Results by Library of Congress Code
Books near "The Earliest Romans: A Character Sketch", Library of Congress DG78.M329
Results by Library of Congress Code
Books near "The Earliest Romans: A Character Sketch", Library of Congress DG78.M329
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press
Although Byzantium is known to history as the Eastern Roman Empire, scholars have long claimed that this Greek Christian theocracy bore little resemblance to Rome. Here, in a revolutionary model of Byzantine politics and society, Anthony Kaldellis reconnects Byzantium to its Roman roots, arguing that from the fifth to the twelfth centuries CE the Eastern Roman Empire was essentially a republic, with power exercised on behalf of the people and sometimes by them too. The Byzantine Republic recovers for the historical record a less autocratic, more populist Byzantium whose Greek-speaking citizens considered themselves as fully Roman as their Latin-speaking “ancestors.”
Kaldellis shows that the idea of Byzantium as a rigid imperial theocracy is a misleading construct of Western historians since the Enlightenment. With court proclamations often draped in Christian rhetoric, the notion of divine kingship emerged as a way to disguise the inherent vulnerability of each regime. The legitimacy of the emperors was not predicated on an absolute right to the throne but on the popularity of individual emperors, whose grip on power was tenuous despite the stability of the imperial institution itself. Kaldellis examines the overlooked Byzantine concept of the polity, along with the complex relationship of emperors to the law and the ways they bolstered their popular acceptance and avoided challenges. The rebellions that periodically rocked the empire were not aberrations, he shows, but an essential part of the functioning of the republican monarchy.
Even by modern standards, the Empress Theodora (?-548) had a remarkable rise to power. Born into the lowest class of Byzantine society, she worked as an actress in burlesque theater. Yet she attracted the love of the future emperor Justinian, who, to the astonishment of proper society, made her not only his wife but also his partner in government. Justinian's respect for and trust in Theodora gave her power in her own right unmatched by almost any other Roman or Byzantine empress.
In this book, James Allan Evans provides a scholarly, yet highly accessible account of the life and times of the Empress Theodora. He follows her from her childhood as a Hippodrome bearkeeper's daughter to her imperial roles as Justinian's most trusted counselor and as an effective and powerful advocate for the downtrodden. In particular, he focuses on the ways in which Theodora worked to improve the lives of women. He also explores the pivotal role Theodora played in the great religious controversy of her time, involving a breach between sects in the Christian church.
The Man Who Recaptured the Lost Glory of Rome
Serving the Byzantine Emperor Justinian during the 6th century A.D., Belisarius defeated a superior Persian force that threatened to extinguish Constantinople; his small army next drove the Vandals out of the ancient Roman provinces of North Africa and forced the Visigoths to retreat from Italy, returning Rome to the Emperor for the final time. His ability to achieve victory against overwhelming odds and his fairness to both his own troops and those of his enemies became legendary. Despite his successes, Justinian recalled Belisarius and, swayed by jealous advisers, accused the general of conspiring to overthrow him. Although innocent, he was publicly humiliated and stripped of his rank. But when a massive army of barbarians moved against Constantinople and the citizenry panicked in fear, they turned to their only true hero, Belisarius. The forsaken general donned his armor, called out his trusted veterans, and repulsed the barbarian horde. But instead of showing gratitude, Justinian banished him from the city.
Among Greek histories of the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the work of Laonikos (ca. 1430–ca. 1465) has by far the broadest scope. Born to a leading family of Athens under Florentine rule, he was educated in the classics at Mistra by the Neoplatonist philosopher Plethon.
In the 1450s, Laonikos set out to imitate Herodotos in writing the history of his times, a version in which the armies of Asia would prevail over the Greeks in Europe. The backbone of The Histories, a text written in difficult Thucydidean Greek, is the expansion of the Ottoman Empire from the early 1300s to 1464, but Laonikos’s digressions give sweeping accounts of world geography and ethnography from Britain to Mongolia, with an emphasis on Spain, Italy, and Arabia. Following the methodology of Herodotos and rejecting theological polemic, Laonikos is the first Greek writer to treat Islam as a legitimate cultural and religious system. He followed Plethon in viewing the Byzantines as Greeks rather than Romans, and so stands at the origins of Neo-Hellenic identity.
