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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without peer., 23 May 2003
By 
Erick Vergara "part-time otaku" (Las Piñas, Metro Manila, Philippines) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome (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
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading For Roman Enthusiasts, 3 Aug 2008
By 
D. Evans - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome (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. Yet it also discusses obscure bits of trivia such as what type of sails and anchors were used by Merchant ships, amphorae and pottery classifications, roof tile production, and women's cosmetics.

It also acts as useful gazetteer giving you a full list of Emperors (with short biographies) the legions (with their respective histories and placements), authors and writers (with biographies) place names, latin abbreviations (with their translations and meanings), festivals (with dates and information), and a chronological timeline among other things.

If you have an interets in this period, then this book should be right up there on your reading list. Absolutely Brilliant and Highly Recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference on Roman life, 21 May 2007
By 
Steiner (Glasgow, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Rome, 11 Dec 2009
By 
This review is from: Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome (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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Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome
Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome by Roy A. Adkins (Paperback - 1 July 1998)
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