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From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 BC to AD 68
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From the Gracchi to Nero: A History of Rome from 133 BC to AD 68

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  539 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The standard textbook for the central period of Roman history. Covers the decline and fall of the Republic and the establishment of the Pax Romana under the early Principate.
Paperback, 500 pages
Published August 17th 1982 by Routledge (first published 1959)
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A reliable overview of the Romans from the history if the early republic to the dictatorial and mercurial early Empire. The reforms of the Gracchi, the Social Wars, Marius and Sulla, the Triumvirates, the Mithraditic Wars, all the emperors through Nero — it's all here. As reliable a synopsis as any. Particular focus on political history, with cultural history being relegated to a few short chapters.
I enjoyed reading (or maybe more accurate--I enjoyed having read) H. H. Scullard's masterpiece. Scullard's first publishing of the book was in 1959, and he updated the information and republished in 1963, 1970, 1976, and 1982. In fact, what prevented further publishing was Scullard's death in 1983.

Obvious is the fact that Scullard kept a steady hand at the wheel, and didn't allow "juicy intrigue" into his text--something that Scullard repeatedly says of Suetonius. I thought Scullard's ability t
Michael Cayley
Oct 20, 2013 Michael Cayley rated it really liked it
This was a standard A Level textbook when I studied ancient history almost 50 years ago. It is still an excellent and very readable overview of the decades which led to the end of the Roman republic, and of the period of the Julio-Claudian emperors. It covers military, constitutional, political, social, economic, religious and cultural affairs. The emphasis is very much on the male upper classes. Partly this reflects the sources, but a more modern treatment might have given more attention to wom ...more
Feb 29, 2008 Ainsley rated it it was amazing
A magisterial account of this turbulent time in Roman History. The notes keep getting better and better as the editions keep being revised. If you need to quote a heavyweight, Scullard is your man.
Will Everitt
Nov 15, 2015 Will Everitt rated it really liked it
Caveat: This nerdish and extremely dry book is only for you if you have a complete fascination with Ancient Rome. If you don't, skip it and head straight to Mary Beard's SPQR.
Dec 30, 2014 Drew rated it really liked it
This book provides a thorough overview of Rome's transition from Republic to Empire. In it, Scullard first describes the internal politics, geography, and foreign policy of the Roman Republic at the time of the Gracchi brothers. He goes on to tell the stories of each brother without failing to detail the many other prominent Romans who played roles in the struggles. Scullard follows this same formula throughout the whole book: first he describes the environment, then he tells the stories. As som ...more
Jimmy Lu
Jun 27, 2014 Jimmy Lu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This should be the first book for anyone interested in Roman history. It covers the entire history from the onset of civil instability in Republican Rome to the end of Julio Claudian dynasty of the Principate.
Every note-worthy event happened in that period of time was thoroughly covered in this book. From Claudius onwards, the book did run a little dry at the end. However, that probably has more to do with the fact court intrigue just isn't that interesting compared to the political dynamics and
Mathew Walls
Aug 13, 2014 Mathew Walls rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: textbooks, ebook
This book is apparently meant for highschool students, but it's less accessible than the Penguin translations of Plutarch's work, contains a lot of untranslated Latin and big chunks that are largely names and dates. It also jumps around a lot, skipping back and forward to focus on different things. And the Kindle version is made even harder to read by the numerous OCR errors and the fact that it's not correctly set up. For example, there is a table of contents that you can use to jump to differe ...more
Jul 07, 2008 Siria rated it really liked it
This is a standard text for undergrads for a reason—Scullard's text provides a magisterial overview of two of the most critical centuries of Roman history, and actually helped me to grasp some of the ways in which economics impacted on contemporary political developments. It has to be read with caveats, however: its scholarship is almost three decades old now and has been superseded in several areas. A good starting point, but you'll always have to supplement it.
Philip Koslow
Jan 27, 2016 Philip Koslow rated it really liked it
H.H.Scullard presents a grand and comprehensive overview of the political, military and cultural environment that was Rome during its transition from the Republic to the Imperial era. It is unfortunate that the Latin quotes are not translated for the untutored. Otherwise, the narrative, although unnecessarily tedious, is a good start for a patient reader just tipping their toe into the Roman world of antiquity. Last edited in 1982.
Anthony Dalton
Jun 08, 2015 Anthony Dalton rated it really liked it
Had to read this for uni. An interesting read commencing at the reforms of the tribune Tiberius Gracchus and carrying through to the early stages of the Empire, when read in conjunction with the often biased work of Plutarch, one is able to develop a feel for the time and some of its central players. Quite enjoyable really for what I can ascertain is a well known text book.
George Hodgson
This was a great first year university book. It contained however too many Latin phrases that were untranslated. I would recommend this book for students writing their first year classics history paper, which is why I purchased it for my son. A decent but not exciting read otherwise.
Sean Garrett
May 11, 2007 Sean Garrett rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
A quick overview of the Julio-Claudian Emperors and how they came about, it fails in its inability to convey enough detail; a feat which would defeat the purpose of a quick overview. For anyone who is interested in a cursory study of Roman history.
Pete Miller
Apr 23, 2014 Pete Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hugely useful book, as a secondary source it is the cornerstone of my canon of classical Roman history.
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Full name: Howard Hayes Scullard.
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