Limiting his book to the period between 133 B.C. and 217 A.D., the author portrays the Roman world during its era of omnipotence and glory. Briefly tracing the historical background, he proceeds to focus upon its most significant events and accomplishments, devoting particular attention to the Empire's ""inextricable, creative fusion of elements originating not only from Italy and the mainland of Greece but from stern Asia as well"". After a brief survey of political, social, and economic conditions, follow the religious thoughts and aspirations of the Roman masses and the intellectual and artistic ideas and achievements of the minority of gifted individuals and groups. With maps and notes appended, as well as numerous illustrations and very good plates throughout, the book is scholarly and detailed, but not restricted to the historian. Rather, it is directed toward the reader with an average of Roman history and a desire to deepen and particularize this knowledge.