1991, 1994, 1996, 2001, Books, Non-Fiction

A History of Rome – Second Edition (1991, 1994, 1996, 2001) by Marcel Le Glay, Jean-Louis Voisin, Yann Le Bohec, David Cherry

This is a general history of Rome meant, I believe, for use in schools as a textbook. It’s written that way anyway, so it’s rather dry.

The strength of the book is in the early going when it provides a great deal of pre-history to the empire, pretty much all of which I was unfamiliar with. Another strength is that the authors mostly refuse to speculate, so this is likely an accurate, not one that thrives on biased ancient accounts or on inventing motives for historical actors.

But the book has two major weaknesses, even though it has been updated it. The first is that it is very much a survey, despite it’s length. Everything is general and it merely touches on every era. The second issue is that, as the history approaches the rise of Byzantium, everything is dealt with rather cursorily.

Anyway, I’d never read a history of Rome before, so I’m glad I did.


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