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This is an interesting overview of the history of the Roman republic It might be useful for a high school or college class However, given the length of the period covered, and the brevity of the book, there is a lot of detail omitted The introduction to the book led me to believe that there would be some comparisons drawn between the collapse of the republic and current events However, there is none of that analysis in this book I found the narrator of the audio book to be overly dramatic, This is an interesting overview of the history of the Roman republic It might be useful for a high school or college class However, given the length of the period covered, and the brevity of the book, there is a lot of detail omitted The introduction to the book led me to believe that there would be some comparisons drawn between the collapse of the republic and current events However, there is none of that analysis in this book I found the narrator of the audio book to be overly dramatic, especially at the beginning of the book I ve rounded 3.5 stars up to 4 I received a free copy of this book from the publisher I have this scene playing in my head of some book publisher checking his Twitter in 2018 and declaring Books about the fall of republics are hot right now Get me a Roman historian This book promises an analysis and description of the violent end of the Roman Republic, an always worthy and interesting subject My complaint then is that the author provides little analysis and the description is too high level for the reader to draw their own conclusions In fact, it is hard to figure out who t I have this scene playing in my head of some book publisher checking his Twitter in 2018 and declaring Books about the fall of republics are hot right now Get me a Roman historian This book promises an analysis and description of the violent end of the Roman Republic, an always worthy and interesting subject My complaint then is that the author provides little analysis and the description is too high level for the reader to draw their own conclusions In fact, it is hard to figure out who the intended audience for this book is This is a short book to cover the period from 264BC to AD17, and necessarily leaves a lot out, but the nuances are necessary for the subject matter here Edward Watts talks about the events of the Jugurthine War in passing He mentions how Gaius Marius had undercut the commanding general Quintus Metellus, but he does not convey its significance, or how that places Marius on the political landscape Watts mentions Sulla s proximity to the capture of Jugurtha, but not how Sulla s attempt to exploit that for political advantage alienates him from Marius, and ultimately contributes to alienating Marius from the nobiles The Cimbrian invasion gets only a few short paragraphs Watts mentions the purges following Sulla s second march on Rome, but he does not convey the terror of a daily list of purged citizens being nailed to the rostrum every morning, and just how deeply it scarred Roman politics going forward There is no description of the rampant alienation and cynicism of the post Sulla generation, a generation often remarked to be different in the dress, attitudes, s, and manners from theirstoic and earnest ancestors He talks of Pompeii s conquests in the east, but he never explains what they are A reader does not feel just how exhausted the Roman and Italian people were with politics and war by the start of the 40 s B.C., and yet unmentioned is the way the Roman people groaned so Appian tells us when they saw the depictions of Lucius Scipio and Cato the Younger in Caesar s triumph of the African campaign A reader may miss the idea that this is a people who may have loved the Republic, loved its ideals of liberty and honor, and yet rationally chose the dictatorship of Caesar The best authors on this subject make it clear to their readers that they would probably make the same bargain in similar circumstances today.Maybe this book is intended for readers who are already familiar with the subject and are looking to draw lessons from an analysis of the period Except there is no analysis in this book aside from a few unsupported assertions If most of history is accident, some is trend, and a tiny bit is law, then an author needs to step out of the historical narrative long enough to make comparisons with other times and places to figure out which is which This telling of the fall of the Republic sticks strictly to a birds eye view of events and Watts does not discuss which facts of the story fall into which category It would be wrong to say that there is no commentary contained in the book, but if it were all condensed, it would probably fill nothan a page or two and does not take the form of rigorous argumentation The singular comparison to the modern world is offered as a bromide in the last paragraph of the book When citizens take the health and durability of their republic for granted, that republic is at risk This was true in 133BC or 82BC or 44 BC as it is an AD 2108 In ancient Rome and in the modern world, a republic is a thing to be cherished, protected, and respected If it falls, an uncertain dangerous, and destructive future lies on the other side Before I sound too negative, there are a few things that are very interesting in this book Edward Watts is clearly a knowledgeable professional historian who has a great depth and familiarity with this subject, and his characterizations of events that he glosses over demonstrate his understanding of subjects he chooses not to write about Watts spendstime talking about the economics of the republic than other authors and discusses the effects of the currency and credit markets at different points in its history He also relies upon archeological evidence to correct some of the exaggerations of the ancient historians, for instance that the countryside