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The complete history of the Roman Empire – how it was created, how it was sustained in crisis, and how it shaped the world of its rulers and subjects, from the eighth century BCE to the dawn of the Middle Ages. Rome in the archaic age was a minor satellite between the Etruscan and Greek world. This book traces the expansion of Roman influence first within Italy, then around the Mediterranean world and finally, at breakneck speed, deep into Europe, out to the Atlantic, along the edge of the Sahara and down the Red Sea. There had been other empires that had expanded rapidly; what made Rome remarkable was that it managed to sustain its position for so long. Rome’s fall poses less of a mystery than its survival. Understanding this happened involves understanding the building blocks of imperial society – slavery, cities, the economy – and also the chaotic narrative of growth, civil war, stability, near disaster and then a managed downsizing. Rome: An Empire’s Story tells the tale of the great ancient city in chapters that alternate with examination of key features of Roman society. This second edition has been fully revised and updated to take account of all the major new developments in the field since the publication of the first edition. Many of the chapters have been expanded, there is an expanded section on late antiquity, a new thematic chapter looking back from Constantinople to Rome, and a greater focus on material culture throughout.