Press Release: S.P.Q.R.


A history of Ancient Rome

Mary Beard

‘A wonderful concise history… Beard unpacks the secrets of the city’s success with a crisp and merciless clarity’
New York Times

Why does ancient Rome still matter? How did a civilisation based on cruelty and violence, slavery and infanticide provide the foundations of modern Western culture and politics? Ancient Rome’s astonishing story of conquest, atrocities and excess is something against which the Western world continues to judge itself, while its debates about citizenship, government and individual rights still shape our own discussions on civil liberty today.

In this lavish Folio edition of her bestseller, Mary Beard takes a new look at Roman history. She considers how Rome grew from an insignificant village to a genuine superpower. Her sparkling narrative also reveals the Romans’ view of themselves and their achievements, and why they remain so important to us. Covering 1,000 years of Rome’s past, and casting fresh light on the basics of Roman culture, this breathtaking survey blends epic events with the colourful experiences of ordinary citizens to provide a definitive history of ancient Rome.

The book contains more than 46 full-colour images specially selected by the award-winning Folio picture research team for this new edition. The reproductions collected here include beautiful Etruscan jewellery; details from Trajan’s Column showing a fortified camp; a stone relief depicting praetorian officers; statuary from Hadrian’s extraordinary villa at Tivoli; and votive objects from an archaic Roman temple site. Interspersed throughout the text are 57 black-and-white images: a coin showing the sweeping hair of Mithradates; the crumbling remains of Hadrian’s Wall; an image of the arch of Constantine; and the tombstone of a devoted couple (both former slaves) who met when the bride was aged just 7.

Product information
Bound in printed and blocked cloth. Set in Bembo Book with Cenotaph Titling. 512 pages. 46 colour and 57 black & white integrated illustrations. 5 maps. Black and white title-page spread. Printed endpapers. Blocked cloth slipcase. 10˝ x 6 ¾˝.

UK £65.00 US $99.00 Can $130.00 Aus $145.00


For media enquiries please contact

UK & ROW Ken Hooper, Cherish PR
020 3626 0282,

US & Canada Cathleen P. Williamson
(617) 435-5505,