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The Romans Paperback – 1 Jan 1993


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Product details

  • Paperback: 404 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; New edition edition (1 Jan. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226290506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226290508
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,746,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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First Sentence
ROUGHLY A CENTURY BEFORE the fall of the Western Empire, the military writer Vegetius offered an anthropological synthesis of the "Roman" built on a set of simple oppositions. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 3 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Study of an Ancient Culture 5 Oct. 2000
By "kingsransom" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book explores the diversity of Roman society by exploring the variety of its roles. A dozen chapters (written by separate specialists) each describe a different "kind" of Roman: citizens, priests, jurists, soldiers, slaves, freedmen, peasants, craftsmen, merchants, the poor and bandits, with a final chapter on the distinction between Romans and non-Romans. The geographical, temporal and social variation even within these categories is stressed. However, one startling omission from The Romans is any discussion of womens' roles: while women are mentioned in several places, there is nothing specifically on topics such as prostitution, marriage or motherhood.)
The chapters do not assume a particular theoretical background, but their focus is anthropological rather than historical. Though literary sources are used (along with epigraphic and archaeological ones), the authors try their best to escape the dominance of literary stereotypes, both contemporary and modern. The reader will enjoy the book to the fullest if he already has some knowledge of Roman history, however this is not required.
It's been a long time since I learned as much about ancient Rome as I did from this book, and I recommend it to anyone who wants an introduction to recent work on the subject.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Unique. 26 Feb. 2006
By SUPPORT THE ASPCA. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book explores the complex depth and diversity of Roman society. Twelve chapters covering various professions and social strata, from an Anthropological perspective. The omission of female roles was odd and unfortunate. Despite, this huge flaw I give it 3 stars.
An accessible introduction to Roman society 25 Sept. 2007
By Yang Shao-yun - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Previous reviewers who criticized this book's exclusively male focus may not be aware that the original Italian version was entitled 'The Roman Man' and was meant to concentrate on men. A sort of sequel, focusing on the female side of the Roman world, was published in 1994; the English translation (also published by University of Chicago Press) appeared in 1999 as Roman Women and is reviewed here: [...]

Much of the book is made up of highly readable analyses (each by a noted expert in the field) of various strata of Roman society that tend to receive far less attention than emperors, politicans, and aristocrats do: these include slaves, freedmen, paupers, bandits, craftsmen, merchants, lawyers, and priests. Paul Veyne's chapter at the end remains widely-cited as an authoritative exposition of the contradictions, ambivalences, and realities involved in the Roman concept of humanitas (normally translated as 'civilization' or 'culture'), as well as serving to warn against our propensity to project modern understandings of 'civilization' onto the Roman worldview. Giardina's Introduction, 'Roman Man', complements it well, as does Claude Nicolet's following chapter on citizenship.
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