The Roman Forum (Wonders of the World) Hardcover – 30 Apr 2009
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In this sprightly volume...the distinguished architectural historian David Watkin charts the shifting fortunes of the site...Professor Watkin has an engagingly romantic feeling for the place... Deploying a good deal of sharp wit, he reveals how the relatively recent obsession with recovering the Forum's classical past has led to much unhappy destruction and much less scarcely happy invention. (Matthew Sturgis Country Life 2009-05-06)
[H]e writes in an easily accessible, informative and lucid style that explains the history and details of the site but primarily celebrates the Forum as it should be seen... Well illustrated, this is an excellent guide for the visitor, armchair or otherwise. (Peter Shaw Italy Magazine 2009-09-01)
In this clever and elegant little book the distinguished architectural historian David Watkin picks up the story where most traditional guide books end. His passionate, provocative and, at times, polemical account of the things 'the archaologists don't want us to see', provides a fascinating tour of the Forum's later history.... Deeply thought-provoking and consciously controversial, this is the perfect book to make us go back to Rome and consdier the things we have missed in the past. (Thorston Opper British Museum 2009-09-01)
With verve, authority and no little humour, Watkin tells the detailed and complex story of this great but mutilated landmark... It is an almost impossible task, superbly done. (Peter Jones BBC History Magazine 2009-09-01)
Another triumph... Dr Watkin can surely be included among the wonders of the modern art-historical world. (Robin Simon British Art Journal 2009-12-01)
A radically new look at the ruins of the centre of ancient Rome, one of the best known wonders of the ancient world and a highpoint of the tourist route round Rome, yet for many visitors a baffling and unwelcoming place.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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 Some of it is a bit outdated, but still a far better book.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Profile series Wonders of the world is always worth reading - short but authoritative.Published 8 months ago by Juliet Standing
Brilliant . Takes you well beyond the crusty remains of architecture , and into a living , breathing space that once was .Published 15 months ago by Ian Nicholson
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 bookPublished on 19 May 2014 by Monica Butcher
A very useful insight into the power of infrastructure and brand that the Roman Empire used to remain in power for so longPublished on 29 Nov. 2013 by Mr. S. D. Richards
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