Kindle Edition ¾ Pax Romana PDF å

Kindle Edition ¾ Pax Romana PDF å

Pax Romana [PDF / Epub] ✅ Pax Romana By Adrian Goldsworthy – The Pax Romana is famous for having provided a remarkable period of peace and stability rarely seen before or since Yet the Romans were first and foremost conuerors imperialists who took by force a va The Pax Romana is famous for having provided a remarkable period of peace and stability rarely seen before or since Yet the Romans were first and foremost conuerors imperialists who took by force a vast empire stretching from the Euphrates in the east to the Atlantic coast in the west Their peace meant Roman victory and was brought about by strength and dominance rather than co existence with neighbours The Romans were aggressive and ruthless and during the creation of their empire millions died or were enslavedBut the Pax Romana was real not merely the boast of emperors and some of the regions in the Empire have never again lived for so many generations free from major wars So what exactly was the Pax Romana and what did it mean for the people who found themselves brought under Roman ruleAcclaimed historian Adrian Goldsworthy tells the story of the creation of the Empire revealing how and why the Romans came to control so much of the world and asking whether the favourable image of the Roman peace is a true one He chronicles the many rebellions by the conuered and describes why these broke out and why most failed At the same time he explains that hostility was only one reaction to the arrival of Rome and from the start there was alliance collaboration and even enthusiasm for joining the invaders all of which increased as resistance movements faded awayA ground breaking and comprehensive history of the Roman Peace Pax Romana takes the reader on a journey from the bloody conuests of an aggressive Republic through the age of Caesar and Augustus to the golden age of peace and prosperity under diligent emperors like Marcus Aurelius offering a balanced and nuanced reappraisal of life in the Roman Empire.

About the Author: Adrian Goldsworthy

Adrian Goldsworthy is the author of numerous acclaimed books including biographies of Julius Caesar and Augustus He lectures widely and consults on historical documentaries for the History Channel National Geographic and the BBC He lives in the UK.

10 thoughts on “Pax Romana

  1. Jeffrey Keeten Jeffrey Keeten says:

    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 large scope of the book a Keeten style review to do it justice would be 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 to live 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 liked the visual of a wall of soldiers surrounding the 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 line of defense ”Rome was one of many aggressive imperialistic states and kingdoms unusual not because it was uniuely bellicose but because it proved so successful Much of this rested on its capacity to absorb other peoples and tie them permanently to the Republic as loyal 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 they 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 life 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 landlord they never met for consumption by people in distant lands” 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 least 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 force 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 levels were aggressive pushing for a decisive result as soon as possible This aggression was combined with a willingness to 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 regular lives 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 their leadership in the process and then leaving makes no sense whatsoever We can offer assistance to an existing government but if our goal is regime change it has always led to disaster Make it part of the empire or leave it alone with a heavy lean 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

  2. Emma Emma says:

    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 long 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 that 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 and 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

  3. Ian Ian says:

    It probably seems odd that I’m starting a 5 star review with a criticism but I would say that even for a history nerd like me this wasn’t the uickest read It’s worth it though for the level of insight provided This isn’t a narrative history rather a comprehensive look 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 longevity Other empires have been bigger but few if any have lasted as long Sicily was Rome’s first overseas province and remained under continuous Roman administration for than 700 years Britannia was one of the last provinces to be added and was one of the first to be lost but even there Roman rule lasted around three and half centuries Many people of my vintage 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 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 rebellions led by Boudicca in Britain and Vercingetorix in Gaul and the successful revolt in Germany led by Arminius The exception was Judaea which saw at least 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 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 legions were all deployed in the frontier provinces and others were only very lightly garrisoned with auxiliary troops There was always the distant threat of the legions returning in the event of serious unrest but on a day to day basis governors 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 leaders of the subject peoples The Latin 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 would live under Roman rule whether they liked it nor not” For all that he argues persuasively that the Romans created a long period of relative peace over the huge area they ruled That achievement was “a glory greater than war”

  4. Carlos Carlos says:

    I loved 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 learn 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

  5. Ray Ray says:

    I liked this book It seeks to get beyond the headlines of war and conuest emperors and usurper to understand what life was like in Rome and how it became perhaps the greatest empire the world has ever seen It does this by exploring the themes of Roman life and the conditions which led a small hill town in central Italy to rule much of the worldThe basic idea is that the progressive extension of Roman citizenship allowed adjacent elites a stake in a successful state and provided an ideal than even the lowliest could aspire to the Roman dream if you like Combined with a refusal to admit defeat in war and a ruthless Darwinian political system this made Rome unbeatable for centuriesI liked the idea that someone like 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 local 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

  6. Ana Ana says:

    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 lives of Roman citizens or not so citizens it's a worthy read for anyone interested in the period

  7. Charlie Hasler Charlie Hasler says:

    Really informative read Very enjoyable

  8. Anne Martin Anne Martin says:

    I cannot give less than four stars to this book The amount of research and thus knowledge it holds is huge I studied latin 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 long lost 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 learned a lot through this book and regretted it was written with the seriousness historians use It is 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 old lifestyles or s 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 night laugh with them fear with them 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 very little

  9. Chris Jaffe Chris Jaffe says:

    Arrggh 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 I liked 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 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's left 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 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 the longest tradition of resistance in the 60s then again from 115 117 and 132 135 but even they settled down And because the Pax lasted so damn long 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 locals saw legitimacy Often the rebellions against Rome were led 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 of themselves as a singular people in that province Governors were supposed to look for Christians but if they didn't want to no one worried about it The 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 deep longing 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

  10. Jennifer Jennifer says:

    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 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 view the Romans as evil conuerors but also intelligent and well planned He discusses that not all peoples they conuered suffered under them and in fact some prospered This book is an interesting read for fans of Ancient History and would be a great textbook in any ancient roman history or classics class

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