This translation makes the entire text of The Histories available in English for the first time.
Among Greek histories of the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the work of Laonikos (ca. 1430–ca. 1465) has by far the broadest scope. Born to a leading family of Athens under Florentine rule, he was educated in the Classics at Mistra by the Neoplatonist philosopher Plethon. In the 1450s, Laonikos set out to imitate Herodotos in writing the history of his times, a version in which the armies of Asia would prevail over the Greeks in Europe. The backbone of the Histories, a text written in difficult Thucydidean Greek, is the expansion of the Ottoman Empire from the early 1300s to 1464, but Laonikos’s digressions give sweeping accounts of world geography and ethnography from Britain to Mongolia, with an emphasis on Spain, Italy, and Arabia. Following the methodology of Herodotos and rejecting theological polemic, Laonikos is the first Greek writer to treat Islam as a legitimate cultural and religious system. He followed Plethon in viewing the Byzantines as Greeks rather than Romans, and so stands at the origins of Neo-Hellenic identity.
This translation makes the entire text of The Histories available in English for the first time.
In 1204, brothers Alexios and David Komnenos became the unwitting founders of the Empire of Trebizond, a successor state to the Byzantine Empire that emerged after Crusaders sacked Constantinople. Trebizond, which stretched along the coast of the Black Sea, outlasted numerous rivals and invaders until its fall to the Ottoman Turks in 1461. Though this empire has fascinated writers from Cervantes to Dorothy Dunnett, few Trapezuntine writings survive.
This volume presents translations from the Greek of two crucial primary sources published together for the first time: On the Emperors of Trebizond and Encomium on Trebizond. In the fourteenth century, Michael Panaretos, the emperor’s personal secretary, penned the only extant history of the ruling dynasty, including key details about foreign relations. The encomium by Bessarion (1403–1472), here in English for the first time, praises the author’s native city and retells Trapezuntine history from antiquity to his own moment. It provides enlightening perspectives on Byzantine identity and illuminating views of this major trading hub along the Silk Road.
Winner of the 2022 London Hellenic Prize
On the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, an essential guide to the momentous war for independence of the Greeks from the Ottoman Empire.
The Greek war for independence (1821–1830) often goes missing from discussion of the Age of Revolutions. Yet the rebellion against Ottoman rule was enormously influential in its time, and its resonances are felt across modern history. The Greeks inspired others to throw off the oppression that developed in the backlash to the French Revolution. And Europeans in general were hardly blind to the sight of Christian subjects toppling Muslim rulers. In this collection of essays, Paschalis Kitromilides and Constantinos Tsoukalas bring together scholars writing on the many facets of the Greek Revolution and placing it squarely within the revolutionary age.
An impressive roster of contributors traces the revolution as it unfolded and analyzes its regional and transnational repercussions, including the Romanian and Serbian revolts that spread the spirit of the Greek uprising through the Balkans. The essays also elucidate religious and cultural dimensions of Greek nationalism, including the power of the Orthodox church. One essay looks at the triumph of the idea of a Greek “homeland,” which bound the Greek diaspora—and its financial contributions—to the revolutionary cause. Another essay examines the Ottoman response, involving a series of reforms to the imperial military and allegiance system. Noted scholars cover major figures of the revolution; events as they were interpreted in the press, art, literature, and music; and the impact of intellectual movements such as philhellenism and the Enlightenment.
Authoritative and accessible, The Greek Revolution confirms the profound political significance and long-lasting cultural legacies of a pivotal event in world history.
The aim of this book is to offer a fresh approach to the history and archaeology of the Cyclades in Late Antiquity and the Byzantine Early Middle Ages in light of current archaeological investigations. It is an attempt to interpret human-environmental interaction in order to read the relationship between islands, settlements, landscapes, and seascapes in the context of the diverse and highly interactive Mediterranean world.
