This book caused a sensation when it was published in Germany in 1992, and was front page news in many newspapers. For readers of English, it will be an authoritative survey of four centuries of Roman history, and a unique window on the German tradition of the last century.
Theodor Mommsen (d. 1903) was one of the greatest Roman historians of the nineteenth century, and the only one ever to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. His fame rests on his History of Rome as well as his work on Roman law and on the Roman provinces. But the work that would have concluded his history of Rome - which ran to the reign of Augustus - was never completed. This book represents that great lost work.
In 1980 Alexander Demandt discovered in an antiquarian bookshop a full and detailed handwritten transcript of the lectures on the Roman Empire, which Mommsen gave for many years from 1863 to 1886, made by two of his students. This transcript has been edited to provide the authoritative reconstruction of the book Mommsen never wrote, A History of Rome Under the Emperors.
Barbara and Alexander Demandt have carefully edited the text and provided detailed annotation and explanatory references. For the English edition, Professor Thomas Wiedemann has written an introduction which surveys Mommsen's position and influence in nineteenth century German scholarship and introduces his work for English speaking readers.
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Published November 3, 2005