Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Levick, Vespasian (2nd ed.)

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2017.02.53
Barbara Levick, Vespasian. Second Edition. Roman Imperial Biographies. London; New York: Routledge, 2017. Pp. xxvi, 345. ISBN 9780415708890. $140.00/£90.00​.

Reviewed by Christopher Mallan, St. Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford (


This is a biography for those who prefer their biographies to be more about the times than the man. Levick’s Vespasian is a political history of mid-first century AD structured around the figure of Vespasian. Within these parameters, Levick’s book remains an important and useful contribution to scholarship. As the greater part of Vespasian is unchanged from its first incarnation, it is sufficient to provide a brief summary of its contents before turning to the question of whether the second edition represents a substantial improvement on the first.

As the review notes, Vespasian was an important figure in the Great Revolt/Jewish War of 66-70 CE. Some past PaleoJudaica posts involving Vespasian are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.