In SPQR, an instant classic from one of our foremost classicists, Mary Beard narrates the history of Rome while challenging the comfortable historical perspective that has existed for centuries. With precision and flair, the National Book Critics Circle finalist guides us through ancient brothels, bars, and back alleys to sift fact from fiction, myth and propaganda from historical record. Hear from Beard as she unpacks the unprecedented rise of a civilization that– even two thousand years later–still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury, and beauty, while simultaneously adding to the narrative entire groups of people omitted from history.
A professor of classics at Cambridge University, Mary Beard is the author of the best-selling The Fires of Vesuvius and the National Book Critics Circle Award–nominated Confronting the Classics. A popular blogger and television personality, Beard gave the Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books. She lives in England.