Roman Disasters looks at how the Romans coped with, thought about, and used disasters for their own ends. Rome has been famous throughout history for its great triumphs. Yet Rome also suffered colossal disasters. From the battle of Cannae, where fifty thousand men fell in a single day, to the destruction of Pompeii, to the first appearance of the bubonic plague, the Romans experienced large scale calamities.Earthquakes, fires, floods and famines also regularly afflicted them.
This insightful book is the first to treat such disasters as a conceptual unity. It shows that vulnerability to disasters was affected by politics, social status, ideology and economics. Above all, it illustrates how the resilience of their political and cultural system allowed the Romans to survive the impact of these life-threatening events. The book also explores the important role disaster narratives played in Christian thought and rhetoric.
Engaging and accessible, Roman Disasters will be enjoyed by students and general readers alike.
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Agathias ancient Rome Anthemius antiquity Artemidorus barbarians Basil of Caesarea behaviour Black Death calamities Cambridge University Press catastrophe caused cent Christian Chronicle of Pseudo-Joshua collapse Constantinople context cope crisis cultural Dacian danger death Decebalus defeat demons disaster narrative disease divine drought earthquake effects elite emperor environment eruption of Vesuvius fact Faculty of Classics famine fate fear Fire in Rome flood ﬂoods gods happened Hist human Ibid impact individual inhabitants John of Ephesus kind Leucippe and Clitophon luck Marcus Aurelius mental disorder metaphor military modern moral natural disasters Nero Oxford panic people’s plague political Pompeii population Procopius reflected religious response result rhetoric risk rituals Roman disasters Roman empire Roman society Roman world Rome’s Routledge rumours seen significant social stories stress Stylite suffering survive Tacitus threat Trajan trauma tsunami University of Cambridge Vesuvius victims vulnerability women