Mommsen’s classic work on the history of Rome has stood the test of time. In this volume of his work on the subject, he covers the state of the Roman Empire in its provinces (Spain, Gaul, Germany, Britain, the Danube Valley, Greece, and Asia Minor) during the first three centuries of the Common Era.
Among the histories of the Roman Empire, that of Mommsen stands out for its attention to detail and the thoroughness with which it covers the field. Rarely has a historian been able to cover such a span of time with such skill. Originally part of a multi-volume history of the Roman Empire in its totality, this segment deals specifically with the period from Julius Caesar to Diocletian, and more precisely, with the provinces of the Empire during that period. Beginning with the northern provinces of Italy, Mommsen moves the exploration into Spain and the Gallic provinces. The place of Rome in Germany and the free Germans, not subjugated by the Empire are considered, along with the exploits of the Empire in Britain. Mommsen considers the wars of Rome with the Danubian tribes and the incursion of the Empire into Greece and Asia Minor. For the scholar interested in how the Roman Empire was perceived in the best of early twentieth century research, this volume is a gem.
Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen (1817-1903) is widely considered one of the most important classicists of the nineteenth century. He taught at the Universities of Leipzig, Zurich, and Breslau before joining the Berlin Academy of Sciences and moving to the University of Berlin. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1902. His work on Roman History is still considered authoritative in the field.