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Early World History

A course guide for students in Early World History courses

Julius Caesar (100-44 BC)

Army of Roman Republic: From the Regal Period to the Army of Julius Caesar

From the moment its last king was expelled (traditionally in 753) the Roman republic had to fight for its very survival. Centuries of almost continuous warfare saw Rome's armies evolve in response to a wide variety of threats which were met with mixed fortunes though always with ultimate success. As defense of the homeland turned to territorial expansion, Roman forces also had to adapt to sustained campaigns in varied terrain and climates, not to mention the changes in the Roman republic itself. Michael Sage traces the development of the republics army from its foundation (having first set the context of their regal antecedents), down to the time of its most famous leader, Julius Caesar. The transition from clan-based forces, through the Servian levy and the development of the mandibular and cohort legion is examined along with the associated weapons, tactics and operational capabilities. We see how the legions shaped up against the challenges of successive enemies from the Celts and Samnites, the Carthaginians and the hitherto-dominant Hellenistic armies based on the Macedonian-style pike phalanx.

The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People's History Of Ancient Rome

Available at JSCC Jackson Campus
Most historians, both ancient and modern, have viewed the Late Republic of Rome through the eyes of its rich nobility - the 1 percent of the population who controlled 99 percent of the empire’s wealth. In The Assassination of Julius Caesar, Michael Parenti recounts this period, spanning the years 100 to 33 BC, from the perspective of the Roman people. In doing so, he presents a provocative, trenchantly researched narrative of popular resistance against a powerful elite.

Julius Caesar's Battle for Gaul : New Archaeological Perspectives

Between 58 and 51 BC Julius Caesar conquered Gaul. He campaigned across much of present day France and the Low Countries, crossed the Rhine to Germany, and sailed the Channel to invade Britain. In doing this he achieved immense personal wealth and glory and the loyalty of a battle-hardened army of veterans. Caesar's eventual return to Rome began with the crossing of the Rubicon which started a bloody civil war from which he emerged victorious and as dictator. Roman historians have little to say on the consequences of the war on the Iron Age communities of north-west Europe. Their story is told instead by archaeology and numismatics. Huge numbers were involved in the war, at a vast cost in people and wealth. In the aftermath, leaders sympathetic to Rome were installed and sometimes whole peoples were resettled. The diplomatic relations created at this time directly affected the eventual incorporation of these peoples into the Roman Empire. This book presents the latest archaeological research on the Battle for Gaul and its aftermath.

The Leadership Genius of Julius Caesar: Modern Lessons From the Man Who Built an Empire

Leaders are always trying to get better, which is why there is an enormous and growing collection of literature offering the latest leadership paradigm or process. But sometimes the best way to move forward is to look back. Philip Barlag shows us that Julius Caesar is one of the most compelling leaders of the past to study—a man whose approach was surprisingly modern and extraordinarily effective. History is littered with leaders hopelessly out of touch with their people and ruthlessly pursuing their own ambitions or hedonistic whims. But Caesar, who rose from impoverished beginnings, proved by his words and deeds that he never saw himself as being above the average Roman citizen. And he had an amazing ability to generate loyalty, to turn enemies into allies and allies into devoted followers. Barlag uses dramatic and colorful incidents from Caesar's career—being held hostage by pirates, charging headlong alone into enemy lines, pardoning people he knew wanted him dead—to illustrate what Caesar can teach leaders today. Central to Barlag's argument is the distinction between force and power. Caesar avoided using brute force on his followers, understanding that fear never generates genuine loyalty.

Caesar's Greatest Victory : The Battle of Alesia, Gaul 52 BC

Julius Caesar's campaign of 52 BC frequently hung in the balance. Celtic chieftain Vercingetorix was a far more formidable opponent than any he'd encountered in Gaul. The Romans were caught totally off-guard, and it seemed all too likely that their grip on Gaul, which Caesar had imagined secure, would be pried free. Failure would have been a total defeat for Caesar, not just in Gaul but in the Senate. Rome would not have become an empire beyond the Mediterranean. It was a decisive moment in world history...The Siege of Alesia itself was one of the most astonishing military undertakings of all time. Caesar's interior siege lines stretched for eighteen kilometers and were surrounded by an outward-facing line three kilometers longer, complete with palisades, towers, ditches, minefields, and outposts. This work was completed in less than three weeks. Vercingetorix's refuge proved a trap, and, despite an energetic defense and the arrival of a huge relief army, there was to be no escape. Using new archaeological evidence, the authors reveal both sides of the conflict and construct a fresh account of not just the siege, but also the Alesia campaign, placing it into the wider context of the history of warfare

