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The Rise of Rome

The Rise of Rome

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Written by Anthony EverittAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Anthony Everitt

  • Format: Hardcover, 512 pages
  • Publisher: Random House
  • On Sale: August 7, 2012
  • Price: $30.00
  • ISBN: 978-1-4000-6663-6 (1-4000-6663-8)
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.
about this book

From Anthony Everitt, the bestselling author of acclaimed biographies of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian, comes a riveting, magisterial account of Rome and its remarkable ascent from an obscure agrarian backwater to the greatest empire the world has ever known.

Emerging as a market town from a cluster of hill villages in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., Rome grew to become the ancient world’s preeminent power. Everitt fashions the story of Rome’s rise to glory into an erudite page-turner filled with lasting lessons for our time. He chronicles the clash between patricians and plebeians that defined the politics of the Republic. He shows how Rome’s shrewd strategy of offering citizenship to her defeated subjects was instrumental in expanding the reach of her burgeoning empire. And he outlines the corrosion of constitutional norms that accompanied Rome’s imperial expansion, as old habits of political compromise gave way, leading to violence and civil war. In the end, unimaginable wealth and power corrupted the traditional virtues of the Republic, and Rome was left triumphant everywhere except within its own borders.

Everitt paints indelible portraits of the great Romans—and non-Romans—who left their mark on the world out of which the mighty empire grew: Cincinnatus, Rome’s George Washington, the very model of the patrician warrior/aristocrat; the brilliant general Scipio Africanus, who turned back a challenge from the Carthaginian legend Hannibal; and Alexander the Great, the invincible Macedonian conqueror who became a role model for generations of would-be Roman rulers. Here also are the intellectual and philosophical leaders whose observations on the art of government and “the good life” have inspired every Western power from antiquity to the present: Cato the Elder, the famously incorruptible statesman who spoke out against the decadence of his times, and Cicero, the consummate orator whose championing of republican institutions put him on a collision course with Julius Caesar and whose writings on justice and liberty continue to inform our political discourse today.

Rome’s decline and fall have long fascinated historians, but the story of how the empire was won is every bit as compelling. With The Rise of Rome, one of our most revered chroniclers of the ancient world tells that tale in a way that will galvanize, inform, and enlighten modern readers.

“Everitt traces, with lucid, pithy prose, Rome’s rise from a tiny settlement on the banks of the Tiber River to the conquerors of the entirety of the Mediterranean basin. With a brisk narrative ranging from mythological founders Aeneas and Romulus and Remus to the civil war between Sulla and Marius, [he] takes readers on a remarkable journey into the creation of the great civilization’s political institutions, cultural traditions, and social hierarchy….[A] comprehensive, engaging work that will captivate and inform from beginning to end”
--Booklist (starred review)


Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome

“A fascinating insight into the mind of the Roman emperor.”—The Sunday Telegraph (London)

“[A] skillful portrait . . . combines academic expertise with lively prose in a satisfying account of the emperor.”—Publishers Weekly


“Fascinating and brisk to read . . . All the stuff of adventure is here, from court intrigue to roving armies to shipwreck.”—The Washington Post Book World

“Everitt’s writing is so crisp and so lively he brings both Rome and Augustus to life in this magnificent work, a must-read for anyone interested in classical times.”—Booklist (starred review)


“An excellent introduction to a critical period in the history of Rome. Cicero comes across much as he must have lived.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Riveting . . . a clear-eyed biography . . . [offers] vivid lessons about the viciousness that can pervade elected government.”—Chicago Tribune