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Hey guys,

If I was to ask who you considered the top five current authorities on roman history to be what would you say? And on what specific area? Goldsworthy? M. Bishop?
Everything is so specialised now. Probably the closest thing to a general Roman expert that I can think of would be Mary Beard.
Werner Eck, for the Imperial period, perhaps. HereĀ“s a list of his publications:
http://alte-geschichte.phil-fak.uni-koel...ichnis.pdf
Quote:Everything is so specialised now. Probably the closest thing to a general Roman expert that I can think of would be Mary Beard.

I don't know, I doubt it would be her to be honest. Everything has been specialised for a while. God I certainly wouldn't include someone like Goldylocks on the list. :lol:

You know I actually like some of M Beard's stuff, on religious personnel etc, just don't think it would really be her. What do you think of the work of Purcell btw?
Quote:the top five current authorities on roman history
You're looking for big hitters. I'd definitely include Fergus Millar: the man knows everything!
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Titus Antonius Thurinus. post=321193 Wrote:the top five current authorities on roman history
You're looking for big hitters. I'd definitely include Fergus Millar: the man knows everything!

How did I forget him!? I recall bumping into him at the Oriental Institute a month or two ago and being introduced by another historian.... You know...he's one of these people you can sort of talk to but also feel really uncomfortable around. I do know that in the few brief conversations we've had I've probably made like a half dozen mistakes in what I'm saying. I guess I still get confused over a Roman historian who also knows the Orient so well.
Quote:You know...he's one of these people you can sort of talk to but also feel really uncomfortable around.
I felt sort of the same way around John Mann. (We're going back aways, of course.) A really friendly fellow, but you were always aware of the man's auctoritas!
It's difficult to think of people who could be considered authorities on Roman history in general - authority tends to come with specialisation. Goldsworthy's a great populariser, as (in a more scholarly way) is Beard, and previously Michael Grant perhaps. But Goldsworthy is comparatively narrow in his focus and draws heavily on original work by others. The more specialised the research, the more interpretation and subjectivity is involved, and the greater potential for expert disagreement!

Having said that, I'd suggest (in the English-speaking world):

Ramsay MacMullen
T.D. Barnes
Fergus Millar
Peter Brown
David S Potter

Which are just the first five that occured to me, and are mainly late empire specialists...

Michael P Speidel also seems to come up a lot in more military circles!

(Edit - cross-posted with Duncan about Millar!)
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Lyceum post=321229 Wrote:You know...he's one of these people you can sort of talk to but also feel really uncomfortable around.
I felt sort of the same way around John Mann. (We're going back aways, of course.) A really friendly fellow, but you were always aware of the man's auctoritas!

I guess that's actually the best way of putting it, wow, yeah. I've given up on ever growing out of holding certain scholars in awe to be honest. :lol:
I am afraid that I find recent scholarship too shallow. Fergus Millar is one of the very few exceptions.
I forgot about Millar too, somehow. :oops: I have his Roman Near East, which is quite good.
Quote:... which is quite good.
Ah, damned by faint praise. :wink:
I know that the following sounds like a compliment among friends, not completely to be taken seriously, but - ahem - I think that Duncan Campbell is, for me, quite an authority about military matters.
I think I might second that Jona.