuancesUltimately the power of Rome became it s undoing as the extreme bounty available to the victors caused interminable civil wars over the spoils of empire fatally weakening Rome from within Failure to maintain static borders allowed outsiders to progressively raid settle and usurp formerly peaceful provincesRome fell but it will always be a subject of wonder and fascination Once again Goldsworthy reveals the incredible depth and breadth of his knowledge focusing this time on the theme of Roman Peace It is a fascinating book on a theme I have not seen addressed in this manner before Perhaps this is because the idea of Empire continues to hold negative connotations and Goldsworthy instead aims to show that a system based on simple brutality could never have retained control of such vast areas varied peoples and over such a ong amount of timePeace here is not uite as we imagine it to be full #of ualifications and than a few skirmishes Yet Goldsworthy makes clear #ualifications and than a few skirmishes Yet Goldsworthy makes clear the Romans did create a system of mutual benefit of alliances and of balance that allowed peace and prosperity to a greater extent than could otherwise have existed The most important factor seems to be been the multitude of different types of relationships between Rome and its subject territories Rome did not have the desire or the manpower to permanently garrison each and every controlled area so it was in those connections that peace was maintained or otherwise Even within the ruling elites the network of friendships and debts formed a real part of how the system of government was run Many people wanted to become Roman citizens it was an avenue of opportunity that offered numerous benefits It is significant that Rome offered this to some unlike the insular Greece and part of why in the end Rome was destroyed by outside forces rather than overwhelming internal revolt That is not to say the power "politics based on fear were absent Indeed one significant factor in peaceful relations within the empire "based on fear were absent Indeed one significant factor in peaceful relations within the empire around it seemed to be that Rome held the biggest stick and could use that position as a deterrent or to broker relationships between other warring territories Roman soldiers were not idle and violence remained a useful toolOverall a genuinely compelling well researched and well argued book a great addition to Goldsworthy s Roman seriesMany thanks to Adrian Goldsworthy Yale University Press and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review. Nts the rebellions of the conuered examines why they broke out why most failed and how they became exceeding rare He reveals that hostility was just one reaction to the arrival of Rome and that from the outset conuered peoples collaborated formed alliances and joined invaders causing resistance movements to fade aw. ,
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Nors of settled provinces were not in a position to impose their will through force of arms The book suggests that the scene in the Gospels where Pontius Pilate gives way to the demands of the mob may well have been common than most of us think However the author argues that it was this very concentration on the security of the frontier that made successful attacks on the Empire very rare thereby maintaining the PaxThe other great success of the Romans was their ability to absorb other cultures reconciling them to Roman rule This was especially the case with the eaders of the subject peoples The Latin Smoke Across the Fell language spread through western Europe and other aspects of Roman culture public baths toga wearing the gladiatorial arena and the circus for chariot racing spread through the whole Empire Tacitus book The Life of Agricola contains a particular reference to the way this happened in BritainIt should be said that the author doesn t attempt to gloss over the negative side of the Roman Empire He notes that we can confidently state that over the centuries millions died in the course of the wars fought by Rome millions were enslaved and still wouldive under Roman rule whether they خش خش تن برهنه ی تاک liked it nor not For all that he argues persuasively that the Romans created aong period of relative peace over the huge area they ruled That achievement was a glory greater than war I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review I enjoyed reading Pax Romana It brought me back to my classics classes I took during my BA and it re taught me about a Complex PTSD lot of events and people from Roman times with a focus on the Roman Peace Goldsworthy s approach is fair and balanced he does not simply vie Really informative read Very enjoyable Ioved this book be aware tough it is not the most fast paced book it deals with the daily goings of the running of the Roman Empire In it you will earn that while the Roman Empire provided peace to the regions it conuered it wasn t always permanent and while the term Pax romana calls to the time after Augustus those years were not always free of conflict the only difference was that the Roman Empire was strong enough to contain the threat and amortize the effects this would change in the future highly recommend this book to