The best parts are the details (e.g. on laws governing responsibilities at sea in medieval times), but these facts buried in a thorough, impressively complete historical overview.
A front-row seat to the decline and fall of the (Western) Roman empire.
The best feature of the book is that the author explains how archeologists infer facts about life 2000 years ago.
there is no reason to get too excited about this book.
Rome was much more of a ‘social welfare state’ than I ever realized; with a people’s tribunes, food for the poor, land redistribution, and pensions for soldiers.