The Roman Republic - Andrew Lintott

The Roman Republic
Andrew Lintott
Sutton Pocket Histories
ISBN: 0750922230 (Amazon link)

This is just going to be a quick book-log entry, probably only of interest to my future self. Refreshingly, this book is exactly what the cover promises - 100 pages (and that's large print), summarising the history of the Roman Republic, complete with maps, a useful and detailed timeline, and reading list.

The Roman Republic isn't aimed at the popular market, being a fairly terse, and therefore somewhat dry, recitation of facts. Certainly this book doesn't set out to compete with something like Tom Holland's excellent and accessible Rubicon, but it also seems too terse to be of use to students [1].

Maybe I'm the target audience? Someone who knows a bit of Roman history already, who wants to get beyond the well known episodes but isn't ready for scholarly texts, someone who who just wants to get an brief overview of the overall flow of events without any dramatic flourishes, or who maybe wants to check up on the facts after reading a historical novel. Did I enjoy it? Well, as I said, it's a fairly dry read, but it's short and interesting. In particular, I picked it up as I wanted a bit more on the early Republic, a period I'm not very familiar with yet. The Roman Republic starts in 500 BC, and doesn't get to the Gracchi until page 67 so I found this a useful read in that regard. if this book is what you're looking for, then it'll do the job, but The Roman Republic is too terse and too specialised to recommend.

[1] From scanning the shelves of local bookshops, it seems that H. H. Scullard's From the Gracchi to Nero is a classic choice for an academic introduction, so I picked it up to tackle next.

Posted: Sun - November 2, 2003 at 12:22 AM