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History
Author: Erich S. Gruen
ISBN: 0520201531
Subcategory: Ancient Civilizations
Pages 596 pages
Publisher University of California Press; 1st Edition edition (February 28, 1995)
Language English
Category: History
Rating: 4.8
Votes: 532
ePUB size: 1245 kb
FB2 size: 1766 kb
DJVU size: 1523 kb
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eBook The Last Generation of the Roman Republic download

by Erich S. Gruen


In this seminal work, Gruen used his vast knowledge of Ancient Rome to examine the commonly accepted theories of the collapse of the Republic. And yes, I will accept his premise that almost all the persons who counted in the last generation of the Roman Republic had no idea a civil war was on the way. Statesmen and politicians rarely intend to burn their own houses down.

The Last Generation of the Roman Republic (1974) is a scholarly work by Erich S. Gruen on the end of the Roman Republic in the 1st century BC. The central argument of the work is that the Late Roman Republic can be characterised by the strength and . . The central argument of the work is that the Late Roman Republic can be characterised by the strength and continuity of its institutions, rather than by their gradual disintegration. The latter view was popularly accepted prior to the release of this work, that understanding initially begun by Ronald Syme's great work The Roman Revolution (1939).

Erich Gruen, in writing this exhaustive look at the final years of the Roman Republic, falls into no such trap

Erich Gruen, in writing this exhaustive look at the final years of the Roman Republic, falls into no such trap. I blame William Vollmann, as I have many times this year, on leading me down the rabbit hole to yet another rich tome tackling historical events that itch my truth seeking scratch. Possibly the best book on the late republic that I have ever read, it avoids being dominated by the larger than life characters of Cicero, Caesar and Pompey and gives a voice to the rest of the several hundred senators who also shaped events at the end of the republic, but who are largely unknown.

Erich S. Gruen’s most popular book is The Last Generation of the Roman Republic. Books by Erich S. Gruen. Showing 17 distinct works. The Last Generation of the Roman Republic by. Erich S.

His earlier work focussed on the later Roman Republic, and culminated in The Last Generation of the Roman Republic, a work often cited as a response to Ronald Syme's The Roman Revolution

Erich Stephen Gruen (/ˈɡruːən/; German: ; born May 1935 in Vienna, Austria) is an American classicist and ancient historian. His earlier work focussed on the later Roman Republic, and culminated in The Last Generation of the Roman Republic, a work often cited as a response to Ronald Syme's The Roman Revolution. Gruen's argument is that the Republic was not in decay, and so not necessarily in need of "rescue" by Caesar Augustus and the institutions of the Empire. He later worked on the Hellenistic period and on Judaism in the classical world.

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I also heartily recommend "The Last Generation of the Roman Republic Additionally, Gruen provides a wonderful compendium of magistrates, broken down by whether their families.

I also heartily recommend "The Last Generation of the Roman Republic. If the book had a theme, I guess it would be: The republic wasn't doomed. That's already an important corrective to make. Additionally, Gruen provides a wonderful compendium of magistrates, broken down by whether their families had attained the consulship, praetorship, etc. Two points jump out from that list. First, that the magistrates of the late republic were not all part of the nobility. Quite the opposite, the number of new men is really rather astounding

