A thrilling portrait of the city at the heart of Western civilization, brought to life in twenty-two scenes from its 2,500-year history. Why does Rome continue to exert a hold on the world's imagination? Ferdinand Addis brings the myth of Rome alive by concentrating on vivid episodes from its long and unimaginably rich history. Each of his beautifully composed chapters is an evocative, self-contained narrative, whether it is the murder of Caesar; the near-destruction of the city by the Gauls in 387 BC; the construction of the Colosseum and the fate of the gladiators; Bernini's creation of the Baroque masterpiece that is St Peter's Basilica; the brutal crushing of republican dreams in 1849; the sinister degeneration of Mussolini's first state, or the magical, corrupt Rome of Fellini's La Dolce Vita. This is an epic, kaleidoscopic history of a city indelibly associated with republicanism and dictatorship, Christian orthodoxy and its rivals, high art and low life in all its forms.