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Taken at the Flood (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 17. April 2014

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21 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Remote Control and Imperialism 14. April 2014
Von JPS - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Despite its subtitle (“the Roman Conquest of Greece”), this book by Robin Waterfield is about more and less than what is suggested. It is also not quite about “Roman Conquest” itself and it is not exactly an overview of these conquests.
To begin with, the context of this book is about the conquest of Illyria and Greece, the defeat and destruction of the Macedonian Kingdom, the defeat of the Seleucid King Antiochus III and the control and domination that the Romans asserted over Asia Minor as a consequence of their victory. The apparent scope of the book therefore goes well beyond “Greece”, however widely you might define it.

Second, the book is not so much a history of these conquests as it is a study in the ways and means of Roman “remote control” and domination. More than anything else, it is a study in Roman diplomacy and Republican imperialism, at a time when the Republic was seeking to subjugate, dominate, exploit and pillage its neighbours, rather than conquer them and occupy their territory outright.

The period covered is a relatively short one – a little more than eighty years between about 230 BC and the first war against the Illyrians for the control of the Adriatic sea to the destruction of the Achaean League and the sack of Corinth in 146 BC.
The author examines the drivers of the Roman expansion, mentioning in particular the competitive glory-hunting Senators and their use of the huge advantage in manpower that their system of alliance gave them over all other surrounding countries, tribes and states. He also shows that, as a result, Rome was almost in a state of constant war during the whole period (and also before and after).

A particularly interest section is the one where he examines Roman diplomacy and its strategy of “remote control”, showing that it was quite similar to what Rome had achieved in Italy with its unequal “alliance” with all of the Italic and Greek cities and states. Of particular note is the piece about Flaminius’ strategy of “liberating Greece” (from the Macedonians), and the rather cynical consequences that such a “liberation” implied: falling under Roman supremacy instead, with a number of “favoured” allies used as auxiliaries to keep “law and order” (the Roman version) on their behalf. He also shows how the system evolved and morphed into occupation, with the “allies” (or, more accurately, “client states”) being absorbed and transformed into provinces over time.

The book is also about how, after having defeated their enemies, they imposed “regime change” and huge war indemnities, after having pillaged and depopulated whole areas, with tens of thousands sold into slavery. The impact and consequences of this huge inflow of riches into Italy is also well shown, including in its cultural dimensions

However, I did find that the book contained few “glitches”. It is somewhat doubtful that the Roman armies were equal in number or even superior on the three main battlefields mentioned (two against Macedon and one against the Seleucid King) and it is very unlikely that their army did match that of the Seleucid forces in numbers at Magnesia.

In addition to the glitch mentioned by another reviewer on the US site regarding measures in talents, a more general concern is that the author “tells the story” in a way that makes the reader believe that Rome’s opponents were doomed and their resistance was somewhat futile, although he does mention some Roman setbacks. This is almost misleading. When the various campaigns are examined in detail, the Roman victories appear to have been much closely run. The Romans almost lost at Magnesia. They had a harder time than what the author seems to suggest in all the other encounters and they also had a healthy respect for the pike phalanxes, meaning that they dreaded to come up against them, as the sources make quite clearly (even if the author does not).

Another series of elements which I found rather unconvincing were the parallels drawn between the “remote control” domination (the author uses the term “imperialism”) imposed by the Roman Republic and the supremacy of the United States. I am always weary when authors feel obliged to make such sweeping comparisons between situations that are many centuries apart. At best, the comparisons tend to be somewhat superficial. At worst, they are part of a marketing ploy. They stem from the truism about “history repeating itself” – it never does since the circumstances are never identical.

Well-written and clear by an author who has a good grasp of his well-researched subject, this book is perhaps not the best starting point for “beginners” who know little about Rome’s conquests in the East Mediterranean. This is because it is somewhat easier to read for someone who is already well acquainted with the circumstances of the “Roman Conquests”. Just about worth four stars.
37 von 50 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Summary of Livy and Polybius with partisan rhetoric 28. April 2014
Von Dennis - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
If you want the information without the authors biased and extremely subjective opinions and twists, than read Polybius and Livy. He clearly is just summarizing their books and did no further research. If you do buy this garbage, you will be fed a steady stream of moral relativism that always finds a way to paint Rome as the bad guy no matter what they do. Example, after the first and second Illyrian wars, and after the Macedonian wars, Rome either did or attempted to withdraw all its troops and leave the Greeks to themselves. Author continues to make the case that this is just new imperialism using soft power to get what Rome wants (even uses the US as an example to further add a demonization of both the US and Rome). Another great example is the statement by the author that every time Rome went to war in Illyria, it never left it the same when it left. That's the most astounding statement and critique to make. I guess the author assumed Rome should have went to war, won, and than just left changing absolutely none of the conditions that drove them to war??? He assigns the Roman Senate with some vast prescient knowledge of the future as the actions they took in treaties with Macedon, Greeks, and Illyrians were somehow to set the stage for the future that Rome somehow foresaw (example - end of the second Macedonian War, Rome insisted on leaving the Macedonian king in power against Greek wishes. Rome said it was to be a barrier against barbarians to the north -that by the way immediately went to war against Macedon- author claims it was to ensure continued reliance on Rome so they could come in later - in spite of Rome also agreeing to pull all its troops out). Again, just read Livy and Polybius, ALL his factual material comes from those two, he didn't do any additional research and just adds his rhetoric to their writings.
13 von 17 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Rome vs. Greece. 12. April 2014
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is a excellent overview of this contest between the two Classical Giants of European History. The author tho is very prejudicial of the Romans. He compares them to the Americans of today whom he is not to happy with either, to say the least. A suspicion of marxist belief I'm thinking. The author's objectivity is lacking. So, Just filter this prejudice out and an excellent read.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fascinating story! 21. Mai 2014
Von Patrick McGraw - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
Although the author, Robin Waterfield, is a scholar who has translated Polybius, his book "Taken at the Flood" is written for a general audience. It is highly readable; in fact, I had trouble putting it down. The author makes a complicated story easy to understand. For the expert, Waterfield has end notes that explain some of the contentious scholarly issues surrounding this history and has placed a large bibliography for further reading. The author asterisks those books that he thinks the general reader might consult if he or she was interested in going deeper into the subject. Altogether, a very worthwhile book.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
for making history easy to understand and so enjoyable to read for ordinary ... 16. Juli 2014
Von STC2013 - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verifizierter Kauf
In the same league as David McCullough, for making history easy to understand and so enjoyable to read for ordinary people. Thanks for telling so well an interesting story. Highly recommended.
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