The History of Human Society – The Romans 850 B.C. – A.D. 337 by Donald R. Dudley.
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DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 316 pages. Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf; (1970). Recreating for the modern reader the phenomenon that was Rome, Donald R. Dudley here traces the course of Roman history from the first settlement on the Palatine Hill in 850 B.C. to the death of Emperor Constantine on 337 A.D.; from the early days of the Republic and the wars which established Rome’s supremacy in Italy, through the period of expansion and conquest, to the eventual decline and fall of an imperial republic whose vast territories encompassed a population numbering eighty million; citizens and subjects who for the most part, felt no stake in the preservation of the colossus state.
Professor Dudley conveys both the life and spirit of the empire during almost 1,200 years of unparalleled national energy. Two recurrent and complementary themes emerge as the foundation of Rome’s unprecedented feat of empire-building. First, a cultural flexibility, a willingness to assimilate and absorb features of other cultures, particularly the older societies of the Hellenistic and Eastern worlds. Second, an ability to transmit the institutions and values of her own civilization, to “Romanize” conquered countries.
The life of Rome is richly portrayed in all its aspects; her social, political, and military institutions; her art, architecture, literature, and religions, in a book that illuminates the extraordinary impact of a single civilization upon the history of the entire world.
CONDITION: LIKE NEW. Seemingly unread (albeit lightly browsed) hardcover with (replacement) dustjacket in mylar sleeve. Knopf (1970) 324 pages. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmutilated, tightly bound, and unmarked EXCEPT if you lift the front dustjacket flap and look beneath, you'll see that the original owner wrote their name, very neatly, in ink, compactly, at the upper open corner of the front end paper (that's the blank page which is glued to the underside of the front cover). You actually have to look beneath the dustjacket flap to find it, so it is quite unobtrusive, and it is the only marking in the book. There's no evidence however that after affixing his name to the book the original owner actually "read" the book, though I would hasten to add that of course it is likely that the book was flipped through a few times while in the bookstore and/or perhaps by the original owner. The covers do open easily, so it's not like the covers have never even been opened. But judging by the tightness of the binding and the pristine condition of the pages, I'd guess it has never been actually "read". I'd guess that the owner of the book took it home, flipped through it a few times looking at the pictures, then put it on a bookshelf to be forgotten and never actually read. The book came to use without a dustjacket (evidently the original was lost or discarded), so photo-copying the dustjacket from another identical book in our library, we produced a full-color replacement printed on high-gloss photographic quality paper, enclosed in a mylar cover. It's very handsome and durable. Beneath the dustjacket the full cloth (blue, embossed) covers are without noteworthy blemish, evidencing only very mild (almost indiscernible) edge and corner shelfwear. Obviously even if unread, absent the original dustjacket, and given the original owner inked their name onto the front end paper (however discretely), it would be misleading to describe the book as "new". However except for those two shortcomings, the overall condition of the book is not too far removed from what might otherwise pass as a "new" book from an open-shelf book store (such as Barnes & Noble, or B. Dalton, for example) wherein patrons are permitted to browse open stock, and so otherwise "new" books might evidence superficial shelf or browsing wear. Given the absence of the original dustjacket the book cannot even be considered a "shelf trophy". However it is a very clean, seemingly unread (albeit leafed through) copy of a quite hard-to-procure hardcover edition of this significant work. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #1489f.
PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR JACKET DESCRIPTION(S) AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK.
PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW.
REVIEW: A panoramic view of the political, economic, military, and social institutions of Rome, upon which many of our own are founded, and of her art, architecture, literature, and religions, from prehistoric times to the death of Emperor Constantine. In the series in which this volume is a part, distinguished historians trace the course of human society from its beginnings to the atomic age.
The author, Donald Reynolds Dudley was born in England, in Staffordshire, in 1910. He was graduated from King Edward’s School, Birmingham, and St. John’s College, Cambridge, and also studied at Yale University. He was Professor of Latin at the University of Birmingham from 1955 onwards, having served previously as a Fellow of St. John’s College, as lecturer in Latin at Reading University, and as director of Extramural Studies at the University of Birmingham. Professor Dudley was author of “A Civilization of Rome”, “The Roman Conquest of Britain, A.D. 43-57”, and “The World of Tacitus”, and was co-editor of a multi-volume study of Latin literature published in England. He was awarded the Hare Prize by Cambridge University, and was designated a Fereday Research Fellow by St. John’s College, Oxford.
REVIEW: In this wise and perceptive book, Donald Dudley makes us realize both the extent of Rome’s greatness and its limitations. We are all so familiar with the idea of Imperial Rome that we often fail to realize the extravagant success, the almost incredible achievement of those small embattled villages scattered on the hills and promontories that overlooked the Tiber. There, and there alone, were the embryos of Rome. Within eight hundred years they were to become one of the most populous and wondrous cities in the world. This city governed the whole Mediterranean basin from the Euphrates and beyond to the coast of Portugal.
But Rome’s greatest influence on Europe, and perhaps on the world, arose from her decline and fall, from indeed, her failure as an imperial power. The failure of any power to succeed Rome and weld the Mediterranean basin and the rest of Europe into a self-sufficient empire created a competitive, restless state system. In the long run, many of Europe’s geo-political problems stem from Rome’s collapse. And so do the world’s, for in the end these aggressive societies were driven to exploit the world beyond Europe. Just how great Rome as, and how that greatness was both achieved and lost, is the theme of this excellent book; one of the key volumes of the series, because the subject is still so central to our lives.
REVIEW: Part of the History of Human Society series edited by J. H. Plumb. An account of Roman society and culture, from the foundation of Rome some time in the 8th century B.C. to the death of Constantine in A.D. 337. The author recreates the phenomena that was Rome by tracing the course of Roman history. Very readable. Wonderful photographs. Helpful maps. Very compelling and readable history. This might not be one of the latest historical accounts of the Roman Empire, but it is certainly one of the better ones.
REVIEW: History can be merely the dusty past, or it can be a fascinating insight into a different civilization. Dudley writes lucidly and gives a vivid picture of what Roman civilization was really like, and more important, why it was as it was, and how it became that way. His ability to make clear the development of a civilization is on a par with Kitto's in "The Greeks".
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