It offers an interdisciplinary approach, which combines archaeological evidence, literary sources, and observations of the sites and microlandscapes as a whole, using the advantages offered by the application of new technologies in archaeological research (Geographic Information Systems). The islands of Paros and Naxos are used as case-studies. The author traces how these neighboring insular communities reacted under the same general circumstances pertaining in the Aegean and to what extent the landscape played a role in this process.
Revered as the birthplace of Western thought and democracy, Athens is much more than an open-air museum filled with crumbling monuments to ancient glory. Athens takes readers on a journey from the classical city-state to today's contemporary capital, revealing a world-famous metropolis that has been resurrected and redefined time and again.
Although the Acropolis remains the city's anchor, Athens' vibrant culture extends far beyond the Greek city's antique boundaries. James H. S. McGregor points out how the cityscape preserves signs of the many actors who have crossed its historical stage. Alexander the Great incorporated Athens into his empire, as did the Romans. Byzantine Christians repurposed Greek temples, the Parthenon included, into churches. From the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, the city's language changed from French to Spanish to Italian, as Crusaders and adventurers from different parts of Western Europe took turns sacking and administering the city. An Islamic Athens took root following the Ottoman conquest of 1456 and remained in place for nearly four hundred years, until Greek patriots finally won independence in a blood-drenched revolution.
Since then, Athenians have endured many hardships, from Nazi occupation and military coups to famine and economic crisis. Yet, as McGregor shows, the history of Athens is closer to a heroic epic than a Greek tragedy. Richly supplemented with maps and illustrations, Athens paints a portrait of one of the world's great cities, designed for travelers as well as armchair students of urban history.
Synthesizing almost thirty years of Dutch archaeological research in central and southern Italy, this book discusses and compares settlement and land use patterns from the late protohistoric period to the late Roman Republic. Considering both social and environmental factors, the authors analyze the long-term progression of indigenous Bronze Age tribal pastoralist societies towards the complexity of urbanized Roman society. Drawing on a decade of collaboration between Dutch and Italian researchers, this exhaustive study will be of great interest to students and scholars of Mediterranean archaeology.
The Roman poet Statius called the via Appia “the Queen of Roads,” and for nearly a thousand years that description held true, as countless travelers trod its path from the center of Rome to the heel of Italy. Today, the road is all but gone, destroyed by time, neglect, and the incursions of modernity; to travel the Appian Way today is to be a seeker, and to walk in the footsteps of ghosts.
Our guide to those ghosts—and the layers of history they represent—is Robert A. Kaster. In The Appian Way, he brings a lifetime of studying Roman literature and history to his adventures along the ancient highway. A footsore Roman soldier pushing the imperial power south; craftsmen and farmers bringing their goods to the towns that lined the road; pious pilgrims headed to Jerusalem, using stage-by-stage directions we can still follow—all come to life once more as Kaster walks (and drives—and suffers car trouble) on what’s left of the Appian Way. Other voices help him tell the story: Cicero, Goethe, Hawthorne, Dickens, James, and even Monty Python offer commentary, insight, and curmudgeonly grumbles, their voices blending like the ages of the road to create a telescopic, perhaps kaleidoscopic, view of present and past.
To stand on the remnants of the Via Appia today is to stand in the pathway of history. With The Appian Way, Kaster invites us to close our eyes and walk with him back in time, to the campaigns of Garibaldi, the revolt of Spartacus, and the glory days of Imperial Rome. No traveler will want to miss this fascinating journey.
Sicily has been the fulcrum of the Mediterranean throughout history. The island’s central geographical position and its status as ancient Rome’s first overseas province make it key to understanding the development of the Roman Empire. Yet Sicily’s crucial role in the empire has been largely overlooked by scholars of classical antiquity, apart from a small number of specialists in its archaeology and material culture.
