Book Review: The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, a Chronology


by Brian Taylor

Stroud, England: Spellmount/Chicago: Trafalgar Square. Pp. 320. Illus, notes, biblio., index. Price varies. ISBN: Varies

A new, and innovative chronological overview of Roman history, the volumes noted here are the first of what seems likely to be a four or five volume set. 

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire is rather different from most chronologies in a number of ways. Rather than just a
chronological listing of events, the volumes provide analysis and commentary on often very complex developments. 

Events are grouped into a series of chapters devoted to particular “eras.”  Taking Volume II, The Later Roman Republic, as an example, we find chapters on the “The Punic Wars,” “Numantia and the Gracchi,” and “The Great Civil War”, among others.  Each chapter opens with a short discussion of the unifying events that characterize the era.  The chapter then continues with a year-by-year survey of events on a regional basis, in narrative form, often down to a day-by-day treatment.  So, for example, in the chapter on “Caesar’s Conquest of Gaul” (59 BC-50 BC), the section on 56 BC opens with a look at political developments in Italy, followed by a discussion of the “Renewal of the Triumvirate,” then several entries on events in Gaul, a brief look at rising political opposition to the war, and entries on events in Spain and in Egypt. 

A useful reference for those interested in Roman history, and certainly a valuable addition to school and university libraries.

Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   

Buy it at



Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close