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Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome Paperback – 1 Jul 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; New Ed edition (1 July 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195123328
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195123326
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 3.6 x 18.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 442,370 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

This beautifully produced book is a marvelous encyclopedia of Roman life....An unusual and intriguing reference book. (The Good Book Guide)

From the Author

This book was first published in the United States in hardback by Facts On File, with the paperback also being published in the United States. The paperback publisher (Oxford University Press) has therefore retained the American spelling (theater, worshiped, plow and so on). Apart from having a wonderful cover design, the Oxford University Press volume is also extremely good value for money. We intended this book to be a reference work primarily for students, as so much time can be wasted looking up specific facts rather than understanding the ancient Roman world as a whole. The hardback publishers came up with the title 'Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome', which we think is a bit misleading, because the book actually covers the entire Roman world, from naval battles to single artefacts.

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Erick Vergara on 23 May 2003
Format: Paperback
No student of Roman history should be without this exceptional volume on his shelf. "Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome" is a worthy -- in fact, necessary -- investment for every serious classics enthusiast and all-around ancient civilisation buff.
Combining nearly four hundred pages of concise, jargon-free text with a vast selection of illustrations -- including maps, plans, line drawings and black-and-white photographs -- the Handbook provides a comprehensive introduction for almost every aspect of Roman life, covering such fields as politics and religion in broad strokes without sacrificing detail.
Despite its relatively small size, the Handbook could prove a lot more practical for everyday reference purposes than such heavyweights. It has just about everything a history enthusiast will ever require (or never even thought he'd need): information on the origin and deployment of several dozen legions, cross-section diagrams of Roman glassware, etc. Although serious classical scholars should not limit themselves to this book when doing research, the extensive bibliographies accompanying each major subdivision will help direct them to more detailed sources. And if the situation does not call for exhaustive articles on the lives of Roman luminaries like Caesar or Suetonius, the brief biographical essays included in the Handbook may go a long way towards helping Colleen McCullough and Steven Saylor fans navigate their way through the chaotic mess of names that one so often finds in historical fiction.
All things considered, the Handbook is worth every penny on its price tag.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By F. Aetius on 3 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
If you have an interest in Ancient Rome or if you're a classics student then this book is an absolute essential purchase. It is bursting with facts about all aspects of Roman culture, society and history. I doubt that there is any other single book on Rome that has such a wide range of useful information within it. It is also worth noting that this is also filled with the type of information you could only previously purchase with obscure and very expensive scholarly tomes.

The book is accessible, readable and intelligently edited. It is divided into topical sections, and these are then made up of chapters. Examples of these topic sections include: Republic and Empire; Military Affairs; Geography of the Roman World; Towns and Countryside; Travel and Trade; Written Evidence; Religion; Economy and Industry; and Everyday Life. Within these sections are chapters on various subjects, for instance on religion we have chapters on festivals, atheism, religious buildings and magic, while in the evedyday life section we have chapters on family, slaves, art and population. These are just a few examples of what those sections hold - the actual book has a far larger number of chapters. The authors have also included a useful bibliography at the end of each section, so that you can search for relevant books if you are interested in pursuing the subject further.

The book is also notable for its large number of maps, diagrams, photographs, line drawings, and charts. These sections help give you a better understanding of the period.

The sheer amount of information contained within this book is breathtaking. It's got plenty of information on subjects such as the Roman army, the emperors, gladiators, and other famous topics.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Steiner on 21 May 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent one volume general reference on Ancient Rome. The book contains a wealth of information about topics such as politics, religion, town-planning, construction, warfare, everyday life, and so on.

Lavishly illustrated with photographs, maps, diagrams, plans, and a large amount of useful lists, including place-name gazetteers, dates of festivals, provinces, legions, famous Romans, Gods, and much more.

Please note that (for this book) the Roman world ends in the 5th century AD. There is no continuation into the later periods of the eastern empire.

This is a great book - but for all it's quality it's massively overpriced for the excellent hardback edition.
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By APG on 11 Dec. 2009
Format: Paperback
I have purchased this book as a gift to go with a Roman artefact, the book covers the basics very well giving a good grounding for deeper reading on any apsect that takes ones interest.
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By David Walker on 19 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All good
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