Caesar's Greatest Victory : The Battle of Alesia, Gaul 52 BC

Julius Caesar's campaign of 52 BC frequently hung in the balance. Celtic chieftain Vercingetorix was a far more formidable opponent than any he'd encountered in Gaul. The Romans were caught totally off-guard, and it seemed all too likely that their grip on Gaul, which Caesar had imagined secure, would be pried free. Failure would have been a total defeat for Caesar, not just in Gaul but in the Senate. Rome would not have become an empire beyond the Mediterranean. It was a decisive moment in world history...The Siege of Alesia itself was one of the most astonishing military undertakings of all time. Caesar's interior siege lines stretched for eighteen kilometers and were surrounded by an outward-facing line three kilometers longer, complete with palisades, towers, ditches, minefields, and outposts. This work was completed in less than three weeks. Vercingetorix's refuge proved a trap, and, despite an energetic defense and the arrival of a huge relief army, there was to be no escape. Using new archaeological evidence, the authors reveal both sides of the conflict and construct a fresh account of not just the siege, but also the Alesia campaign, placing it into the wider context of the history of warfare

Augustus Caesar (63 BC-14 AD)

Augustan Rome 44 BC to AD 14 : The Restoration of the Republic and the Establishment of the Empire

The reign of Augustus, the first of the Roman emperors, has been seen, both by contemporaries and over the centuries that have followed, as a pivotal moment in the history of Rome. The final stage in the move to monarchical government and the structures he put in place, which were to last largely unchanged for over two hundred years, ensured this; but Augustus himself remains an enigmatic figure. J. S. Richardson explores the processes which resulted in such a massive shift, and the often unforeseen events which led to the establishment of an empire and a dynasty. Key features:• a pivotal volume in the series• traces the changing shape of the entity that was ancient Rome through its political, cultural and economic history• demonstrates how the effectiveness and dominance of Rome as the center of work power became increasingly obvious.

Livia: First Lady of Imperial Rome

Livia (58 B.C.–A.D. 29) the wife of the first Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus, and mother of the second, Tiberius wielded power at the center of Roman politics for most of her long life. Livia has been portrayed as a cunning and sinister schemer, but in this biography (the first in English devoted to her) Livia emerges as a much more complex individual. Achieving influence unprecedented for a woman, she won support and even affection from her contemporaries and was widely revered after her death. Anthony A. Barrett, author of acclaimed biographies of Caligula and Agrippina, here examines Livia's life and her role in Roman politics. He recounts the events of her life, from her early days as a member of the wealthy and powerful Claudian family through her final conflicts with the new Emperor Tiberius. Barrett also considers how Livia helped shape the pattern of Roman government that prevailed for the next four centuries.

Augustus: Introduction to the Life of an Emperor

Augustus, Rome's first emperor, is one of the great figures of world history and one of the most fascinating. In this lively and concise biography Karl Galinsky examines Augustus' life from childhood to deification. He chronicles the mosaic of vicissitudes, challenges, setbacks and successes that shaped Augustus' life, both public and private. How did he use his power? How did he manage to keep re-inventing himself? What kind of man was he? A transformative leader, Augustus engineered profound change in Rome and throughout the Mediterranean world. No one would have expected such vast achievements from the frail and little-known eighteen-year-old who became Caesar's heir amid turmoil and crisis. A mere thirteen years later, after defeating Antony and Cleopatra, he had, in his words, 'power over all things'.

Ten Caesars: Roman Emperors from Augustus to Constantine

During these centuries Rome gained in splendor and territory, then lost both. The empire reached from modern-day Britain to Iraq, and over time emperors came not from the old Roman families of the first century but from men born in the provinces, some of whom had never even seen Rome. By the time of Constantine, the Roman Empire had changed so dramatically in geography, ethnicity, religion, and culture that it would have been virtually unrecognizable to Augustus. But in one way it remained faithful to his vision: it survived, no matter the cost. In the imperial era Roman women--mothers, wives, mistresses--had substantial authority and influence over the emperors, and Strauss profiles the most important among them, from Livia, Augustus's wife, to Helena, Constantine's mother. But even women in the imperial family often found themselves forced by their emperors to marry or divorce for purely political reasons, and at times they faced exile or even murder. Rome laid the foundations of the West, and its legacy still shapes us today in so many ways, from language, law, and architecture to the seat of the Roman Catholic Church.

