The Roman Empire was the largest and most enduring of the ancient world. From its zenith under Augustus and Trajan in the first century AD to its decline and fall amidst the barbarian invasions of the fifth century, the Empire guarded and maintained a frontier that stretched for 5,000 kilometres, from Carlisle to Cologne, from Augsburg to Antioch, and from Aswan to the AtlThe Roman Empire was the largest and most enduring of the ancient world. From its zenith under Augustus and Trajan in the first century AD to its decline and fall amidst the barbarian invasions of the fifth century, the Empire guarded and maintained a frontier that stretched for 5,000 kilometres, from Carlisle to Cologne, from Augsburg to Antioch, and from Aswan to the Atlantic.Far from being at the periphery of the Roman world, the frontier played a crucial role in making and breaking emperors, creating vibrant and astonishingly diverse societies along its course which pulsed with energy while the centre became enfeebled and sluggish. This remarkable new book traces the course of those frontiers, visiting all its astonishing sites, from Hadrian's Wall in the north of Britain to the desert cities of Palmyra and Leptis Magna. It tells the fascinating stories of the men and women who lived and fought along it, from Alaric the Goth, who descended from the Danube to sack Rome in 410, to Zenobia the desert queen, who almost snatched the entire eastern provinces from Rome in the third century.It is at their edges, in time and geographical extent, that societies reveal their true nature, constantly seeking to recreate and renew themselves. In this examination of the places that the mighty Roman Empire stopped expanding, Philip Parker reveals how and why the Empire endured for so long, as well as describing the rich and complex architectural and cultural legacy which it has bequeathed to us....
|Title||:||The Empire Stops Here: A Journey along the Frontiers of the Roman World|
|Number of Pages||:||656 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Empire Stops Here: A Journey along the Frontiers of the Roman World Reviews
From its northernmost reaches in the misty heart of Scotland at Inchtuthil (legionary camp occupied by the famous Legion XX Valeria Victrix), all the way to the lunar landscape around Castellum Dimmidi (fortified settlement located on the fringes of the Saharan desert), or to the hotly contested border city of Dura-Europos along the Euphrates, the Roman Empire was a stupendous and long-lasting achievement encompassing 200 million people and an astonishing diversity of cultural, geographical and linguistic elements, all united in one overarching political and commercial entity administered by a urban aristocracy that shared several cultural traits regardless of the particular individual provenance.The immensity of the Roman Empire, and its incredible variety, are brought vividly to life by this very informative book, which provides the reader with an engaging travelogue encompassing the major "limes" of the Roman Empire, and also providing a good description of the historical evolution and the unique features and peculiarities of each corresponding province of the empire. Part history, part archeology, part travelogue, this book will probably suit the tastes of many readers; it is accurate, informative, interesting and well written; I also thoroughly enjoyed the different perspective of a province-oriented view of the history of the Roman Empire. However I must say that this book is characterized by some issues: the travelogue aspect has been given, in my view, a bit too much weight at the expense of the historical detail, the accompanying maps and photos could definitely be improved, and the descriptions of the sites occasionally tend to become a bit dry and somewhat repetitive - maybe the author should have concentrated less on several minor sites with little real historical/archeological interest, and focused more on the most peculiar and historically interesting features of a more restricted choice of sites. 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.
http://nwhyte.livejournal.com/1922974.htmlA fascinating travelogue around the ruins of the Roman Empire's frontiers, starting at Hadrian's Wall and ending at Septem, now the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, which was incidentally also the last Byzantine outpost in North Africa. Parker manages an admirable evenness of tone through some very different bits of territory, including debatable mounds in central Europe as well as the rose-red city half as old as time. Having finished Gibbon just a few months ago, I found Parker a useful adjunct; geographical clarity, especially at the margins, is not Gibbon's strong point, and Parker anyway has over two centuries' worth of further research and excavation to draw on. The geographical focus, however, does mean that Parker has to leap back and forth in the time line depending on when interesting things happened on the bit of frontier he has reached, and I would have found this confusing if I had not had Gibbon's narrative in my recent memory.Parker makes the interesting overall point that we should not see the boundary fortifications as the border where Roman power stopped; the Empire's power was projected in both directions, and those beyond the limes might still be under Roman control (and in later times, those within the limes might not be). He concludes with admiration for the initial success and relative longevity of the Roman project, and sadness that it is unlikely to be repeated (which is a whole other debate, I think). There are some great evocative descriptions of ruins as perceived by today's traveller and resident, and some nice historical and archaeological points (eg the soldiers found dead in their fortress in Germany, killed by raiders but never buried); in general it's an excellent book. It is let down by the fact that the numerous lovely photographs are presented out of order and without cross-referencing to the relevant pages, and also (I know I keep going on about this) by the use of endnotes, so that relevant and interesting information is buried hundreds of pages from the text to which it refers. I wouldn't mind if this was merely a question of providing precise citations, but the notes have a lot more narrative material. No publisher should do this and no author should tolerate it from their publisher. In these days of advanced technology, there is no excuse for not having proper footnotes on each page relating to the text on each page, as Gibbon was able to do in the eighteenth century. Accept no excuses and no alternatives.
Astonishing work!Parker travels the frontiers of the Roman Empire in an exquisit way. After each chapter you want to book your ticket to go and visit the places he describes. Great book, the ultimate travel guide to our past!
For my purposes, too much travelogue not enough history. I hoped for an exercise in frontier studies but there isn't that sort of analysis. I bailed. Didn't help that I happen to be into Josephus The Jewish War at the moment, and am taught once again, there's so much more incident and anecdote in a primary source.