had become totally dominated by rich landowners by the 140 s BC, as he points out that the demographic trends and migration patterns strongly suggest that the diminishing fortunes of the family farmer resulted from same amount of land was being divided amongandchildren every generation I would be very interested in reading some of hisfocused and scholarly works In short This is not the best book on the subject The past is no Oracle and historians are not prophets, but this does not mean that it is wrong to look to antiquity for help understanding the present This was intense No republic is eternal It lives only as long as its citizens want it As soon as I finished the book I thought it would be a labor of Hercules to make a comprehensive review, especially because the book is exhaustive in itself Romans had avoided political violence for three centuries before a series of political murders rockedThe past is no Oracle and historians are not prophets, but this does not mean that it is wrong to look to antiquity for help understanding the present This was intense No republic is eternal It lives only as long as its citizens want it As soon as I finished the book I thought it would be a labor of Hercules to make a comprehensive review, especially because the book is exhaustive in itself Romans had avoided political violence for three centuries before a series of political murders rocked the republic in the 130s and 120s BC.I will give a speech that, in my mind, seems coherent enough.First fact this book is really well done It has numerous sources, has a large bibliography, a large number of notes andinformations to the text.Second fact while maintaining the chronological order of events, the author analyzes them, compares them to each other and compares them to the events of the future and the past, as to give a true examination of history.Third fact the book is divided into sections, chapters, which mark the various degrees of transition between the Republic and what will then be called empire It takes into consideration a large number of facts, going specifically to each of them, studying them with a magnifying glass To do this, the author based his work on direct and indirect sources The direct sources, as I call them, are the commentaries and the things written by the contemporaries to the events The indirect sources, however, on the other hand, are biographies and monographs presented by authors who live in years away from the events It is important to underline that the author always reports when he takes the information from authors who lived a century later orthan the events he narrates.Fourth fact Roman history is always fascinating, full of intrigues and struggles Unfortunately, it is precisely because of these intrigues and struggles that the Roman republic has fallen The author does an excellent job in studying the causes and consequences of the actions of politicians, commanders and senators Fifth fact The main hypothesis of this book is that the republic has fallen due to numerous exceptions to the idea of the Republic, the res publica, which means common thing Individualisms have won over the importance of the community and the common good I can only share this vision.Sixth fact the book takes into consideration a great period of time It speaks in depth of the Punic Wars, of the Italic wars, of the social and civil wars It speaks of personalities who have entered world history, such as Sulla, Marius, Cicero, Ceasar, but also Fabritius and Scipio, or Crassus, Lepidus, Brutus, Catilina The author has succeeded in not making the whole book seem like a great boring speech, indeed it has made the reading interesting and compelling, adding facts and historical curiosities or at least shared the ones by ancient historians.Seventh fact as a lover of the period between the first century before Christ and the first century after Christ, I can say that this section of the book is really well done Exciting and full of interesting notions.And now we come to the only negative think the beginning is slow The whole part of the Punic Wars seemed to me slow and heavy, but this may also depend on my singular extraneousness to the facts of that period.Equipped with images and maps, this book is even better than the one on which I studied Roman history at university This, said by a student from Rome, means a lot Congratulations to the author for doing this immense work, well orchestrated and well organized, engaging and rewarding My brain thanks I would recommend this book in universities and schools, precisely for its completenessThanks to Netgalley and the publisher For sending me a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review The founders of the US had the Roman Republic present in their minds as they were constructing the US republic Many of the institutions created outside of the English common law were modeled on political ideals inspired by earlier republics Rome being the most important example of the ancient world was the most important model To keep from falling into tyranny or dictatorship republics like Rome had many power centers that had checks on each other to make sure consensus was achieved before ac The founders of the US had the Roman Republic present in their minds as they were constructing the US republic Many of the institutions created outside of the English common law were modeled on political ideals inspired by earlier republics Rome being the most important example of the ancient world was the most important model To keep from falling into tyranny or dictatorship republics like Rome had many power centers that had checks on each other to make sure consensus was achieved before action was taken institutions no matter how well designed have to be respected and precedents and procedure have to be followed If people have no allegiance to institutions and allow the rule of law to give way to violent action outside of