S. P. Q. R.: a history of ancient Rome

Available at JSCC Campus
Ancient Rome was an imposing city even by modern standards, a sprawling imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants, a "mixture of luxury and filth, liberty and exploitation, civic pride and murderous civil war" that served as the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria. Yet how did all this emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? Classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even two thousand years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty. From the foundational myth of Romulus and Remus to 212 CE -- nearly a thousand years later -- when the emperor Caracalla gave Roman citizenship to every free inhabitant of the empire, S.P.Q.R. (the abbreviation of "The Senate and People of Rome") examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries by exploring how the Romans thought of themselves: how they challenged the idea of imperial rule, how they responded to terrorism and revolution, and how they invented a new idea of citizenship and nation. Opening the book in 63 BCE with the famous clash between the populist aristocrat Catiline and Cicero, the renowned politician and orator, Beard animates this "terrorist conspiracy," which was aimed at the very heart of the Republic, demonstrating how this singular event would presage the struggle between democracy and autocracy that would come to define much of Rome's subsequent history. Illustrating how a classical democracy yielded to a self-confident and self-critical empire, S.P.Q.R. reintroduces us to famous and familiar characters -- Hannibal, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, Augustus, and Nero, among others -- while expanding the historical aperture to include those overlooked in traditional histories: the women, the slaves and ex-slaves, conspirators, and those on the losing side of Rome's glorious conquests.

Roman Conquests: Egypt & Judea

Egypt was the last of the Macedonian Successor states to be swallowed up by Roman expansion. The Ptolemaic rulers had allied themselves to Rome while their rivals went down fighting. However, Cleopatra's famous love affair with Marc Antony ensured she was on the wrong side of the Roman civil war between him and Octavian (later to become Caesar Augustus). After the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra at the naval battle of Actium, Octavian swiftly brought Egypt under direct Roman control, though it took several campaigns to fully subjugate the whole country. These campaigns have previously been largely neglected. Judaea was a constant source of trouble for the Romans, as it had been for the Seleucids, the previous overlords of the region. The Romans at first were content to rule through client kings like the infamous Herod but were increasingly sucked in to direct military involvement to suppress religiously-inspired revolts.

Lives of the Caesars

The Lives of the Caesars include the biographies of Julius Caesar and the eleven subsequent emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Gaius Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian. Suetonius composed his material from a variety of sources, without much concern for their reliability. His biographies consist the ancestry and career of each emperor in turn; however, his interest is not so much analytical or historical, but anecdotal and salacious which gives rise to a lively and provocative succession of portraits. The account of Julius Caesar does not simply mention his crossing of the Rubicon and his assassination, but draws attention to his dark piercing eyes and attempts to conceal his baldness. The Live of Caligula presents a vivid picture of the emperor's grotesque appearance, his waywardness, and his insane cruelties.

Mark Antony (83-30 BC)

Mark Antony: A Plain Blunt Man

Mark Antony was embroiled in the tumultuous events of the mid-1st century BC, which saw the violent transformation from the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. After being defeated by Augustus he has often been characterized by hostile historians as a loyal henchman of his uncle Julius Caesar but without the guile and vision to attain greatness in his own right (hence Shakespeare casts him as a 'plain, blunt man' whom Caesar's assassins don't think it worthwhile to kill). In his infamous alliance and love affair with Cleopatra of Egypt he is also often seen as duped and manipulated by a sharper mind. Despite this there is no doubt Antony was a capable soldier. He first saw action leading a cavalry unit in Judaea, before giving valuable service to Julius Caesar in Gaul. He again served with distinction and led Caesar's right wing at the climactic battle of Pharsalus, and he was decisive in the defeat of the conspirators at Philippi which ended 100 years of Civil wars.

