Corruption and the Decline of Rome

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9780300043136: Corruption and the Decline of Rome

Prominent historian Ramsay MacMullen here offers a new perspective on the decline and fall of Rome. MacMullen argues that a key factor in Rome’s fall was the steady loss of focus and control over government as its aims were thwarted for private gain by high-ranking bureaucrats and military leaders. Written in an informal and lively style, his book the culmination of years of research and thoughtful analysis provides a fascinating, fresh line of investigation and shows convincingly that the decline of Rome was a gradual, insidious process rather than a climactic event. 
An important book which will initiate a long debate. . . . What is new in MacMullen’s argument is not the existence of this corruption but its sheer scale and long-term global effects. . . . A vivid and frightening picture of how a great state and civilization, the construction of centuries of painfully acquired political culture, can be cripplingly undermined.” Stephen Williams, History Today 
A powerful account of the vices of late Roman society, which certainly helps us to understand some aspects of its partial fall.” Jasper Griffin, New York Review of Books 
All students of history must welcome this wide-ranging book from so eminent an authority. MacMullen’s knowledge of the ancient evidence is encyclopedic and his deceptively casual style and deliberate avoidance of technical terms make this an accessible and stimulating book for the general reader as well as for the specialist.” Jill Harries, International History Review 
MacMullen’s book is excellent: rich and learned in detail, lively in style, and in argument and insights highly stimulating.” S. J. B. Barnish, Times Higher Education Supplement

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Ramsay MacMullen, Dunham Professor of History and classics at Yale, here offers a new perspective on the decline and fall of Rome. He argues that a key factor in the empire's military and administrative failures was a steady loss of control over government, as its aims and focus were thwarted for private gain by officials and military men at all ranks. The fruit of a decade of research and analysis presented in an informal and lively style, this book offers the first survey of just what evidence exists for the 'decline, ' and provides a fascinating, fresh line of explanation for the empire's most obvious inadequacies in the face of its economic and military challenges.

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MacMullen, Ramsay
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ISBN 10: 0300043139 ISBN 13: 9780300043136
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