institutions and strong men to get away with the breach of law republics fall to demagogues and to tyranny Republics are negotiations between various parts of the populace to run their affairs but respect for the process and all concerned and a basic respect for the institutions is necessary When certain actors like the Gracchi started using the threat of violence to get their way they introduced a fear into the politic and raised the stakes of politics to win greater glory for a strongman and possible death for failure This destroys Republics because the process is ruined and the state becomes something to be conquered and controlled not preserved for the common good This channels politics into a winner take all zero sum game mentality which usually ends in autocracy People let their republic fall into civil war and chaos rarely restore their state to the status quo ante The peace, when it comes, is the peace of despotism However comfortable and safe it is it isn t compatible with freedom and it is usually less comfortable or safe than a functioning republic I recommend this book to anyone worried about their own republic these days You know who you are Another of WORLD s recommendations Watts gives a succinct, well paced play by play of how the Roman Republic gradually deteriorated as power hungry men, made wealthy by Rome s conquests, stretched the bounds of the law for their personal benefit Eventually, the frayed Republic came to be at the mercy of such men, and the civil wars fought in the 100s BC werea question of who would become tyrant rather than whether the republic could survive The details of that broad timeline are fascina Another of WORLD s recommendations Watts gives a succinct, well paced play by play of how the Roman Republic gradually deteriorated as power hungry men, made wealthy by Rome s conquests, stretched the bounds of the law for their personal benefit Eventually, the frayed Republic came to be at the mercy of such men, and the civil wars fought in the 100s BC werea question of who would become tyrant rather than whether the republic could survive The details of that broad timeline are fascinating, and Watts does an excellent job at telling the story The only caveat I d give is that the reader needs to have a broad idea of Rome s history, as that makes the flow of the book easier to understand and puts events in context There is an often repeated saying attributed to Mark Twain but probably apocryphal that history doesn t repeat itself but it does rhyme or something like that The author is a senior history professor at Cal San Diego who has written an account of the death of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire with the death of Julius Caesar and the rise of Augustus as emperor The story is an old one that is often told I first ran into it watching I Claudius on public television.Watts p There is an often repeated saying attributed to Mark Twain but probably apocryphal that history doesn t repeat itself but it does rhyme or something like that The author is a senior history professor at Cal San Diego who has written an account of the death of the Roman Republic and the rise of the Roman Empire with the death of Julius Caesar and the rise of Augustus as emperor The story is an old one that is often told I first ran into it watching I Claudius on public television.Watts puts a particular spin on the story, however, and that is what makes this book worth reading Shortly after the ascent of Augustus, the empire suffered a string of terrible calamities in 22 BCE that were comparable to or surpassed the traumas of the recently completed civil war In response, the people of the empire did not demand a return to the Republic and repudiate the recent death of the Republic and the installation of autocracy On the contrary, the response was to lament that Augustus neededtitles andpower and that the salvation of the people was to be found in the empire The question motivating the story is how did the Republic come to die unloved and its place be taken by the Empire, to which the people of Rome submitted How did that unfortunate series of events come about The story is thus one of how the Republic worked when it was working who had responsibility, how were decisions made, how was accountability exercised, and how were excesses addressed Then the historical account becomes how the republican model failed, what went wrong and when, what was the time line that prepared the way for the Civil War and the death of the Republic It is a great story and readers who do not know it should learn if they are able The punchline, of course, is the current state of democracy in the West in the mid 2010s you know, Trump, Brexit, Putin, Poland, populism, and the lot of it Those who fail to learn from the past While I grant the similarities with Rome, the differences are also there and the Europeans at least have lots of experience with what can go wrong with democracy The same with the US Still the story is a good one and the author, even if preaching, does his preaching well.This is a fine book |Free Kindle ⚖ Mortal Republic: How Rome Fell into Tyranny ⚖ A new history of the Roman Republic and its collapse In Mortal Republic, prizewinning historian Edward J Watts offers a new history of the fall of the Roman Republic that explains why Rome exchanged freedom for autocracy For centuries, even as Rome grew into the Mediterranean s premier military and political power, its governing institutions, parliamentary rules, and political customs successfully fostered negotiation and compromise By the s BC, however, Rome s leaders increasingly used these same tools to cynically pursue individual gain and obstruct their opponents As the center decayed and dysfunction grew, arguments between politicians gave way to political violence in the streets The stage was set for destructive civil wars and ultimately the imperial reign of Augustus The death