8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Essential Reading For Roman Enthusiasts,
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!