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9 Reviews
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for the "Grand Tourist"
As an annual visitor to Rome for over thirty years I am always on the lookout for a guide which will reveal more than the superficial sites of interest that, wonderful though they are, I have seen many, many times before. Prof. Watkin's book does not disappoint. In fact, I am sorry that I have not come across it before. It is a gem. Even allowing for Prof. Wakin's obvious...
Published on 26 Aug 2009 by Dr. M. Wilson

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Forum
It's sort of OK, but the constant moaning about how the archeologists have "ruined" the Forum gets a bit grating after a while. For some strange reason Prof. Watkin feels they should have left it like it was around 1740, when it was used as a pasture for cattle. He goes on and on about this. Apparently, what the archeologists of previous times really should have done,...
Published 7 months ago by Mr Dust


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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Reading for the "Grand Tourist", 26 Aug 2009
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As an annual visitor to Rome for over thirty years I am always on the lookout for a guide which will reveal more than the superficial sites of interest that, wonderful though they are, I have seen many, many times before. Prof. Watkin's book does not disappoint. In fact, I am sorry that I have not come across it before. It is a gem. Even allowing for Prof. Wakin's obvious distain for archaeologists from the 19th and 20th Century who have dug their way through the forum to reveal sometimes unimportant artefacts at the loss of far more significant but later buildings, which he repeats at least once in every chapter, this small volume should be part of every visitors' library during a visit to the forum. There is so much information here. Written in a detailed but approachable style and equally suited to a read in an armchair or during an amble through the site itself. I know that my next visit to Rome will be accompanied by this book and I think that I shall allow at least a full day for exploration of the sites discussed in this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different story of the Forum, 2 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Roman Forum (Wonders of the World) (Paperback)
Prof Watkin's story is one of the most fascinating pictures of the Roman Forum throughout many centuries of its history. I wouldn't agree with previous comments stressing inappropriate author's opinion regarding archaeological side of the Forum. Talking from historical point of view I immensely appreciated that Prof Watkin successfully fulfilled his attempt to reveal and discuss how many 'historical' structures or their parts in fact are not historically Roman but reconstructed in 19 or even earlier centuries. A colorful excursus on Piranesi's engravings of the Forum and numerous pictures of this Italian master put me back into romantic times when this sacred center of the Roman world was lying underneath tones of ruins and muddle.
However, the biggest advantage which you can take from this account is not it's critical tone (which makes reading live and disputable) but a very important and novel stress on the Forum's continuity during Middle Ages and Renaissance when the former heart of the Roman state turned into the sacred place of the Christian world adorned with its marvelous churches and popes' processions.

This book enriches the Roman Forum and tells the story of its continuation up to now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Forum, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: The Roman Forum (Wonders of the World) (Paperback)
It's sort of OK, but the constant moaning about how the archeologists have "ruined" the Forum gets a bit grating after a while. For some strange reason Prof. Watkin feels they should have left it like it was around 1740, when it was used as a pasture for cattle. He goes on and on about this. Apparently, what the archeologists of previous times really should have done, was to time-travel ahead a couple of hundred years, prostate themselves in front of Prof Watkin's office and humbly seek his sage advice. Unfortunately this did not happen.

Not much new information about the ancient Forum, but if churches are your thing you'll enjoy it. His slightly pompous style does him no favours either. Try to find Michael Grant's book with the same title instead. Some of it is a bit outdated, but still a far better book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not what I expected, 19 May 2014
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This review is from: The Roman Forum (Wonders of the World) (Paperback)
I am sure the book itself is fine but it was more a historical guide to the Roman Forum rather than an archaeological guide, which is what I expected. Returned the book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Roman Forum, 27 Dec 2012
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Amlougheed - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Roman Forum (Wonders of the World) (Paperback)
This is a different approach to the Forum and gives so much "background history" also of buildings that are no longer there and details of their construction and in some cases subsequent destruction to be replaced by others. I already kneww the Forum quite well and was so taken by this account that I organised a brief trip to Rome, to see again the places Prof. Watkin had written about. It was well worth going back, with this book for company and I hope to do so again one day, hopefully soon. Thank you Prof. Watkin.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hand in hand with contemporaries., 18 Nov 2014
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This review is from: The Roman Forum (Wonders of the World) (Paperback)
Open the pages to take a singular journey into the iconic center of the Roman world seen through the eyes of contemporaries.
This is an informative and enjoyable read based on the observations of history and archeology through the centuries to the present. Keenly observed the tragedy of heavy handed work of the past is juxtaposed with the care and preservation of more enlightened times. Within these walls the foundations of the modern world were arguably forged - take the journey.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Real Eye Opener!, 19 Nov 2014
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ronwooduk (North Yorks, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Roman Forum (Wonders of the World) (Paperback)
I loved this book. It opened my eyes to many facts I was not aware of. I can't wait to go back to Rome and revisit the Forum. Armed with his great book I will be much better equipped to appreciate what I am looking at. Well worth a read for anyone with a real interest in the history of Ancient Rome.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another brick in my wall of knowledge about the Romans, 29 Nov 2013
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A very useful insight into the power of infrastructure and brand that the Roman Empire used to remain in power for so long
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5.0 out of 5 stars buy before you go to Rome, 16 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Roman Forum (Wonders of the World) (Paperback)
I bought this as we are going back to Rome next April but it would have helped knowing what bits of rubble we were looking at when we went this year. Purchase this book and you will be able to visualise what the mound or piece of stone once was
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The Roman Forum (Wonders of the World)
The Roman Forum (Wonders of the World) by David Watkin (Paperback - 16 Jun 2011)
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