Mark Antony: A Life

History has not been kind to Mark Antony, but then he was probably his own worst enemy, fatally flawed, too fond of wine and women, extravagant, impetuous, reckless, always in debt, and attached to all the wrong people. There is some truth in this list of Antony's failings, but the propaganda machine of his enemy, Octavian, ensured that these facets of Antony's character were the only ones to survive. There is no mention of the fact that Caesar, who could not afford to promote incompetent assistants, found in Antony a very able lieutenant. Nor is it acknowledged that immediately after the assassination of Caesar in 44 BC, it was Antony and not Octavian who held the state together, when it could so easily have slipped into chaos. In modern eyes, influenced by Shakespeare, Antony is perhaps the ultimate tragic hero, who gave up everything for the love of a woman, Cleopatra VII, ruler of Egypt. Octavian presented Antony as a weakling, completely dominated by Cleopatra, and therefore a threat to Rome by dint of his association with the unbridled ambitions of the Egyptian Queen to rule the world. While Antony attended to the eastern half of the Roman world, shoring up Octavian whenever he needed troops, ships, and money, Octavian eventually planned to bring him down, embarking on a smear campaign to convince the Roman people that Antony should be eliminated. The result was civil war and the defeat of Antony in the naval battle of Actium. In Alexandria, Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide in 30 BC. Octavian buried them side by side, and took total control of Rome and Egypt.

Frederick Brenk on Plutarch, Religious Thinker and Biographer: “The Religious Spirit of Plutarch of Chaeronea” and “The Life of Mark Antony”

Frederick Brenk, Plutarch, Religious Thinker and Biographer: “The Religious Spirit of Plutarch of Chaeronea” and “The Life of Mark Antony” includes the updated and revised version of two seminal articles on Plutarch's Lives.

The Romans : from village to empire

Available at JSCC Jackson Campus
Early Italy -- Rome's first centuries -- Rome and Italy in the fourth century -- The beginnings of a Mediterranean empire -- Italy and empire -- Italy threatened, enfranchised, divided -- The domination of Sulla and its legacy -- End of the republic: Caesar's dictatorship -- Augustus and the transformation of the Roman World -- The early principate (A.D. 14-69): the Julio-Claudians, the Civil War of 68-69, and life in the early empire -- Institutionalization of the principiated: military expansion and its limits, the empire and the provinces (69-138) -- Italy and the provinces: civil and military affairs (138-235) -- The third century, the dominate, and Constantine.

Who's Who in The Roman World

A wide-ranging biographical survey of one of the greatest civilizations in history. The figures represented here come from all walks of Roman life and include some of the most famous - not to mention infamous - figures as well as hitherto little-known, but no less fascinating, characters.

Cleopatra and Rome

In this beautifully illustrated book, we experience the synthesis of Cleopatra's and Rome's defining moments through surviving works of art and other remnants of what was once an opulent material culture. This culture best chronicles Cleopatra's legend and suggests her subtle but indelible mark on the art of imperial Rome at the critical moment of its inception.

Hadrian (76-138 AD)

Life and Letters on the Roman Frontier

"Octavius to his brother Candidus, greetings. The hundred pounds of sinew from Marinus -- I will settle up. From the time when you wrote about this matter, he has not even mentioned it to me. I have several times written to you that I have bought about five thousand modii of ears of grain, on account of which I need cash . . ." -- Roman soldier stationed on the wild northern-frontier of England around 100 AD.

Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome

Available at JSCC Jackson Campus
In Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome - the first major account of the emperor in nearly a century - Everitt presents a compelling, richly researched biography of the man whom he calls arguably the most successful of Rome's rulers. Born in A.D. 76, Hadrian lived through and ruled during a tempestuous era, a time when the Colosseum was opened to the public and Pompeii was buried under a mountain of lava and ash. Everitt vividly recounts Hadrian's thrilling life, in which the emperor brings a century of disorder and costly warfare to a peaceful conclusion while demonstrating how a monarchy can be compatible with good governance. Hadrian was brave and astute-despite his sometimes prickly demeanor-as well as an accomplished huntsman, poet, and student of philosophy.

The Triumph of Empire

Michael Kulikowski takes readers into the political heart of imperial Rome, beginning with the reign of Hadrian, who visited the farthest reaches of his domain and created stable frontiers, to the decades after Constantine the Great, who overhauled the government, introduced a new state religion, and founded a second Rome.

