In Pax Romana, Adrian Goldsworthy takes us inside the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire to show us how Rome seized territory, held territory, and then kept the peace within its vast borders.
Goldsworthy begins with the Roman army under the republic. From the start, a strong sense of civic purpose gave soldiers the ideological grounding for hard, expansionist battles. Rome's drive was not unusual, but its martial dominance surely was. "There is no doubt that the Republic was an aggressive imperial power, but as soon as we look more closely at contemporary states it becomes obvious that this was equally true of almost every other kingdom, state or people." Throughout Roman history, peace rested more on Rome's potential for massive retribution and its empowerment of regional allies than in vast garrisons stationed in the far reaches of its territory. "Fear, and a sense that Roman rule was usually tolerable even if it was more or less oppressive, may well have convinced most provincials against rebellion."