Urbanism and Empire in Roman Sicily offers the first comprehensive English-language overview of the history and archaeology of Roman Sicily since R. J. A. Wilson’s Sicily under the Roman Empire (1990). Laura Pfuntner traces the development of cities and settlement networks in Sicily in order to understand the island’s political, economic, social, and cultural role in Rome’s evolving Mediterranean hegemony. She identifies and examines three main processes traceable in the archaeological record of settlement in Roman Sicily: urban disintegration, urban adaptation, and the development of alternatives to urban settlement. By expanding the scope of research on Roman Sicily beyond the bounds of the island itself, through comparative analysis of the settlement landscapes of Greece and southern Italy, and by utilizing exciting evidence from recent excavations and surveys, Pfuntner establishes a new empirical foundation for research on Roman Sicily and demonstrates the necessity of including Sicily in broader historical and archaeological studies of the Roman Empire.
Biondo Flavio (1392–1463), humanist and historian, was a pioneering figure in the Renaissance discovery of antiquity; famously, he was the author who popularized the term “Middle Age” to describe the period between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of antiquity in his own time. While serving a number of Renaissance popes, he inaugurated an extraordinary program of research into the history, cultural life, and physical remains of the ancient world.
The capstone of this research program, Rome in Triumph (1459), has been said to bear comparison with the Encyclopédie of Diderot as the embodiment of the ideals of an age, seeking as it does to answer the overarching question of humanists from Petrarch to Machiavelli: what made Rome great? To answer the question Biondo undertakes a comprehensive reconstruction of Rome’s religion, government, military organization, customs and institutions over its thousand-year history. This volume contains the first edition of the Latin text since 1559 and the first translation into any modern language.
In The Restoration of the Roman Forum in Late Antiquity, Gregor Kalas examines architectural conservation during late antiquity period at Rome’s most important civic center: the Roman Forum. During the fourth and fifth centuries CE—when emperors shifted their residences to alternate capitals and Christian practices overtook traditional beliefs—elite citizens targeted restoration campaigns so as to infuse these initiatives with political meaning. Since construction of new buildings was a right reserved for the emperor, Rome’s upper echelon funded the upkeep of buildings together with sculptural displays to gain public status. Restorers linked themselves to the past through the fragmentary reuse of building materials and, as Kalas explores, proclaimed their importance through prominently inscribed statues and monuments, whose placement within the existing cityscape allowed patrons and honorees to connect themselves to the celebrated history of Rome.
Building on art historical studies of spolia and exploring the Forum over an extended period of time, Kalas demonstrates the mutability of civic environments. The Restoration of the Roman Forum in Late Antiquity maps the evolution of the Forum away from singular projects composed of new materials toward an accretive and holistic design sensibility. Overturning notions of late antiquity as one of decline, Kalas demonstrates how perpetual reuse and restoration drew on Rome’s venerable past to proclaim a bright future.
One of the most visited sites in Italy, the Roman Forum is also one of the best-known wonders of the Roman world. Though a highpoint on the tourist route around Rome, for many visitors the site can be a baffling disappointment. Several of the monuments turn out to be nineteenth- or twentieth-century reconstructions, while the rubble and the holes made by archaeologists have an unclear relationship to the standing remains, and, to all but the most skilled Romanists, the Forum is an unfortunate mess.
David Watkin sheds completely new light on the Forum, examining the roles of the ancient remains while revealing what exactly the standing structures embody—including the rarely studied medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque churches, as well as the nearby monuments that have important histories of their own. Watkin asks the reader to look through the veneer of archaeology to rediscover the site as it was famous for centuries. This involves offering a remarkable and engaging new vision of a well-visited, if often misunderstood, wonder. It will be enjoyed by readers at home and serve as a guide in the Forum.
Byron and Hitler were equally entranced by Rome’s most famous monument, the Colosseum. Mid-Victorians admired the hundreds of varieties of flowers in its crannies and occasionally shuddered at its reputation for contagion, danger, and sexual temptation. Today it is the highlight of a tour of Italy for more than three million visitors a year, a concert arena for the likes of Paul McCartney, and a national symbol of opposition to the death penalty. Its ancient history is chock full of romantic but erroneous myths. There is no evidence that any gladiator ever said “Hail Caesar, those about to die…” and we know of not one single Christian martyr who met his finish here.
