This volume examines the period from Rome’s earliest involvement in the eastern Mediterranean to the creation of the first stage of Roman dominance over all the Greek states from the Adriatic Sea to Syria by the 180s BC. Applying modern political theory to ancient Mediterranean history, it takes a Realist approach to its analysis of the development of Roman involvement in the Greek Mediterranean and employs unipolarity theory to examine the earliest era of Roman geopolitical dominance over the Greek states.
Focusing on the harsh nature of interactions among states under conditions of international anarchy, the book examines the conduct of both Rome and the Greek states during the period, and the beginning of the replacement of anarchy by a situation of hierarchy and unipolarity.
In addition to providing an overview of the entire revolutionary period between 230 and 170 BC, the volume focuses detailed discussion on the geopolitical crisis that convulsed the Greek world in the last decade of the third century bc. This crisis led first to the violent collapse of the traditional Greek state–system based on the three great powers of Macedon, Syria, and Egypt, then to a revolution in Greek diplomacy towards Rome (201–200 BC) as second-tier states pleaded for Roman intervention in the crisis, then to the beginning of Rome's permanent involvement in the high politics of the Greek Mediterranean, and finally to the creation of a situation of Roman unipolarity in the Greek Mediterranean. The first stage of that unipolarity (ca. 190–170 BC) is then analyzed in detail.
Rome Enters the Greek East offers a balanced portrait of Roman militarism and imperialism that is essential reading for scholars interested in the interaction of Rome and the Hellenistic world.
Arthur M. Eckstein is a specialist in the history of Roman imperialism. He has published three books, Senate and General: Individual Decision–Making and Roman Foreign Relations, 264–194 BC (1987), Moral Vision in the Histories of Polybius (1995), Mediterranean Anarchy, Interstate War and the Rise of Rome (2006), and 50 major scholarly articles. He is also co-editing an edition of Polybius' Histories.
"In this excellent book, Arthur Eckstein utilizes modern political science and interstate relations theory, especially so-called Realist theory, in order to illuminate the topic of Roman expansion during the middle Republic." (New England Classical Journal, May 2009)
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
It pains me to write a negative review, especially when I love the material so much but this audio book was truly horrible; in fact I couldn't finish it...a first for me. The two main problems are:
1) The reader follows his own cadence rather than that of the prose. The result is a staccato performance interspersed with bits that have been apparently edited back in, that are so obvious they distract you and make you think you've accidentally hit the re-wind or fast forward button.
2) It seems a decision was made to read the footnotes. Endlessly you hear "in Polybius book 4, chapter 3, paragraph 2, lines 12-17"...this eventually becomes mind numbing and you no longer feel as if you are listening to a book, instead you are in the middle of a lecture where you do not have the course material.
What was most disappointing about Arthur M. Eckstein’s story?
I actually like very much the information contained, it is a very scholarly look at the time period. That is why I am so perturbed at the presentation, I was unable to finish the book.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Rome Enters the Greek East?
The repetitive foot notes for sure....just tell us that "Polybius wrote that..." without citing the book, chapter, paragraph and line number incessantly.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful