Rome: Strategy of Empire with James Lacey


Kelly Macquire
published on 02 August 2022

Join World History Encyclopedia as they sit down with author and historian James Lacey to chat all about Rome: Strategy of Empire, the first work to lay out Roman strategic thinking from its start under Augustus until its final demise in 476 CE

From Octavian's victory at Actium (31 bc) to its traditional endpoint in the West (476), the Roman Empire lasted a solid 500 years—an impressive number by any standard, and fully one-fifth of all recorded history. In fact, the decline and final collapse of the Roman Empire took longer than most other empires even existed. Any historian trying to unearth the grand strategy of the Roman Empire must, therefore, always remain cognizant of the time scale, in which she is dealing.

Although the pace of change in the Roman era never approached that of the modern era, it was not an empire in stasis. While the visible trappings may have changed little, the challenges Rome faced at its end were vastly different than those faced by Augustus and the Julio-Claudians. Over the centuries, the Empire's underlying economy, political arrangements, military affairs, and, most importantly, the myriad of external threats it faced were in constant flux, making adaptability to changing circumstances as important to Roman strategists as it is to strategists of the modern era.

By employing an expansive definition of strategy and by focusing much of the narrative on crucial historical moments and the personalities involved, James Lacey provides a comprehensive, persuasive, and engaging account of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. It assimilates the most recent work of classical historians and archaeologists to correct the flaws and omissions of previous accounts, thus presenting the most complete and nuanced narrative of Roman strategic thinking and execution ever published.

Buy the book from Oxford University Press



0:00​ Introduction
0:51 James Jacey's background
6:00 Focus of the book - the strategy of Ancient Rome
17:34 Modern-day strategy and its links with Ancient Roman strategy
35:19 Outro

Ancient Rome
Roman Empire
The Extent of the Roman Empire
Enemies of Rome in the 3rd Century CE
Roman Warfare
Roman Army

The Roman Invasion of Britain with Richard Hingley
Rome: An Empire's Story with Greg Woolf
The Roman Epic Poem The Aeneid: Introduction and Summary
History of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty of the Roman Empire

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

Rome: Strategy of Empire by James Lacey, Published by Oxford University Press

World History Encyclopedia

#ancientrome #romanstrategy #strategyofempire

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2022, August 02). Rome: Strategy of Empire with James Lacey. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Rome: Strategy of Empire with James Lacey." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified August 02, 2022.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "Rome: Strategy of Empire with James Lacey." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 02 Aug 2022. Web. 25 May 2024.