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New York Times Bestseller
A New York Times Notable Book
Named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, Foreign Affairs, and Kirkus Reviews
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award (Nonfiction)
Shortlisted for the Cundill Prize in Historical Literature
Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (History)
A San Francisco Chronicle Holiday Gift Guide Selection
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Selection
A sweeping, "magisterial" history of the Roman Empire from one of our foremost classicists shows why Rome remains "relevant to people many centuries later" (Atlantic).
In SPQR, an instant classic, Mary Beard narrates the history of Rome "with passion and without technical jargon" and demonstrates how "a slightly shabby Iron Age village" rose to become the "undisputed hegemon of the Mediterranean" (Wall Street Journal). Hailed by critics as animating "the grand sweep and the intimate details that bring the distant past vividly to life" (Economist) in a way that makes "your hair stand on end" (Christian Science Monitor) and spanning nearly a thousand years of history, this "highly informative, highly readable" (Dallas Morning News) work examines not just how we think of ancient Rome but challenges the comfortable historical perspectives that have existed for centuries. With its nuanced attention to class, democratic struggles, and the lives of entire groups of people omitted from the historical narrative for centuries, SPQR will to shape our view of Roman history for decades to come.
New York Times Bestseller
One of the Guardian's "100 Best Books of the 21st Century" — "A modern feminist classic."
From the internationally acclaimed classicist and New York Times best-selling author comes this timely manifesto on women and power.
At long last, Mary Beard addresses in one brave book the misogynists and trolls who mercilessly attack and demean women the world over, including, very often, Mary herself. In Women & Power, she traces the origins of this misogyny to its ancient roots, examining the pitfalls of gender and the ways that history has mistreated strong women since time immemorial. As far back as Homer’s Odyssey, Beard shows, women have been prohibited from leadership roles in civic life, public speech being defined as inherently male. From Medusa to Philomela (whose tongue was cut out), from Hillary Clinton to Elizabeth Warren (who was told to sit down), Beard draws illuminating parallels between our cultural assumptions about women’s relationship to power—and how powerful women provide a necessary example for all women who must resist being vacuumed into a male template. With personal reflections on her own online experiences with sexism, Beard asks: If women aren’t perceived to be within the structure of power, isn’t it power itself we need to redefine? And how many more centuries should we be expected to wait?
A National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, this is “the perfect introduction to classical studies, and deserves to become something of a standard work” (Observer).
Mary Beard, drawing on thirty years of teaching and writing about Greek and Roman history, provides a panoramic portrait of the classical world, a book in which we encounter not only Cleopatra and Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Hannibal, but also the common people—the millions of inhabitants of the Roman Empire, the slaves, soldiers, and women. How did they live? Where did they go if their marriage was in trouble or if they were broke? Or, perhaps just as important, how did they clean their teeth? Effortlessly combining the epic with the quotidian, Beard forces us along the way to reexamine so many of the assumptions we held as gospel—not the least of them the perception that the Emperor Caligula was bonkers or Nero a monster. With capacious wit and verve, Beard demonstrates that, far from being carved in marble, the classical world is still very much alive.
Como culminación de cincuenta años de estudio e investigación sobre la antigua Roma, Mary Beard, profesora de la Universidad de Cambridge, nos ofrece una magistral visión de conjunto de su historia: una historia que, nos dice, «al cabo de dos mil años, sigue siendo la base de nuestra cultura y nuestra política, de cómo vemos el mundo y nuestro lugar en él». Un especialista como Peter Heather, profesor del King’s College, señala que Beard triunfa en la ambiciosa tarea de «darnos una respuesta coherente a la cuestión de por qué Roma se expandió de un modo tan espectacular». Nada más alejado, sin embargo, de una síntesis académica al uso. En la mayoría de las reseñas críticas de este libro aparecen asociados los calificativos de «magistral» y «entretenido ». Catherine Edwards, por ejemplo, nos dice que «el análisis de las instituciones y de las estructuras se ve constantemente animado en estas páginas por episodios apasionantes».
This exciting new look at Classical art starts with the excavation of the buried city of Pompeii, and investigates the grandiose monuments of ancient tyrants, and the sensual beauty of Apollo and Venus. Concluding with that most influential invention of all, the human portrait, it highlights the re-discovery of Classical art in the modern world, from the treasure hunts of Renaissance Rome to scientific retrieval of artworks in the twenty-first century.
We are all Classicists - we come into touch with the Classics daily: in our culture, politics, medicine, architecture, language, and literature. What are the true roots of these influences, however, and how do our interpretations of these aspects of the Classics differ from their original reception? This introduction to the Classics begins with a visit to the British Museum to view the frieze which once decorated the Apollo Temple at Bassae. Through these sculptures, John Henderson
and Mary Beard prompt us to consider the significance of Classics as a means of discovery and enquiry, its value in terms of literature, philposophy, and culture, and its importance as a source of imagery.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
From prehistoric Mexico to modern Istanbul, Mary Beard looks beyond the familiar canon of Western imagery to explore the history of art, religion, and humanity.
Conceived as a gorgeously illustrated accompaniment to “How Do We Look” and “The Eye of Faith,” the famed Civilisations shows on PBS, renowned classicist Mary Beard has created this elegant volume on how we have looked at art. Focusing in Part I on the Olmec heads of early Mesoamerica, the colossal statues of the pharaoh Amenhotep III, and the nudes of classical Greece, Beard explores the power, hierarchy, and gender politics of the art of the ancient world, and explains how it came to define the so-called civilized world. In Part II, Beard chronicles some of the most breathtaking religious imagery ever made—whether at Angkor Wat, Ravenna, Venice, or in the art of Jewish and Islamic calligraphers— to show how all religions, ancient and modern, have faced irreconcilable problems in trying to picture the divine. With this classic volume, Beard redefines the Western-and male-centric legacies of Ernst Gombrich and Kenneth Clark.
Laughter in Ancient Rome explores one of the most intriguing, but also trickiest, of historical subjects. Drawing on a wide range of Roman writing—from essays on rhetoric to a surviving Roman joke book—Mary Beard tracks down the giggles, smirks, and guffaws of the ancient Romans themselves. From ancient "monkey business" to the role of a chuckle in a culture of tyranny, she explores Roman humor from the hilarious, to the momentous, to the surprising. But she also reflects on even bigger historical questions. What kind of history of laughter can we possibly tell? Can we ever really "get" the Romans’ jokes?
Mary Beard's by now famous blog A Don's Life has been running on the TLS website for nearly three years. In it she has made her name as a wickedly subversive commentator on the world in which we live. Her central themes are the classics, universities and teaching -- and much else besides.
What are academics for?
Who was the first African Roman emperor?
Looting -- ancient and modern.
Are modern exams easier?
Keep lesbos for the lesbians.
Did St Valentine exist?
What made the Romans laugh?
That is just a small taste of this selection (and some of the choicer responses) which will inform, occasionally provoke and cannot fail to entertain.