The Roads To Rome

The Roads To Rome

A History

Summary

Brimming with life and drama, this is the first book to explore two thousand years of European history through one the greatest imperial networks ever built

'A delightful, novel and authoritative history from the ground up' JUDITH HERRIN

'Epic and witty ... Fletcher is a thoroughly enjoyable narrator because she peppers her learned prose with wry humour' TOBIAS JONES, Observer

'All roads lead to Rome.' It's a medieval proverb, but it's also true: today's European roads still follow the networks of the ancient empire, as Rome’s extraordinary legacy continues to grip our imaginations.

Over the two thousand years since they were first built, the roads have been walked by crusaders and pilgrims, liberators and dictators, but also by tourists and writers, refugees and artists. As channels of trade and travel, and routes for conquest and creativity, Catherine Fletcher shows how the roads forever transformed the cultures, and intertwined the fates, of a vast panoply of people across Europe and beyond.

Reflecting on his own walk on the Appian Way, Charles Dickens observed that here is ‘a history in every stone that strews the ground.’ Based on outstanding original research, and brimming with life and drama, this is the first book to explore two thousand years of history through one of the greatest imperial networks ever built.

Reviews

  • Epic and witty ... Fletcher is a thoroughly enjoyable narrator because she peppers her learned prose with wry humour, first-person asides and comparisons between past and present ... The Roads to Rome is a nuanced and perceptive book that interrogates “the stories that we tell ourselves about who we are”
    Tobias Jones, Observer

About the author

Catherine Fletcher

Catherine Fletcher is a historian of Renaissance and early modern Europe and the author of several previous books, including most recently The Beauty and the Terror: An Alternative History of the Italian Renaissance, which was a Book of the Year (2020) in The Times. Catherine is Professor of History at Manchester Metropolitan University and broadcasts regularly for the BBC.
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