Preorder: The Shortest History of Ancient Rome

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'For who is so indifferent or indolent as not to wish to know by what means the Romans succeeded in subjecting nearly the whole inhabited world to their sole government – a thing unique in history?' —Polybius, second century BCE

The Roman Empire is one of history's most remarkable civilisations. It flourished for around 500 years and encompassed over twenty-five modern-day countries — including such remote (from Rome) places as Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and England. It left an indelible mark on the world, shaping politics, laws, philosophy and architecture, and giving us Roman numerals, the calendar, aqueducts and concrete. Alongside the Greeks, the Romans laid the groundwork for Western civilisation.

From the foundation myths of a beloved city to the decline and fall of the empire, author and historian Ross King shares the astonishing, entertaining story of Ancient Rome. He introduces the emperors and warriors, the madmen and upstarts, and the artists and gladiators responsible for its rise, its reign – and its ruin.

'King has the gift of clear, unpretentious exposition, and an instinctive narrative flair.' —The Guardian