“In this interesting and suggestive book, Professor MacMullen views anew an important and rather neglected aspect of Roman social relations. A perceptive and sensitive interpreter, he has drawn widely upon the scattered and unorganized evidence about the poorer classes, rural and urban, in much of the Roman Empire, and presents a fresh picture of their conditions, attitud“In this interesting and suggestive book, Professor MacMullen views anew an important and rather neglected aspect of Roman social relations. A perceptive and sensitive interpreter, he has drawn widely upon the scattered and unorganized evidence about the poorer classes, rural and urban, in much of the Roman Empire, and presents a fresh picture of their conditions, attitudes and aims.”—T. Robert S. Broughton“Ramsay MacMullen’s work is always provocative and illuminating. This book is no exception…Through good writing, clear presentation, and outstanding common-sense judgment the author has given us chapters to be read with pleasure by a large audience. Specialist or not…This fine book represents for us what we may legitimately know of ancient society.”—American Historical Review“Much of the evidence which MacMullen uses in his narrative is illuminating, much of the analysis and argument lucid and compelling….Roman Social Relations is an interesting and lively book [that] should certainly be read by anyone interested in the social history of the ancient world.”—Journal of Social HistoryRamsay MacMullen is the author of Paganism in the Roman Empire and Roman Government’s Response to Crisis, A.D. 235-337, among other works. He is Dunham Professor of History and Classics at Yale University and is currently president of the Association of Ancient Historians....
|Title||:||Roman Social Relations, 50 BC to AD 284|
|Number of Pages||:||212 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Roman Social Relations, 50 BC to AD 284 Reviews
Not just for scholars... I was referred to this book by the bibliography of History of Private Life vol. I. This is really more of a short (120pp.) essay on the title subject then a full treatment of the topic. As a non-specialist, I found quality to be appealing. MacMullen sketches out a thumbnail portrait of Roman society during the republic. It is not a complex picture. The wealthy comprised one ten thousandth of one percent of the entire population, but they controlled almost all of the wealth. Below them were their often wealthy slaves and on the bottom were the "free romans". Life in Roman times was nasty, brutish and filled with oft-violent conflict. In fact, the Pax Romana was anything but "pax". MacMullen's portrait of Roman life (at least in the rural areas) sounds like something a social Darwinist writing in the 19th century would approve of. Wealth was derived from land, and conservatism in all things economic was the rule. Note on the other review posted: I'm not sure how one could read the same book I read and say "not enough detail and support" for the statements made. The notes and appendixes are almost as long as the text itself! The notes contain references to over 380 works on ancient roman life, so I think the below reviewer was not paying attention. I recommend this book for non specialists.
MacMullen is deservedly a well-respected scholar, and this book shows that to be the case. Though the actual text of the book is short, MacMullen presents lots of information and extensively notes his examples and sources. The book begins with the life of rural villagers, move to that of the semi-urban, then to the urban, and then to class, which is really about what factors go into one's influence in society. The final chapter, entitled "What Follows," briefly compares how an ancient Roman (i. e., Julius Caesar) and modern historians contemplate the whole of social relations. This book provides a good overview of Roman social relations, and would pair well with The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World (edt. Michael Peachin) and Roman Social History: A Sourcebook (by Tim Parken and Arthur Pomeroy) for giving a deeper look into the topic.
To be honest I don't think I got a lot of the finer details of his argument but the writing is really wonderful.