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Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day: A Guide to Sightseeing, Shopping and Survival in the City of the Caesars [Hardcover]

Philip Matyszak
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.95
Price: 9.06 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

14 May 2007
Here is an informative and entertaining guide to everything that any tourist needs for a journey back in time to ancient Rome in AD 200.You need only pack your imagination and a toothbrush â this guide provides the rest, describing all the best places to stay and shop, what to do, and what to avoid. Brought to life with wonderful computer-generated reconstructions of ancient Rome, this highly original, witty book will appeal to tourists, armchair travellers and history buffs.

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Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day: A Guide to Sightseeing, Shopping and Survival in the City of the Caesars + Ancient Athens on Five Drachmas a Day + The Greek and Roman Myths: A Guide to the Classical Stories
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (14 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 050005147X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500051474
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 14.6 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


'Matyszak imparts so much information so imaginatively that it would be a great thing if his success inspires an entire... series...'
-- The Observer: Review

'Performs the functions of all the best guides... vast amount of easily retrieved information... an excellent introduction to Roman life'
-- The Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Philip Matyszak is the author of numerous books on the Roman world, including Chronicle of the Roman Republic, The Enemies of Rome and The Sons of Caesar, all published by Thames & Hudson.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem of a book! 2 Mar 2008
By Nicky
What a quirky little book! I discovered it quite by accident but what a find. It basically tells you what to expect if you had the ability to travel back in time and found yourself a tourist in Ancient Rome. Based around AD200 but the author has borrowed from sources ranging over 300 years. It gives you an informative guide at every stage of your journey from getting there to eating out, where to stay, shopping and what sights every tourist ought to see and avoid! The book has lots of quotes from the likes of Cicero, Horace and Petronius but perhaps most amusing of all is the pages of useful phrases. The author has taken modern phrases and translated them into Latin - In hac tunica obesa videbor? This book should appeal to history buffs and travellers alike and anyone who has ever wished they could travel back in time to see what Ancient Rome was really like.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Carpe librum! 10 Jun 2007
A librarian from Long Island sent this to me as a birthday present (thanks, Nephele) and I love it! With sections on Getting There, The Environs of Rome, Settling In, Out and About, Shopping, Law and Order, Entertainment, Religion, Must-See Sights and Roman Walks, it is accurate and fun. I especially like the quotes from Latin primary sources sprinkled here and there, and the sidebars with fun facts relating to each section. There are also some great full colour CGI illustrations of 2nd century Rome by my pals at Altair.

This book would make a great 'Vade Mecum' for anyone travelling to Rome and a great resource for any secondary-school classroom.

Carpe librum!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pack it in your bag 9 Aug 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase

There is a complete series of these thoroughly enjoyable books written in the style of a modern travel guide, e.g. Blue Book or Lonely Planet. I have all of them and have enjoyed each one. Having discovered them after I visited all these cities, they helped to take me back to the modern and ancient cities; worth it just for that.
Rome, Athens, Egypt and Florence are all fixed on my memory like a photographic plate and I can recapture steps at the turn of a page; seeing pictures or hearing or reading descriptions fills my memory instantly, reminding me and bringing alive to my mind the exotic and captivating places themselves. I can easily re-live them until I return.
These books are perfect for me and the glory, excitement and majesty that was Rome comes flooding back from previous reading, documentaries and tramping the streets so often.
Highly recommended.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 31 July 2008
This is a gem of a book! Witty, engrossing and erudite (It taught me more of the geography of ancient Rome than any other "general" overview I have read.
The author has managed to blend all the various changes from the early republic to late empire into one coherent overview of life in Rome. Simply a must buy book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quirky and alternative Rome guide........ 30 Mar 2009
What a fantastic book! I came across this in a little book shop one day and bought it on impulse as I was visiting Rome the following weekend. I spent a week dipping in and out of this easy to read and highly entertaining book. Matyszak takes you by the hand and guides you through the streets of Ancient Rome, pointing out where to stay, where to eat, what to look out for, who to avoid as well as giving you many humourous and fascinating facts along the way.

There are many pictures within the book as well as sidebar areas with lists of interesting facts so it makes it fabulous for just dipping in and out of and I can imagine it would be really appealing to older children too. It is divided into 10 sections: Getting There, Environs of Rome, Settling In, Out and About, Shopping, Law and Order, Entertainment, Religion, Must-See Sights, Roman Walks.

With the rich descriptive text and numerous facts; this really must be the closest thing to going back in time and experiencing Ancient Rome for yourself. This gave the facts like a local would have at the time, all of the quirky knowledge, the streetwise facts and the ancient gossip. You really feel that you are at the baths listening in to all of the whispers and giggles of town life.

All in all a fantastic buy, if you have even the faintest interest in Ancient Rome then definitely buy it! I must admit that it was because of this book that I looked like rather an expert when my husband and I went to Rome. Even the odd tourist who overheard me looked impressed! This book really does tell you what the others dont...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a Roman Baedeker 17 Dec 2010
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. With Mr. Matyszak's book in hand, it wouldn't be hard to blend in when visiting ancient Rome. Of course, the book isn't a real tourist guide. But in several chapters, dealing with, among other things, travelling to Rome, finding a place to stay, what to wear, where to go to, the author succeeds in giving a lot of information. Much of this concerns topics which may be generally known, but though being a teacher of Latin and Greek I came upon some things I didn't know before. This is especially the case in the short paragraphs throughout the general story, which give details and anecdotes on a wide variety of subjects and historical figures.
I have come to know Mr. Matyszak as being an entertaining writer on serious subjects, and his tongue-in-cheek way of sharing his knowledge with his readers is refreshing. It's fun to read this book, and it would serve as a good introduction on Roman life. I wouldn't be surprised if this book were to encourage readers, having finished this book, to read more detailed ones on Ancient Rome.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another worthy success from a consummate and witty author
The perfect companion to this excellent work is THE ROMA VICTRIX WINE beaker,Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker the author himself is the proud owner of one. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Trajan
4.0 out of 5 stars If only it was as cheap now!
Well written and quite funny in parts, but also was very informative about how Rome would have been back then
Published 16 months ago by Trevor Young
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely little book - but I wish the print was a bit bigger
I have really enjoyed this, unfortunately it has taken me ages to read because the print is so small. Read more
Published on 14 Oct 2011 by Fren
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaing and educative parody of modern guidebooks.
You will recognise the structure of this book if you've ever consulted a Rough Guide or Lonely Planet book. Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2010 by Franz Bieberkopf
3.0 out of 5 stars Boring
I'm a huge fan of Ancient Rome. So you can imagine how I jumped from joy when I discovered this book. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2010 by Printul Noptilor
5.0 out of 5 stars Rome and Latin
I agree fully with the previous reviews about being a gem of a book on both Rome, the city, and useful Latin words.
Published on 12 Jan 2010 by Mr. E. A. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Ancient Rome made easy
This is a really entertaining and informative introduction to "the glory that was Rome". I would highly recommend it for any 6th former about to study for A Level Classical... Read more
Published on 17 Oct 2009 by R. Mudge
5.0 out of 5 stars The Schott's Almanac of Ancient Rome
Once you pick it up you wont be able to put it down again. Full of fascinating facts about Rome and a wonderful centre spread of how Rome would have looked. Read more
Published on 18 Sep 2008 by Siegfried
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