From its mythical foundation in 753 BC to its sack in the fifth century AD, the city of Rome had an impact on the world that it would be hard to overestimate. At its height the empire which it built up stretched from northern Britain to the deserts of Arabia. In this new history an international team of historians, archaeologists and classicists presents a vision of the world's most famous imperial power based on the most up-to-date research and discoveries. Chapters and box-features present gripping accounts of Roman history and literature and deal with themes ranging from medicine to warfare. They are supported by a rich set of illustrations of sites, monuments and works of art from across the Empire. Read together, these build up a fascinating picture of a civilization permeated by its imperial role, and of the colossal costs as well as the gains of empire.
Greg Woolf is Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews. He is the author of Becoming Roman: The Origins of Provincial Civilization in Gaul (1998) and editor of Rome the Cosmopolis (2003).