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How did the Roman world develop from a small number of people living on the banks of the Tiber to an empire encompassing some sixty-four million people spread from one end of the Mediterranean to the other? How did the Romans themselves understand this development, and did that understanding evolve over time? Incorporating contributions from economics, archaeology, anthropology, and literary criticism, David Potter's thought-provoking and accessible text shows students how Roman history works. The book is beautifully illustrated with maps, battle plans, portraits, paintings, sculpture, and more, and includes many quotes from original sources.