In Ancient Rome, War Was the Norm. Then Peace Broke Out.

Over a year ago

What would a society look like if all it knew was war? This is the sort of question you'd expect to be tossed around in storyboard meetings for dystopian sci-fi films. Would you believe it's the kind of question that can shape an entire history of one of Earth's greatest civilizations?

Ancient Rome: "It was a culture in which it wasn’t war that broke out; it was peace that broke out." Such is the way respected classical scholar Mary Beard plunges into a fascinating discussion of militarism and society, and how the echoes of marching legions fueled the everyday ambitions of countless men. What would it have been like to live in such a time? Does anything today even remotely compare?

Mary Beard's newest book, SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome hits booksellers everywhere December 17.