12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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.