Ancient Rome A New History

David Potter


The Second Edition adds further nuance to its highly readable narrative with extended coverage of the following:
• The evolution of Roman historiography and early Roman rites
• The Roman state and Latin literature in the second century BC
• The use of the fleet in the First Punic War
• The Late Republic
• The development of courtlike structures in the decades before the death of Caesar
• The Roman army, including evidence from Vindolanda
• Constantine’s conversion to Christianity

Incorporating contributions from economics, archaeology, anthropology, literary criticism, and primary sources, David Potter’s thought-provoking and accessible text shows students how Roman historians evaluate evidence from sources as diverse as art, coins, and architecture. The book is beautifully illustrated with over 200 illustrations—maps, battle plans, portraits, paintings, sculpture, and more.


David Potter has written what will be the definitive new overview of Roman history from very early times to the end of antiquity. In a narrative that is clear and concise, while also scholarly and informed, Potter affords his readers a panoramic view of the political history and cultural development of the Roman Empire over a period of nearly fourteen centuries. Meanwhile, he explains the strengths and shortcomings of the extant ancient sources, from literary and legal texts to inscriptions and coins. Ample illustrations and maps give valuable insight into ancient life and culture. This introduction goes far beyond the basics to show the kinds of issues and debates that have made Roman history a perennial topic of study across the ages.

— Harriet Flower, Princeton University


David Potter


David Potter is Francis W. Kelsey Collegiate Professor of Greek and Roman History, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and Professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan. Recognized internationally as an authority on the Roman Empire, he is the author of many scholarly articles and books. He is also a gifted educator whose courses include Sports and Daily Life in Ancient Rome, War in Greek and Roman Civilization, and Emperors of Rome.