Monday, February 14, 2011

The Dark History of Ancient Rome

The Dark History of Ancient Rome
by Sean Callery
Marshall Cavendish Benchmark, 2011. 64 pages. Nonfiction

The Dark History of Rome tells the sordid story of the Roman Empire, which lasted more than 1000 years and was a highly successful civilization. Unfortunately, it was built on injustice and violence. Even the story surrounding Rome's founding is violent. Its emperors were conniving, irrational, brutal and corrupt; few, if any, died of natural causes. The bulk of The Dark History of Rome focuses on the succession of emperors from Caesar to the fall of Rome. They were a pretty nasty bunch, and kept very busy with intrigues, and betraying and murdering each other.

In addition, several sections of the book deal with the remarkable violence the Roman state perpetrated against humanity. The writing is compelling without being too gratuitous, and the many illustrations add interest. This book is a good starting point for further study of Ancient Rome.

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