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NEW "Storming the Heavens" Ancient Roman Military Machine vs. Civilian Society

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Seller: ancientgifts (4,181) 99.3%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 122149323294 TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Your browser does not support JavaScript. To view this page, enable JavaScript if it is disabled or upgrade your browser. Click here to see almost 800 archaeology/ancient history books and 500 authentic ancient artifacts on our eBay store! Storming the Heavens: Soldiers, Emperors, and Civilians in the Roman Empire by Antonio Santosuosso. DESCRIPTION: Hardback with Dust Jacket: 265 pages. Publisher: Westview Press, A Member of the Perseus Books Group; (2001). The story of the Roman military machine begins with the crisis that enveloped Rome in the late second century B.C., when soldiers became the Empire’s worst enemy, pillaging citizens and creating social turmoil. In the closing years of the third century B.C., the ancient world watched as the Roman armies maintained clear superiority over all they surveyed. But Rome also faced an internal situation that endangered the supremacy across the expanse of the Empire. Social turmoil prevailed at the heart of her territories, led by an increasing number of dispossessed farmers, too little manpower for the army, and an inevitable conflict with the allies who had fought side by side with the Romans to establish Roman dominion. Storming the Heavens looks at this dramatic history from a variety of angles. What changed most radically, Santosuosso argues, was the behavior of the soldiers in the Roman armies. The troops became the enemies within, their pillage and slaughter of fellow citizens indiscriminate, their loyalty not to the republic but to their leaders., as long as they were ample providers of booty. By opening the military ranks to all, the new army abandoned its role as depository of the values of the upper classes and the propertied. Instead it became an institution of the poor and a drain on the power of the Empire. Santosuosso also investigates other topics, such as the monopoly of military power in the hands of a few; the connection between the armed forces and the cherished values of the state; the manipulation of the lower classes so that they would accept the view of life, control, and power dictated by the oligarchy; and the subjugation and dehumanization of subject peoples, whether they be Gauls, Britons, Germans, Africans, or even the Romans themselves. CONDITION: NEW. Slight shelf wear to jacket consistent with open shelf bookstore stock. PLEASE SEE IMAGES BELOW FOR JACKET DESCRIPTION(S) AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEW: REVIEW: Santosuosso (University of Western Ontario) describes the role of the Roman military and the crises of the third century. He considers economic factors, the practice of pillaging, the role of Caesar, the institutions of power within the empire, the twin threats of external invasion and internal unrest, and the eventual decline of the empire. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: In a fascinating sequel to his Soldiers, Citizens, and the Symbols of War from Classical Greece to Republican Rome, Santosuosso traces the rise and fall of the Roman Empire via the rise and fall of the Roman army. By the second century B.C. Rome had established dominance in the Mediterranean world through its military conquests and its policy of Romanization of the conquered nations. Yet internally the relationship between the army and the state was beginning to deteriorate. In the middle of the second century, the army, which until then had come from the ranks of land-owning citizens, was thrown open to all citizens. Numerous social and civil wars occurred in the latter half of the second century and into the first century B.C. over questions of Roman citizenship and slavery, the most famous being the slave revolt of the gladiator Spartacus. In addition, since most of the soldiers had no land to return to, they fought battles not for the honor and glory of the state but for the loot they could gain. Thus, commanders bent themselves to the wills of the soldiers in order to ensure loyalty. The Roman army, then, began a slow devolution into a rapacious group of pillagers and still later into an army that served the needs and desires of the emperor rather than the empire. Caesar and Augustus briefly brought the army back to its original purpose. By the time of the late Roman Empire (roughly 450-476 A.D.), however, the army was in such political, social and military disarray that the barbarians poured in over the porous Roman borders and brought the empire to its knees. Santosuosso's crackling prose and lively narrative provide illuminating glimpses into this history. REVIEW: A lucid study of battles, broken treaties, and arms races in Roman antiquity. In ancient Rome, writes Santosuosso, the military was made up of members of landed families who had a very real interest in seeing to the health of the republic. In the second and third centuries, however, the state (now an empire) entered a long period of decline, nudged downward by the staggering cost of maintaining a far-flung army numbering nearly a quarter of a million elite troops. The burden of supporting this force fell to the Roman taxpayers, who were already hard-pressed, especially in the countryside; to escape that burden, many rural people found it easier to join the army themselves than to till the fields and pay the publican. Especially after the time of the emperor Commodus (the heavy of the recent film "Gladiator"), they also found military service to be about the only shot they had at improving their lot (through land grants to veterans and shares in the spoils of conquest). As Santosuosso observes, "The Roman laws of war took for granted that conquered peoples surrendered their freedom and property to Rome." The conversion of the Roman army from an elite force to a volunteer army of the dispossessed and, increasingly, the non-Roman poor at that-contributed to Rome's political instability, as individual commanders vied for control of their corners of the empire and occasionally marched on Rome to seize control, backed by troops loyal not to the empire but to themselves. Government became so militarized, Santosuosso writes, that "the imperial guard and the rank and file in the field held the real power, standing behind often weak rulers." Those rulers were eminently dispensable; between 211 and 284 A.D. an emperor's reign ended almost always in assassination. Good reading for critics of latter-day military culture, as well as students of ancient history. REVIEW: As fans of Ridley Scott's film “Gladiator” know, ancient Rome could be a violent, treacherous place, one in which might made right. In this well-crafted historical study, Antonio Santosuosso shows that the structure of the Roman military itself was a cause of strife and disorder. In the early Roman republic, military service was deemed a privilege reserved for members of the propertied elite, whose interests were considered to be close to those of the state. As Rome's empire grew, and with it the forces needed to control Rome's holdings, its armies increasingly had to rely on a different kind of soldier, drawn from the many conquered peoples the empire embraced and from the rural, landless poor, whose loyalties to faraway Rome were less constant and who saw military service as one of the few means to advance themselves in a class-bound society. As historian Antonio Santosuosso shows, armies at the edges of the empire instead gave their allegiance to their commanders, who harbored imperial ambitions of their own; and who, from time to time, turned their armies around and marched on the capital to claim the throne for themselves. Naturally enough, this made Roman politics an unstable affair, and in fact throughout the third century A.D. an emperor was likely to have come to power through a coup d'état, and to end his days as the victim of assassination. Students of military history and Roman history alike will find much of value in Santosuosso's survey. Sanosuosso has a gift for storytelling, and his obvious love for the ancient sources shows through. He has filled a gap in the modern literature by providing a narrative account of Rome’s military history from the late Republic through the fall of the Empire. READER REVIEW: REVIEW: This is a good book to read for a perspective on Roman history that emphasizes the role played in that grand drama by Rome's Legions. The author discusses the changing political, social and economic effects of how the legions were recruited, commanded and paid, as well as providing significant detail on the structure, command and performance of the legions over time. The effects of the military reforms of Marius, Julius Caesar, Octavian, as well as Septimius Severus and Diocletian are given special attention as are their different offensive and defensive strategies. The author weaves historical information and his own insights into a well written story that moves along easily over the long time period covered. His discussion of specific battles (e.g. Adrianopole) and brief character studies (e.g. Marius) add personal detail and improve the general story. The book is both educational and entertaining and strongly recommended. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site and free insurance coverage). A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world – but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE."

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