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Marius - Ancients in Action (Paperback)
  • Marius - Ancients in Action (Paperback)
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Marius - Ancients in Action (Paperback)

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£21.99
Paperback 136 Pages / Published: 17/12/2015
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Gaius Marius (158/157-86 BC) has a major transformational impact on the history of the late Roman Republic. Although none of his ancestors had been a member of the Senate, he managed to reach the consulship on seven occasions, and was responsible for a series of major military victories, notably against King Jugurtha in North Africa and the Teutons and the Cimbrians in Southern Gaul and Northern Italy. Much of his internal political agenda, however, was highly controversial. His reform of the army recruitment system was regarded by some (perhaps with undue emphasis) as a crucial factor in the downfall of the Roman Republic. The final years of his life witnessed his exile, his return to Rome at the head of an armed force, and his comeback to power, shortly followed by his sudden death. This volume provides an account of the life and career of Gaius Marius, sets his achievements and failures within the wider context of the decline of the Roman Republic, and discusses his political legacy in the following decades. It also provides an assessment of the main modern interpretations of the man and his policies.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781474214711
Number of pages: 136
Weight: 182 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 10 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
[Santangelo] picks his way carefully through the evidence ... and leaves open many questions about the complicated and sometimes contradictory politicking ... in which Marius is said to have been involved ... The thoughtful student will benefit from this well-argued example of how to handle ancient sources. * Classics For All Reviews *
Gaius Marius arguably had more of an impact on Roman history than did even his nephew, Julius Caesar. Marius was a canny politician, a powerful orator, and a brilliant general. Santangelo (Newcastle Univ., UK) explains this and more in his short, solid account of Marius's life, part of Bloomsbury's "Ancients in Action" series. The author draws exclusively on ancient literary and material sources, synthesizing these works into a clear, modern narrative. The biography is carefully balanced between the subject's rise through the cursus honorum to his long and unprecedented tenure in the consulship and the peripeteia this political hubris caused, ending with his tragic demise in a record seventh term. Despite his work's brevity, Santangelo deftly weaves his sources with open discussion when they vary in detail, e.g., Cicero and Plutarch on Marius's twin electoral failure in 116 BCE. A short but thorough bibliographic survey of modern scholarship and topically arranged endnotes offer readers opportunities for focused further study. Admittedly, Santangelo does not add much to what Plutarch did for Marius, but he does match Plutarch in purpose, making the Roman republic resonate with contemporary audiences. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Public and undergraduate collections. * CHOICE *
Santangelo has written a concise and pertinent account of Marius' life. His style is fluent with the ancient evidence sensibly analyzed. The sources are unreliable, biased, and written long after the events, but the author vigilantly pieces the life together. The book is also commendable in the way it covers challenging issues ... This accessible little book, is a fine starting point for anyone wishing to read about Marius and the world in which he lived. * Res Militares *
The aim is to be an accessible introduction to the essentials of the subject's life and later significance, and Santangelo's Marius certainly achieves this aim. Indeed it will be the starting point for any student or academic wanting something more in-depth than offered by standard text books and dictionary or encyclopedia entries. * Bryn Mawr Classical Review *
The Bloomsbury Ancient in Action series is a laudable endeavour ... [Marius] is written with students in mind throughout. It offers up-to-date syntheses of the current state of play on key issues. * The Classical Review *
Gaius Marius was one of the most important generals in Roman history. Successful, and a reformer, his disdain for the Roman constitution hastened the collapse of the Roman Republic. This book helpfully places Marius in his wider context. -- David J. Breeze, honorary professor at the Universities of Durham, Edinburgh and Newcastle, UK, and author of Hadrian's Wall (4th edn, 2000), Roman Frontiers in Britain (Bloomsbury, 2013) and The Roman Army (Bloomsbury 2015)

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