How Ancient Rome Killed Democracy
by Bridey Heing
It didn’t take all that much to tip a great civilization into the shackles of empire.
But in his latest book, Richard Alston wants us all to think a little more critically about our beloved Rome.
Alston is a Professor of Roman History at the University of London’s Royal Holloway, and the inspiration for Rome’s Revolution: Death of the Republic and Birth of the Empire came from his own dissatisfaction with the existing body of work on Roman politics. He saw how the idealized vision of Roman culture that these works present influenced the way his students thought about Rome. “Somehow,” Alston writes in the preface, “it was all too nice … but the Roman accounts of their revolution are anything but nice. They were shocked and shocking.”