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Ancient Rome and the Roman Empire
ISBN 0789481537 / 9780789481535 / 0-7894-8153-7
Publisher DK ADULT
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Ancient Rome and the Roman Empire tells the enthralling story of how an insignificant settlement came to be a preeminent metropolis, and how a tribe of impoverished shepherds came to rule the world. Having learned to fight for their very survival, the Romans were soon waging war as a way of life: eventually, all of Italy was under their command. Across Western Europe, North Africa, and the Near East, the legions carried Roman culture wherever they went, building roads and cities and establishing law and order. Yet alongside the civic dignity, the awesome engineering achievements, and stunning works of art, a more sinister side of Roman culture could be seen in the arena at the Colosseum, where gladiators fought to the death. Whatever its flaws, the world the Romans built seemed strong and stable enough to last forever: in the end, though, the eternal city would prove all too mortal. It was another unlikely race of shepherds -- nomadic tribesmen far out on the Central Asian steppe -- which set in motion the cataclysmic sequence of events that led to Rome's decline and fall. As this fascinating history shows, the legacy the Romans left behind them would live on to influence almost every aspect of our lives in the modern world. [via]