The Grandeur That Was Rome, 1912: A Survey of Roman Culture and Civilization (Classic Reprint)
This book is a continuation of 'The Glory that was Greece,' written with the same purpose and from the same point of view.
The point of view is that of humanity and the progress of civilisation. The value of Romes contribution to the lasting welfare of mankind is the test of what is to be emphasised or neglected. Hence the instructed reader will find a deliberate attempt to adjust the historical balance which has, I venture to think, been unfairly deflected by excessive deference to literary and scholastic traditions. The Roman histories of the nineteenth century were wont to stop short with the Republic, because Classical Latin ceased with Cicero and Ovid. They followed Livy and Tacitus in regarding the Republic as the hey-day of Roman greatness, and the Empire as merely a distressing sequel beginning and ending in tragedy. From the standpoint of civilisation this is an absurdity. The Republic was a mere preface. The Republic until its last century did nothing for the world, except to win battles whereby the road was opened for the subsequent advance of civilisation. Even the stern tenacity of the Roman defence against Hannibal, admirable as it was, can only be called superior to the still more heroic defence of Jerusalem by the Jews, because the former was successful and the latter failed. From the Republican standpoint Rome is immeasurably inferior to Athens. In short, what seemed important and glorious to Livy will not necessarily remain so after the lapse of nearly two thousand years.
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