by Richard Alston
London & New York: Routledge, 2013. Pp. xxiv, 456.
Maps, tables, diagr., notes, biblio., index. $44.95 paper. ISBN: 0415611210
The Evolving Nature of the Augustan Principate
Prof. Alston (London)
takes some interesting
looks at the early Empire
the period of the “Augustan Principate
Following an introductory chapter on the collapse of the Roman Republic, in this revised and expanded version of his original 1998 work,
Alston examines the events of the approximately 150 years that followed in
give us a chronological look at the reigns of the first thirteen emperors
, from Augustus through Trajan, some linked in pairs
. The coverage
varies depending upon the events during
reign, but usually
Alston discusses the
political, “constitutional”, and succession problems, military operations, crises, and so forth.
Alston provides an
overview across the entire period of developments in society, the economy, government policy and organization, the armed forces, the family, religion, and the progress of “Romanization ”, which ultimately turned subject peoples into Romans with remarkable success.
Alston is often critical of our
sources, and frequently offers surprising conclusions or commentary on the received images of some of the emperors, such as Caligula or Domitian.
A volume in the Routledge series “Aspects of Classical Civilisation,” this is an
essential book for any serious student of the Roman Empire, this will also prove interesting to armchair historians.