Yet the reality is much stranger than the legend as the authors, two prominent classical historians, explain in this absorbing account. We learn the details of how the arena was built and at what cost; we are introduced to the emperors who sometimes fought in gladiatorial games staged at the Colosseum; and we take measure of the audience who reveled in, or opposed, these games. The authors also trace the strange afterlife of the monument—as fortress, shrine of martyrs, church, and glue factory. Why are we so fascinated with this arena of death?
The Etruscan city of Caere and eleven other Etruscan city-states were among the first urban centers in ancient Italy. Roman descriptions of Etruscan cities highlight their wealth, beauty, and formidable defenses. Although Caere left little written historical record outside of funerary inscriptions, its complex story can be deciphered by analyzing surviving material culture, including architecture, tomb paintings, temples, sanctuaries, and materials such as terracotta, bronze, gold, and amber found in Etruscan crafts. Studying Caere provides valuable insight not only into Etruscan history and culture but more broadly into urbanism and the development of urban centers across ancient Italy.
Comprehensive in scope, Caere is the first English-language book dedicated to the study of its eponymous city. Collecting the work of an international team of scholars, it features chapters on a wide range of topics, such as Caere’s formation and history, economy, foreign relations, trade networks, art, funerary traditions, built environment, religion, daily life, and rediscovery. Extensively illustrated throughout, Caere presents new perspectives on and analysis of not just Etruscan civilization but also the city’s role in the wider pan-Mediterranean basin.
Expanding the study of Etruscan habitation sites to include not only traditional cities but also smaller Etruscan communities, Cetamura del Chianti examines a settlement that flourished during an exceptional time period, amid wars with the Romans in the fourth to first centuries BCE.
Situated in an ideal hilltop location that was easy to defend and had access to fresh water, clay, and timber, the community never grew to the size of a city, and no known references to it survive in ancient writings; its ancient name isn’t even known. Because no cities were ever built on top of the site, excavation is unusually unimpeded. Intriguing features described in Cetamura del Chianti include an artisans’ zone with an adjoining sanctuary, which fostered the cult worship of Lur and Leinth, two relatively little known Etruscan deities, and ancient wells that reveal the cultural development and natural environment, including the vineyards and oak forests of Chianti, over a period of some six hundred years. Deeply enhancing our understanding of an intriguing economic, political, and cultural environment, this is a compelling portrait of a singular society.
This important new volume examines archaeological evidence of Roman colonization of the Middle Republican period. Themes of land use, ethnic accommodation and displacement, colonial identity, and administrative schemes are also highlighted. In delving deeply into the uniqueness of select colonial contexts, these essays invite a novel discussion on the phenomenon of colonialism in the political landscape of Rome’s early expansion. Roman urbanism of the Middle Republican period brought to the Italian peninsula fundamental changes, an important example of which, highlighted by a wealth of studies, is the ebullience of a dense network of colonies, as well as a mix of senatorial tactics and individual initiatives that underpinned their foundation. Whether Latin, Roman, or Maritimae, colonies created a new mesh of communities and imposed a new topography; more subtly, they signified the mechanisms of the rising hegemony. This book brings to the fore the diversity, agendas, and overall impact of a “settlement device” that changed the Italian landscape and introduced a new idea of Roman town.
This volume brings together leading scholars of Etruria to provide up-to-date findings from the key archaeological site of Kainua. Located in what is now the Italian town of Marzabotto, Kainua is the only Etruscan site whose complete urban layout has been preserved, making it possible to trace houses, roads, drainage systems, cemeteries, craft workshops, and an acropolis.
Under excavation since the 1850s, Kainua offers a trove of insights into Etruscan culture and society. The volume’s editor, Elisabetta Govi, and her fellow experts examine the material evidence underlying our understanding of the history, economy, religion, and social structures of Kainua, including trade routes that linked the city with the wider Mediterranean. Particularly exciting are recent discoveries of sanctuaries dedicated to Tinia and Uni, analogous to the Greek Zeus and Hera, which provide new information about Etruscan cults. Kainua (Marzabotto) also draws on the latest research to reconstruct the city’s foundation rites, a sacred charter, and urban plan. Finally, the authors explore the site’s archaeological history, discussing new knowledge made possible since the introduction of modern techniques of remote sensing and 3D modeling.
