This engrossing book looks at the growth and eventual demise of Rome from the viewpoint of the peoples who fought against it. Here is the reality behind legends such as Spartacus the gladiator, Shapur the conqueror, and Mithridates the connoisseur of poisons, among others. Some enemies of Rome were noble heroes, others were murdering villains, but each has a unique and fascinating story. It was once assumed that Rome carried the torch of civilization into the barbarian darkness, bringing law, architecture, and literature to conquered peoples.The alternative view now suggests that many of Rome's enemies-the Celts, Hebrews, and Phoenicians, for example-were developing civilizations in their own right before obliteration at the Roman sword.
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