Mediterranean anarchy, interstate war, and the rise of Rome /
Arthur M. Eckstein.
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2006.
xvii, 370 p. : maps.
0520246187 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780520246188 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2006.
0520246187 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780520246188 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Political science and Roman history -- Realist paradigms of interstate behavior -- The anarchic structure of interstate relations in classical Greece -- The anarchic structure of interstate relations in the Hellenistic Age -- Terrores multi : the rivals of Rome for power in the western Mediterranean -- Rome and Roman militarism within the anarchic interstate system -- Roman exceptionalism and nonexceptionalism.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Flap Copy
"A major contribution to the study of Roman imperialism and ancient international relations."--John Rich, University of Nottingham
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-01-01:
Eckstein (Maryland) has updated his first book, Senate and General (CH, Dec'87), now dealing with Rome's declarations of war against Carthage and Hellenistic kings between 264 and 192 BCE. The last chapter is thus a recapitulation of his original thesis, and the rest of the book is an analysis replete with paradigms and jargon from current theories on anarchy in international relations. The work is of interest to social scientists favoring such analysis. In this reviewer's opinion, such analysis contributes little to understanding the ancient world. Taking a Hobbesian view, Eckstein censures Greeks and Romans for failing to devise modern diplomatic techniques. He traces continuity in anarchy politics to the fifth century BCE, but naively assumes Thucydides is the touchstone of Greek diplomacy. Granting that Rome faced rivals just as bellicose as itself, Eckstein explains Rome's success by citing Roman organization of Italy. Surprisingly, he does not consider the superiority of the legions, or religious and social conventions vital for conducting diplomacy. Nor is there appreciation for the limits imposed by the fiscal resources and communications available to ancient states. Instead, Eckstein reduces events to models without historical context, and bases conclusions on theories rather than historical facts. Summing Up: Optional. Graduate students/faculty. K. W. Harl Tulane University
Review Quotes
"As a classicist, I read [Eckstein's] book with delight. . . . I hope that this book will stimulate the production of other similarly sophisticated studies."-- Bryn Mawr Classical Review (Bmcr)
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, January 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Long Description
This ground-breaking study is the first to employ modern international relations theory to place Roman militarism and expansion of power within the broader Mediterranean context of interstate anarchy. Arthur M. Eckstein challenges claims that Rome was an exceptionally warlike and aggressive state--not merely in modern but in ancient terms--by arguing that intense militarism and aggressiveness were common among all Mediterranean polities from ca 750 B.C. onwards. In his wide-ranging and masterful narrative, Eckstein explains that international politics in the ancient Mediterranean world was, in political science terms, a multipolar anarchy: international law was minimal, and states struggled desperately for power and survival by means of warfare. Eventually, one state, the Republic of Rome, managed to create predominance and a sort of peace. Rome was certainly a militarized and aggressive state, but it was successful not because it was exceptional in its ruthlessness, Eckstein convincingly argues; rather, it was successful because of its exceptional ability to manage a large network of foreign allies, and to assimilate numerous foreigners within the polity itself. This book shows how these characteristics, in turn, gave Rome incomparably large resources for the grim struggle of states fostered by the Mediterranean anarchy--and hence they were key to Rome's unprecedented success.
Table of Contents
Political Science and Roman History
Realist Paradigms of Interstate Behavior
The Anarchic Structure of Interstate Relations in Classical Greece
The Anarchic Structure of Interstate Relations in Hellenistic Age
Terrores Multi: The Rivals of Rome for Power in Italy and the Western Mediterranean
Rome and Roman Militarism within the Anarchic Interstate System
Roman Exceptionalism and Nonexceptionalism
Appendix to Chapter 6: Roman Commanding Generals Killed in Battle with Foreign Enemies, 340s-140s BC
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem