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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More great edu-tainment from Matyszak!, 27 Sep 2009
By 
Steampunk "JS" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philip Matyszak's Classical Compendium (Hardcover)
I came to this after reading the author's 'Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a day' and 'Legionary', hoping for more of his quirky take on the classical world.

I wasn't disappointed. This little book is full of odd facts and snippets about the Greeks and Romans, presented in a way that occasionally made me laugh out loud.

Scattered throughout the chapters there are occasional ancient Greek jokes about Elithio Phoitete (not the brightest wick in the lamp!), and many of these are still funny. ("Elithio Phoitete remarked that he was the unluckiest of men, for no sooner had he trained his donkey to live without food than the beast suddenly died!")

Even more so than the author's other books, this is one you can pick up and read for a few minutes at a time, as it consists of many short paragraphs and quotes. I found it a great bedside book.

Like Matyszak's other books, it's also very attractively presented - a nice little hardback, complete with a ribbon bookmark. I bought it as a gift to myself, but it would actually make a very nice gift for anyone with even a slight interest in the Classical world.

My only complaint? I wish it was longer! 187 pages just didn't seem enough!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Banquet of Classical Lore!, 19 Oct 2009
This review is from: Philip Matyszak's Classical Compendium (Hardcover)
This book is great fun and filled with bits of fascinating information that one might encounter at a lively dinner party for classicists -- or perhaps even pick up if one could time-travel back to ancient Rome or Greece and get oneself invited to a lavish banquet there where the gossip flows as freely as the wine.

One can casually open this book at any page to discover some intriguing item about the ancients, although once you start you'll want to read from cover to cover.

Illustrated with information arranged in a user-friendly format of topical sections within chapters, ancient quotations, lists, and more, this lively book (like Matyszak's other guidebooks into the classical world) immerses you in the customs and beliefs of ancient times. A five star journey into the past and truly a banquet of classical lore!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth reading, 13 Oct 2010
By 
Judith E. A. Davies (leeds U K Europe) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Philip Matyszak's Classical Compendium (Hardcover)
a great little book , great for reading whilst travelling, you will feel able to answer Q I's questions
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4.0 out of 5 stars Caveat emptor... a bit, 22 May 2012
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This review is from: Philip Matyszak's Classical Compendium (Hardcover)
This is a very neat and tidy little volume which is a mine of curious and intriguing tidbits from the ancient empire that was Rome. They are in turns fascinating, funny, Flavian and ferocious.

I noticed at least two errors though:

1. Tiberius did not become emperor on his return from his `exile' in Rhodes... by a long chalk.

And...

2. A picture purporting to show a slave being flogged is actually schoolboy discipline Roman-style.

OK, Matyszak, I enjoyed the book so you can have the `flogged slave' but poor old Tiberius has had enough bad press without you putting the caliga in as well.

Valete!
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Philip Matyszak's Classical Compendium
Philip Matyszak's Classical Compendium by Philip Matyszak (Hardcover - 21 Sep 2009)
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