By Stephen Kershaw
During this full of life and extremely readable heritage of the Roman Empire from its institution in 27 BC to the barbarian incursions and the autumn of Rome in advert 476, Kershaw attracts on quite a number facts, from Juvenal's Satires to contemporary archaeological unearths. He examines striking personalities equivalent to Caligula and Nero and seismic occasions resembling the conquest of england and the institution of a 'New Rome' at Constantinople and the break up into japanese and western empires. alongside the way in which we come upon gladiators and charioteers, senators and slaves, attention-grabbing ladies, weird and wonderful sexual practices and gruesome acts of brutality, frequently obvious via eyes of a few of the world's maximum writers. He concludes with a quick examine how Rome lives on within the modern global, in politics, structure, artwork and literature.
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Additional info for A Brief History of the Roman Empire: Rise and Fall
It was this embargo which led Eumenes to develop the manufacture ofvellum. D. 30 I). There is also no doubt that a famous library existed at Pergamum, though there is no reason to suppose that it was eventually confined to books on vellum. A building discovered during the German excavation of the site is believed to have been its horne. Pergamum, like Alexandria, became a great centre of scholarship, which, through the political association of Rome and Pergamum, had considerable influence on the development of education at Rome.
Had or aequired the art ofwriting; hut their extant inseriptions are ofmuch later date, and as they are still undeeiphered they give us little information. For the Romans themselves our information only begins with the chroniclers and antiquarians quoted by Livy and other writers; and they are themselves no earlier than the late third or seeond century. Their statements are often definite, but thcir authorities areunknown. There may he an element of tradition; more certainly there is an element of guessing and assumption.
448mighthavecontained thelastsix booksof the Odyssey without exceeding normal dimensions; but this is written on the verso of the papyrus, so is not an example of normal book-production. The division of a single book into two rolls was not, however, unknown; thus Pliny, in describing his uncle's works, speaks of 'studiosi tres (libri), in sex volumina propter amplitudinem divisi'-which, however, implies that such a practice was not usual. Another consequence ofthe size ofthe roll is that collected editions of an author's work could not exist, except in the sense that the rolls containing them could be kept in the same bucket, which might bear the label HomeT or Thucydides or Plato.