Available for the first time in paperback, with a new introduction that reviews related scholarship of the past twenty years, Erich Gruen's classic study of the late Republic examines institutions as well as personalities, social tensions as well as politics, the plebs and the army as well as the aristocracy.
Iesha
Gruen's work was originally published in 1974, but this, the first paperback edition, contains a updated Introduction written in 1995. In this seminal work, Gruen used his vast knowledge of Ancient Rome to examine the commonly accepted theories of the collapse of the Republic. He systematically challenges every theory in order to reveal their weaknesses and to validate his own thesis. His thesis states that until 50 B.C.E. there was nothing out of the ordinary in Roman politics, culture, or law that indicated civil war was coming or that the Republic was threatened. Although some of his arguments are convincing, in my opinion he does not make his case. I agree with him that any one of the theories he works to debunk may not have indicated the impending civil war; however, I feel he makes a grave error in not considering that it was the preponderance of stressors that indicated a serious threat to the Republic. In other words, it may very well be a case of "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Also, I cannot agree with him regarding the Roman military and the legions' relationships with their commanders, especially as regards Caesar. In this case and others, recent historical research has supported some of the theories that Gruen challenged. One final word, I applaud him pointing out that all researchers bring their own biases (consciously or otherwise) to their works, and that the time and culture in which they live directly affect their perspectives. The "Last Generation of the Roman Republic" is a must read for serious students of Ancient Rome. Note: This book is not really suited for the casual student or those just beginning to learn about Ancient Rome.
BORZOTA
It's easy to imagine the author standing at the republican senatorial podium orating in the vernacular Latin to a crowded senate. While the authors writing style and personality take a little getting used to, I have to say that this is probably the finest work on this period of Roman history that has ever been written. With extremely well documented research, his very clear and detailed analysis easily demolishes commonly held beliefs regarding the republics demise, even for die-hards. Many things that most historians of this era ignore as unimportant; such things as Pompey's Lex Pompeia, because they don't appear political enough or don't meet some other predetermined criteria, are actually significant and important events in late republican history that have been ignored for centuries. This book earned it's 5 stars and is highly recommended reading.
September
Mommsen, Syme, Gruen, and yes, even Tom Holland all wrote from a perspective that reflected their own time in their treatments of Roman Republican History. Mommsen, a German social progressive, was widely influenced by the 1848 upsets in Europe. Syme, a great British gentleman scholar, was facing the looming prospect of World War Two and the dictatorship of Hitler in Germany when he wrote. Tom Holland celebrates the ascendancy of the democratic ideal in Britain and the United States at the dawn of the twenty-first century in his retelling of the fall of the Roman Republic. Gruen in his lengthy introduction to the paperback edition of this work published in 1994, sets it in the framework of the tumult of the Vietnam war era in the United States. Specifically Gruen was in the eye of that storm on the University of California campus at Berkley where he is a classicist and historian. As he suggests, so much changed, but what was striking was how much more did not. It is often been posited with merit that any writing of history mirrors its own time as well as the period written about.

With continuity in mind, Gruen forges forth with his project, the LGRR. And yes, this is a revision of Syme's work, however, for all its majesty Syme's, "Roman Revolution," is flawed. It is a work informed by Syme's own prejudices. Stiff British upper class Victorian morals tend to infect all work associated with the school of British gentleman scholars. Gruen's choice to start his work at the conclusion of the Sullan restoration bifurcates what most scholars see as a much longer process. A detailed picture of the Roman Republic from 125 BCE to 40 BCE would make Gruen's "business as usual" perspective less persuasive. And yes, it was "business as usual" in large measure. That business was the continuity of the domination of the Republic by the consular families of the Nobility. This is persuasively argued by Gruen. But where he sees continuity and reform, others find intractability and co-option to preserve a reactionary status quo. And yes, I will accept his premise that almost all the persons who counted in the last generation of the Roman Republic had no idea a civil war was on the way. Statesmen and politicians rarely intend to burn their own houses down. They just do so with enormous regularity throughout history based on miscalculation and myopia. A lively and exhaustive presentation of the political events of the period under discussion is provided. Nuance and detail combine with painstaking research leading to a fully fleshed out picture of the events and personalities of the "last generation" of the Republic. Unfortunately, more light is shed on the motives of small players rather than the larger figures. This is hardly Gruen's fault as the major players tended to choose opacity as an operational tool.

However exhaustive Gruen's treatment of this period may be, he still finds continuity where others have found "revolution and crisis." Unfortunately, I would suggest that his stress on continuity also obsurces as well as informs. Informative and gripping this book is a relatively easy read. However, it should be read by a reader with a relatively advanced knowledge of Roman Republican history. There is much to be learned here, although, one must be very careful in what they take out of this book. Greun's reliance on shifting familial alliances of the Nobility to explain much of Roman Republican politics has largely been modified by later work. As I see it, David Shotter's short and concise, "Fall of the Roman Republic," second edition, is the current state of the art in late Roman Republican history. Written thirty years after this book, it covers even more ground. Using works from Syme through Gruen and later scholarly materials, Shotter presents a far more volatile picture of the period. Reading both in succession I suggest will make it possible for the reader to weigh the ultimate value of this book. And, in spite of all my caveats, this is an indispensable work of great and enduring value to the discussion of the fall of the Roman Republic.