The manner in which Scullard writes a brief epitaph after the death of a famous Roman in passages that might serve well as English texts for Latin translation exercises harkens back to the ancients themselves. Scullard, From the Gracchi to Nero: No trivia or quizzes yet. Check out the top books of the year on our page Best Books of This was a great first year university book. Playing and Reality D. Sertorius 76Spartacus 80Mithridates 86Pompey f.
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Routledge Classics H. Routledge Classics. Review by Preview Fifty-two years, five editions , , , , , and more than as many reprints since it first appeared, From the Gracchi to Nero is still praised by some of the greatest contemporary scholars of Roman history, whose laudes are listed on the first page of the front matter of the edition here under review. It is in fact four and a half pages long.
Scullard is judicious and learned, yet also unassuming and generally accessible; and, finally, he writes well. Style, after all, abides. Rathbone does not really make good his promise to estimate the impact of From the Gracchi to Nero; nor is it necessary to do so. It is, unsurprisingly, a traditional history that dwells on the politics and campaigns of Great Men. The advocacy of individual freedom also appears in the condemnation of statist control.
Much more could and should be said about From the Gracchi to Nero as a textbook in the twenty-first century. Obviously, there is much dated content in a book last revised in The manner in which Scullard writes a brief epitaph after the death of a famous Roman in passages that might serve well as English texts for Latin translation exercises harkens back to the ancients themselves.
The reader watches the Republic fall like a tall building that comes crashing down as its leaders succumb to decadence and vice. This tendency is related to one of the less edifying qualities of the work. Scullard advocates throughout a kind of Italian nationalism that is surprising from an author writing after the rise and fiery collapse of fascism in Europe: …many of the more remote country towns of central Italy must have retained a more untouched Italian way of life, and it was from this healthier source, rather than from the older Hellenized aristocracy or urban mob in Rome that Augustus was to seek regenerative powers for Roman society.
A Livy or Sallust might think so. Augustus himself is transformed into a model of good-old-fashioned Italian or perhaps English? Modern readers should also be warned that From the Gracchi to Nero is very much a pre-colonial work of scholarship. Scullard at times betrays a complacency toward imperialism that is unthinkable today. The selflessness expected of the Romans suggests a Christian message, and Christian coloring throughout the book seems to confirm it: Ti.
Later, Scullard is explicit: Few contemporaries…can have realized that the most important event for the future of the Roman empire as well as for the later world…was the life and teaching of Jesus Christ in Palestine under the procuratorship of Pilate who, yielding to the hatred of the Jews, ordered his crucifixion.
Paul, whose mission to the gentiles is facilitated by the pax Romana and whose life is saved initially anyway by possession of Roman citizenship The teleological urgency of Italian unification and the harmony of the Roman Empire become intelligible, as St. Augustine argued long ago. Every great history eventually becomes a nuisance to contemporary historians.
The work breathes an air of confident, competent scholarship, and the extensive notes give a veritable snapshot of a great generation of English scholarship on Rome, with a touch of continental learning. Sertorius 76 , Spartacus 80 , Mithridates 86 , Pompey f. The days of the city-state were over, and Rome must recognize her responsibilities to the non-political orders in Italy and the provinces.
As Rathbone notes xxv , even this reprint of the edition still contains untranslated snippets of Vergil and other phrases, e.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 BC to AD 68