The History of Ancient Rome from its Beginning to its Fall

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome

This classic American textbook on th history of Rome was written by Robert Franklin Pennell. Pennell was an American educator specializing in classical history. He was the author of two companion reference works: Ancient Greece, from the earliest times down to the death of Alexander (published in 1874), followed by Rome, from the earliest times down to 476 A.D., which was published in 1878.

These books deal with the two foundations of the classical world: Greek and Roman civilization. In his volume on Roman history, Pennell covers the development of Rome from an obscure village on the Tiber to a world power, and then its decline and ultimate demise in the West in 476 A.D., when the last Emperor of the Western half of the Roman Empire was deposed by the barbarians. However the Eastern half survived for another thousand years. That eastern half is known to us today as the Byzantine Empire, after its capital city in what is now Istanbul. However, this state did not refer to itself as Byzantium, but rather as the Roman Empire and its citizens considered themselves Roman, even though the passage of time meant that in the end the civilization of Byzantium was far different than what had been the civilization of the West.

In his classic condensation of the Western empire's history, Pennell begins with the early near mythical origins of the Roman tribes, and charts the ascendancy of Rome over its neighbours, and its titanic clashes with Carthage, Gaul and Greece. Finally, he charts the decline of the Empire and the barbarian invasions that ended it.

Although Pennell intended the book to be just a general introduction for students intending to study the subject at the college level, the book remains a thorough overview of the history of the Roman Empire. We present the full text here online.

Read Ancient Rome from the Earliest Times to 476 A.D.