Rome's vast empire is extremely relevant to the world today, when people are trying to rise beyond national frontiers to great multi-national identities, such as the community of Europe. In this book, Michael Grant examines the crucial part played by the Antonines in the development of that empire, which they ruled for over half a century, from AD 138 to AD 192. Theirs was an age of some amazing writings, including the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, the most notable work that a great ruler has ever written. There are also some superb works of art, including splendid portraits, which are discussed in this volume. However, many questions arise: Did the Antonines' peaceful rule contain the seeds of later decay? How did the Christians fare? And what about paganism, especially under the much-maligned Commodus? Was he as bad a he was made out to be? And was he not, for example, right - or at any rate defensible - when he decided to give up the policy of his father Marcus Aurelius which involved the annexation of Bohemia, Moravia and other areas of the Danube?
The importance of the Antonines is manifold, but it mainly lies in the fact that they represented an age of transition' - one of the major turning points in the history of the world. It was a period which witnessed enormous social changes which heralded a new era. The Antonines presided over the phase that brought all these developments about and played gigantic parts in the massive historical drama that was unfolding, a drama destined to change the Roman empire from its ancient mould to what we, with our love of labels, describe as the Middle Ages.
- Publication Date:
- 20 / 10 / 1994
- 159 x 235mm