Following Hadrian: A Second-Century Journey through the Roman Empire

Available at JSCC Jackson Campus
In Following Hadrian, Elizabeth Speller captures the fascinating life of Hadrian, ruler of the most powerful empire on earth at the peak of its glory. Speller displays a superb gift for narrative as she traces the intrigue of Hadrian's rise: his calculated marriage to Emperor Trajan's closest female relative, a woman he privately tormented; Trajan's suspicious deathbed adoption of Hadrian as his heir, a stroke some thought to be a post-mortem forgery; and the ensuing slaughter of potential rivals by an ally of Hadrian's. Speller makes brilliant use of her sources, vividly depicting Hadrian's bouts of melancholy, his intellectual passions, his love for a beautiful boy (whose death sent him into a spiral), and the paradox of his general policies of peace and religious tolerance even as he conducted a bitter, three-year war with Judea.
Most important, the author captures the emperor as both a builder and an inveterate traveler, guiding readers on a grand tour of the Roman Empire at the moment of its greatest extent and accomplishment, from the barren, windswept frontiers of Britain to the teeming streets of Antioch, from the dangers of the German forest to the urban splendor of Rome itself.

Britannia Romana: Roman Inscriptions and Roman Britain

It collects 487 inscriptions (mostly on stone, but also on metal, wood, tile and ceramic), the majority from Britain but many from other Roman provinces and Italy, so as to illustrate the history and character of Roman Britain (AD 43–410). Each inscription is presented in the original (in Latin, except for eight in Greek), followed by a translation and informal commentary; they are linked by the narrative which they illustrate, and more than half (236) are accompanied by photographs. All Latin terms in the narrative and commentary are translated and explained.

Hadrian's Wall: A Life

Constructed on the orders of the emperor Hadrian during the 120s AD, the Wall was maintained for almost three centuries before ceasing to operate as a Roman frontier during the fifth century. The scale and complexity of Hadrian's Wall makes it one of the most important ancient monuments in the British Isles. It is the most well-preserved of the frontier works that once defined the Roman Empire. While the Wall is famous as a Roman construct, its monumental physical structure did not suddenly cease to exist in the fifth century. This volume explores the after-life of Hadrian's Wall and considers the ways it has been imagined, represented, and researched from the sixth century to the internet. The sixteen chapters, illustrated with over 100 images, show the changing manner in which the Wall has been conceived and the significant role it has played in imagining the identity of the English, including its appropriation as symbolic boundary between England and Scotland.

Hadrian and the Christians

The Second Century occupies a central place in the development of ancient Christianity. The aim of the book is to examine how in the cultural, social, and religious efflorescence of the Second Century, to be witnessed in phenomena such as the Second Sophistic, Christianity found a peculiar way of integrating into the more general transformation of the Empire and how this allowed the emerging religion to establish and flourish in Greco-Roman society. Hadrian's reign was the starting point of that process and opened new possibilities of self-definition and external self-presentation to Christianity, as well as to other social and religious agencies. Differently from Judaism, however, Christianity fully seized the opportunity, thus gaining an increasing place in Greco-Roman society, which ultimately led to the first Christian peace under the Severan emperors.

Romano-British Settlement and Cemeteries at Mucking: Excavations by Margaret and Tom Jones, 1965–1978

Excavations at Mucking, Essex, between 1965 and 1978, revealed extensive evidence for a multiphase rural Romano-British settlement, perhaps an estate center, and five associated cemetery areas (170 burials) with different burial areas reserved for different groups within the settlement. The settlement demonstrated clear continuity from the preceding Iron Age occupation with unbroken sequences of artifacts and enclosures through the first century AD, followed by rapid and extensive remodeling, which included the laying out a Central Enclosure and an organized water supply with wells, accompanied by the start of large-scale pottery production.

Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?: What History Teaches Us About Strategic Barriers and International Security

Sterling studies six famous defenses spanning 2,500 years, representing both democratic and authoritarian regimes: the Long Walls of Athens, Hadrian's Wall in Roman Britain, the Ming Great Wall of China, Louis XIV's Pré Carré, France's Maginot Line, and Israel's Bar Lev Line. Although many of these barriers were effective in the short term, they also affected the states that created them in terms of cost, strategic outlook, military readiness, and relations with neighbors. Sterling assesses how modern barriers against ground and air threats could influence threat perceptions, alter the military balance, and influence the builder's subsequent policy choices.