The Roman History Reading Group

Reading List for 2007

PDF version to come

January 3 The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon Abridged / Unabridged
Online: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Chapters XVII to XXI

Constantine and his family down to Julian's time in Gaul (359); religious controversies. Some people might want to skip Chapter XXI, see below.

January 17 & February 7 Kingdom of the Wicked by Anthony Burgess
February 21 The Brothers Menaechmus by Plautus … “the original comedy of errors”

Four Comedies: The Braggart Soldier, The Brothers Menaechmus, The Haunted House, The Pot of Gold (Oxford World's Classics)  This comedy is also in the upcoming book Classical Comedy.

Five Comedies: Miles Gloriosus, Menaechmi, Bacchides, Hecyra and Adelphoe

Alternately:

Miles Gloriosus & Pseudolus, the basis for “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum”.

All above three plays can also be found in The Pot of Gold and Other Plays (Penguin Classics)

March 7 The Legatus Mystery (Libertus Mysteries Series) by Rosemary Rowe
March 21 Sand of the Arena: A Gladiators of the Empire Novel by James Duffy
Please welcome James Duffy who'll be there!
April 4, April 18, May 2 The Grass Crown by Colleen McCullough
May 16 & June 6 Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears
June 20 The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon Abridged / Unabridged
Online: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Chapters XXII to XXVI

From Julian being declared emperor in Gaul (361) down to Theodosius' defeat of the Goths (382).

Chapters XXII through XXIV, the section on Julian, are mainly a summary of Ammianus, whom we read, through the Julian novel, quite recently, so some people might want to do some judicious skipping here.

Chapter XXV covers the years 363-375.

Chapter XXVI is titled The Barbarians and covers 365–395.

July 11 (instead of July 4) The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon Abridged / Unabridged
Online: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Chapters XXVII to XXXI

From “the character” of Gratian (379) to the Loss of Britain to the Empire (499).

Chapter XXVIII deals with “Final Destruction of Paganism. Introduction of the Worship of Saints and Relics among the Christians,” and Chapter XXIX with the Final Division of the Empire.

July 18 The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon Abridged / Unabridged
Online: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

* see Note below.

Chapters XXXII to XXXV

From the reign of Arcadius in the East to the deaths of Attila the Hun and the Western emperor Valentinian III.

Chapter XXXII discusses The Empire of the East (395-1453).

Chapter XXXIV deals with The Huns.

August Recess
September 5 Pompeii by Robert Harris
September 19, October 3 &
October 17
History of the Roman World: 753 to 146 BC by H.H. Scullard
(hopefully, you can find this in your public library)
November 7 Three's Company by Alfred Duggan
November 21 & December 5 The Satires (Oxford World's Classics) by Juvenal  
Online (Google Books, requires – free – Google account)
December 12 (note date) Venus in Copper by Lindsey Davis

* Note: The Gibbon chats had to be rescheduled due to a cancellation in 2006, and the following will be moved over to 2008:

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon Abridged / Unabridged
Online: The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Chapters XXXVI to the end of Volume III

From the sack of Rome by the Vandals to King Arthur, followed by Gibbon's General Observations on the Fall of the Roman Empire in the West.

The second half of Chapter XXXVII and most of Chapter XXXVIII are strictly speaking outside our period. However, after Chapter XXXVIII Gibbon has a section discussing the causes of the fall of the Western Empire.

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