of Rome s Republic was not inevitable In Mortal Republic, Watts shows it died because it was allowed to, from thousands of small wounds inflicted by Romans who assumed that it would last forever A Renaissance In Blood prizewinning historian Edward J Watts offers a new history of the fall of the Roman Republic that explains why Rome exchanged freedom for autocracy For centuries Did You Say Mathematics? even as Rome grew into the Mediterranean s premier military and political power The Age of Retribution its governing institutions Shiang parliamentary rules Shiang and political customs successfully fostered negotiation and compromise By the s BC The Incuabri: Taken Part Two however Becoming His Awesome Beauty: Volume 1 Rome s leaders increasingly used these same tools to cynically pursue individual gain and obstruct their opponents As the center decayed and dysfunction grew Butterflies of the North Woods: Minnesota, Wisconsin & Michigan arguments between politicians gave way to political violence in the streets The stage was set for destructive civil wars and ultimately the imperial reign of Augustus The death of Rome s Republic was not inevitable In Mortal Republic A Secret and A Kiss (Western Secrets Book 1) Watts shows it died because it was allowed to Songs for the Little Ones at Home from thousands of small wounds inflicted by Romans who assumed that it would last forever This is a interesting book one with a very relevant message. Available as a 10.5 hour audio download If possible, get the version with an accompanying.pdf which has helpful maps and pictures.The republic did not need to die A republic is not an organism It has no natural life span It lives or dies soley on the basis of choices made by those in charge of its custody.The audiobook has an especially touching and dramatic few minutes, including the quote above, and also states plainly that those standing by and doing nothing in the face of corruption and Available as a 10.5 hour audio download If possible, get the version with an accompanying.pdf which has helpful maps and pictures.The republic did not need to die A republic is not an organism It has no natural life span It lives or dies soley on the basis of choices made by those in charge of its custody.The audiobook has an especially touching and dramatic few minutes, including the quote above, and also states plainly that those standing by and doing nothing in the face of corruption and abuse of power are also responsible of their own loss of liberty.On a practical level, the many names of politicians and places go zooming by pretty fast in this narrative, so I think that this audio book might be better for a long drive or two, rather than a few minutes here and there, as I did Still, very moving and very informative What a fascinating and timely book this is This is the history of how the Roman Republic transmuted into an autocracy going from an austere, honor driven, consensus based society to an unimaginably wealthy oligarchy which rested on the shoulders of one man Well written and beautifully flowing, this is a hard book to put down.Watts describes the early Republic, with its interlocking system of mutual responsibility, where the most sought after goods that is, honors and public acclaim, were the What a fascinating and timely book this is This is the history of how the Roman Republic transmuted into an autocracy going from an austere, honor driven, consensus based society to an unimaginably wealthy oligarchy which rested on the shoulders of one man Well written and beautifully flowing, this is a hard book to put down.Watts describes the early Republic, with its interlocking system of mutual responsibility, where the most sought after goods that is, honors and public acclaim, were the prerogative of the state Individual wealth did not bring prestige, although it undoubtedly made people s lives comfortable He also makes clear that Rome was a regional power until the time of the Second Punic War In order to defend itself from Carthage, and its greatest general, Hannibal, Rome had to recast itself, and in doing so the seeds of its destruction were planted.As time goes along, Watts shows us the cracks in the Republic Because the Roman polity was based on tradition and especially consensus, eventually there were men who decided to advance themselves by breaking the consensus and promoting violence in order to get their way This led to crisis upon crisis, and eventually to civil war The outward forms of the Republic remained, but inwardly the system of government was hollow and led, almost inevitably, to Augustus and autocracy.I found this book to be thought provoking and a bit frightening The parallels between our own time and the destruction of the Republic are far too close for comfort We have as our leader a man who also refuses to accept the norms of our society and government, who lies incessantly, who proclaims that he alone can fix our problems, although he is the source of many of them, who provokes violence to get his own way, and who appeals to the mob in order to force his decisions on the rest of us The Roman Republic was not sturdy enough to withstand the selfishness of greedy men, will the American Republic be strong enough to withstand Donald Trump My one real criticism of this book is the use of the now somewhat dated BC instead of theinclusive BCE, which stands for Before the Common Era It has always seemed sort of silly to me to describe ancient societies as Before Christ, when those societies existed in their own time For those who are interested, the use of AD, Anno Domini, or In the Year of Our Lord, is likewise anachronistic and should be replaced with CE, meaning Common Era.I recommend this book to anyone interested in Roman history, or indeed, to anyone who is worried about the fate of Western Civilization.I received an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley for my honest opinion