The Roman World 44 BC - AD 180 deals with the transformation of the Mediterranean regions, northern Europe and the Near East by the military autocrats who ruled Rome during this period. The book traces the impact of imperial politics on life in the city of Rome itself and in the rest of the empire, arguing that, despite long periods of apparent peace, this was a society controlled as much by fear of state violence as by consent.
Martin Goodman examines the reliance of Roman emperors on a huge military establishment and the threat of force. He analyses the extent to which the empire functioned as a single political, economic and cultural unit and discusses, region by region, how much the various indigenous cultures and societies were affected by Roman rule. The book has a long section devoted to the momentous religious changes in this period, which witnessed the popularity and spread of a series of elective cults and the emergence of rabbinic Judaism and Christianity from the complex world of first-century Judaea. This book provides a critical assessment of the significance of Roman rule for inhabitants of the empire, and introduces readers to many of the main issues currently faced by historians of the early empire.
This new edition, incorporating the finds of recent scholarship, includes a fuller narrative history, expanded sections on the history of women and slaves and on cultural life in the city of Rome, many new illustrations, an updated section of bibliographical notes, and other improvements designed to make the volume as useful as possible to students as well as the general reader.