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About the Book

Beyond the Book

608 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 19 halftones, 4 figs., 20 maps, appends., notes, bibl., index

Studies in the History of Greece and Rome

Cloth
ISBN  978-0-8078-3480-0
Published: August 2012

Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome

By Brian Campbell


Figuring in myth, religion, law, the military, commerce, and transportation, rivers were at the heart of Rome's increasing exploitation of the environment of the Mediterranean world. In Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome, Brian Campbell explores the role and influence of rivers and their surrounding landscape on the society and culture of the Roman Empire.

Examining artistic representations of rivers, related architecture, and the work of ancient geographers and topographers, as well as writers who describe rivers, Campbell reveals how Romans defined the geographical areas they conquered and how geography and natural surroundings related to their society and activities. In addition, he illuminates the prominence and value of rivers in the control and expansion of the Roman Empire--through the legal regulation of riverine activities, the exploitation of rivers in military tactics, and the use of rivers as routes of communication and movement. Campbell shows how a technological understanding of--and even mastery over--the forces of the river helped Rome rise to its central place in the ancient world.

About the Author

Brian Campbell is professor of Roman history at Queen's University of Belfast.


Reviews

“Great value, enhanced by excellent maps and diagrams, learned notes, and a judicious bibliography. Highly recommended. Graduate students, faculty.”
--Choice

“Campbell has gathered and analyzed an impressive battery of ancient comments and reflections on rivers."
--Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"Extensively researched, well put together, and highly readable, Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome is important for anyone interested in Roman history and society."
--The NYMAS Review

"A welcome, useful, and significant contribution that provides a solid foundation for future studies."
--American Historical Review

"[Campbell's] contribution is most welcome and will long remain the point de départ for any study of Roman perspectives on and utilization of the Mediterranean's watery landscapes."
--Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"Using an impressive range of sources, Brian Campbell offers an original vision and understanding of a principal feature of the Roman world's landscape that has never been explored and analyzed as thoroughly before. Rivers and the Power of Ancient Rome helps us to appreciate rivers from a great array of perspectives--cultural, religious, legal, economic, military, and more--for the first time."
--John R. Patterson, Magdalene College, Cambridge, author of Landscapes and Cities: Rural Settlement and Civic Transformation in Early Imperial Italy

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