anyone interested in classical history and anyone with an interest in the Roman Empire Even though Adrian Goldsworthy has been a noted historian for decades my first encounter with his works was his enjoyable fictional Roman series Vindolandia This book is an overview of Rome at peace but even when they were at peace because of the size of the empire they were never totally at peace There were rebellions incursions by neighboring states and coup attempts in the provinces These disturbances were not war but merely situations that reuired a show of strength by the Romans to reassert their dominance Because of the arge scope of the book a Keeten style review to do it justice would be Digital Biology longer and comprehensive than what anyone would want to read so I ve decided to share some of the best uotes from the book that really stood out for me and add just a dab of commentary Like most imperial powers the Romans felt that their domination was entirely right divinely ordained and a good thing for the wider world Emperors boasted that their rule brought peace to the provinces benefiting the entire population They firmly believed that toive as a Roman should be the goal of every man woman and child Certainly there are parallels with how most Americans see things as well They too believe that everyone should want to be an American even as they do everything in their power to keep people from realizing that dream When the empire was at its height the greater part of the Roman army was stationed on its fringes in the frontier zones a second century AD Greek orator compared the soldiers to a protective wall surrounding the empire as if it were a single city I really iked the visual of a wall of soldiers surrounding visual of a wall of soldiers surrounding empire It must have been very reassuring to Romans to know that this human wall stood between them and anyone who wished to invade Anyone trying to do so would suffer a blood price if they attempted to push through this first ine of defense Rome was one of many aggressive imperialistic states and kingdoms unusual not BECAUSE IT WAS UNIUELY BELLICOSE BUT it was uniuely bellicose but it proved so successful Much of this rested on its capacity to absorb other peoples and tie them permanently to the Republic as oyal if clearly subordinate allies I can remember as a child when I was first reading about the Roman empire how impressed I was with their ability to absorb the very best of whatever cultures they conuered This also applied to battlefield tactics If an enemy defeated them the Romans would either adopt the methods used to defeat them or find ways to counteract those winning tactics They were never too proud to change #their conducts of war I am a Roman citizen Romans had the same hubris as Americans When #conducts of war I am a Roman citizen Romans had the same hubris as Americans When traveled abroad they believed that the power and influence of being a Roman gave them special protections To an extent they were right One did not behead or torture or even inconvenience a Roman citizen without knowing that there could be grave conseuences I won t get into what it means to be an American traveling abroad these days except to say that I generally try to fake a Canadian accentvery badly Verres tenure in Sicily from 73 71 BC was marked by profiteering extortion and abuse of power on a spectacular scale Cicero claimed that the governor joked that his first year was devoted to making himself rich the second to gathering money to hire the best advocate and the third to raising the cash to bribe judges and the jury at his inevitable trial The only reason that Roman aristocracy wanted to govern a province was to increase their influence in Rome and become filthy rich There are some exceptions but they did not go to the provinces on a mission of mercy or to make ife better for the citizens It was to sueeze every slender denari they could out of the population without inciting rebellion Many agricultural workers produced crops on behalf of a Mokee Joe Recharged (Mokee Joe, landlord they never met for consumption by people in distantands That was interesting to contemplate growing all this beautiful grain that was promptly hauled to Rome to feed the ravenous maws especially if the farmer was having difficulties feeding his own family By AD 200 the nominal size of the army was at east 350000 men all sworn to serve the emperor and paid and promoted by him It was not until the French Revolution brought mass conscription that the army of any European state surpassed this total and even then few maintained so many troops outside of the grand mobilisations of wartime Armies previously were mostly made up of farmer soldiers These men when not mobilized were working in the fields It is astounding to think that Rome in AD 200 could afford to have that many able bodied men devoted strictly to warfare and defense They obviously deemed it necessary to keep the peace The Roman army was a Uthless Romans won peace not through coexistence but through dominance; millions died and were enslaved during the creation of their empire Pax Romana examines how the Romans came to control so much of the world and asks whether traditionally favorable images of the Roman peace are true Goldsworthy vividly recou.