By R. H. Barrow
First published 1949 in London
Published by Penguin Books
“Rome has never died: what made it immortal?” This is the question that Barrow asks in his book titled The Romans. In order to find the answer, one must dig into the character, achievements, and civilization of Rome and of her people. The Romans is written from the point of view that the study of the past is vitally important to understanding ourselves today. Barrow believes that Rome should be an essential part of that research: “This book is not a history of Rome; it is rather an invitation to consider whether Roman history is not worth further study.” Barrow intends to give the reader a desire to research the history of Rome and apply it to his life. This is a biblical standpoint, because we cannot understand ourselves if we do not understand how we got here. The Romans should be read by anyone who desires to understand the Romans: how they thought, lived, and imprinted history. The Romans will have lasting value in Western Civilization because Rome helped shape how we live today.
In his book The Romans, Barrow addresses the concept of how Rome became what it was. How did the Romans achieve so much? He analyzes her contributions to Western Civilization and the essence of Roman genius and character. How did Rome become immortal? No other nation achieved an Empire so far-reaching and so fundamentally humane. The Romans focused on Law, but the Law was made by them and they imposed it on themselves. When their law is studied, the Romans’ eternal values are revealed: respect for the will of the gods (pietas), respect for human personality (humanitas), regard for each individual’s freedom (libertas), respect for tradition (mores), respect for authority (auctoritas), respect for the pledged word (fides), training (disciplina), the training which comes from the self (servitas), responsible cast of mind (gravitas), and purpose (constantia). Barrow focuses on...
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