From 1974 to the present, the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin has carried out archaeological excavations in the ancient territory (chora) of Metaponto, now located in the modern province of Basilicata on the southern coast of Italy. This wide-ranging investigation, which covers a number of sites and a time period ranging from prehistory to the Roman Empire, has unearthed a wealth of new information about the ancient rural economy in southern Italy. These discoveries will be published in a multi-volume series titled The Chora of Metaponto. This volume on archaeozoology—the study of animal remains from archaeological sites—is the second in the series, following The Chora of Metaponto: The Necropoleis (1998).
Archaeozoology at Pantanello and Five Other Sites describes the animal remains found throughout Metaponto and discusses what they reveal about ancient practices of hunting and herding, domestication and importation of new breeds, people's attitudes toward animals, and what animal remains indicate about past environments. A chapter devoted to bird bones, which are a relatively rare find because of their fragility, provides high quality information on the environment and methods of fowling, as well as on the beliefs and symbolism associated with birds. The final chapter covers tools—some simple, others sophisticated and richly decorated—made from animal bones.
The seventh volume in the Institute of Classical Archaeology’s series on the rural countryside (chora) of Metaponto is a study of the Greek sanctuary at Pantanello. The site is the first Greek rural sanctuary in southern Italy that has been fully excavated and exhaustively documented. Its evidence—a massive array of distinctive structural remains and 30,000-plus artifacts and ecofacts—offers unparalleled insights into the development of extra-urban cults in Magna Graecia from the seventh to the fourth centuries BC and the initiation rites that took place within the cults.
Of particular interest are the analyses of the well-preserved botanical and faunal material, which present the fullest record yet of Greek rural sacrificial offerings, crops, and the natural environment of southern Italy and the Greek world. Excavations from 1974 to 2008 revealed three major phases of the sanctuary, ranging from the Archaic to Early Hellenistic periods. The structures include a natural spring as the earliest locus of the cult, an artificial stream (collecting basin) for the spring’s outflow, Archaic and fourth-century BC structures for ritual dining and other cult activities, tantalizing evidence of a Late Archaic Doric temple atop the hill, and a farmhouse and tile factory that postdate the sanctuary’s destruction. The extensive catalogs of material and special studies provide an invaluable opportunity to study the development of Greek material culture between the seventh and third centuries BC, with particular emphasis on votive pottery and figurative terracotta plaques.
This volume in the Institute of Classical Archaeology’s series on rural settlements in the countryside (chora) of Metaponto is a study of the fourth-century BC farmhouse known as Fattoria Fabrizio, located in the heart of the surveyed chora in the Venella valley (at Ponte Fabrizio). This simple structure richly illustrates the life of fourth-century BC Metapontine farmers of modest means.
Thorough interpretations of the farmhouse structure in its wider historical and socioeconomic contexts are accompanied by comprehensive analyses of the archaeological finds. Among them is detailed evidence for the family cult, a rare archaeological contribution to the study of Greek religion in Magna Grecia. The entire range of local Greek ceramics has been studied, along with a limited number of imports. Together they reveal networks within the chora and trade beyond it, involving indigenous peoples of southern Italy, mainland Greeks, and the wider Mediterranean world. Along with the studies of traditional archaeological finds, archaeobotanical analyses have illuminated the rural economy of the farmhouse and the environment of the adjacent chora. Abundant Archaic pottery also documents an important occupation, during the first great flowering of the chora in the sixth century BC. This study provides an ideal complement to the four volumes of The Chora of Metaponto 3: Archaeological Field Survey—Bradano to Basento and an eloquent example of hundreds of farmhouses of this date identified throughout the chora by their surface remains alone.
BiblioVault ® 2001 - 2023
The University of Chicago Press