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The World of Rome: An Introduction to Roman Culture Paperback – 6 Mar 1997

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (6 Mar. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521386004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521386005
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 2.4 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 446,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


'With 400 richly illustrated pages, it is the most up-to-date general introduction to Roman life, history and culture available.' Daily Telegraph

'Books entitled 'An introduction to … ' can so easily fail, if only because of the wealth of material to be covered. As an introduction to the Roman world, this volume succeeds and should be essential reading.' The Times Higher Education Supplement

'… stimulating and up-to-date … I am sure many generations of students to come will have cause to be very grateful for the insight into the mindset of the Romans offered by this book.' JACT Review

Book Description

Following the same model as The World of Athens, this book opens with two chapters outlining the history and identity of Rome 1000 BC–AD 476. Subsequent chapters examine how Rome was governed (from Republic to Empire), economic and social life, and Roman attitudes towards the rest of the world as reflected in the arts. Written by experts in the field, beautifully illustrated and with copious sources, this is the essential introduction to the Roman world. It serves as a background to Reading Latin (CUP 1986).

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a general volume on the history and culture of Rome, World of Rome does an adequate job. It may not be the best book on the subject, and it's certainly not the worst.

However, its claim that "The World of Rome is particularly designed to serve as a background book to Reading Latin" may be somewhat misleading - certainly to anyone who has previously used the Reading Greek course.

In the Greek course, each study section *is* carefully keyed to relevant paragraphs in The World Of Athens, meaning that as the student studies each section of Greek text, it's very easy to flip open to the precisely relevant sections in World of Athens.

There is nothing comparable to this in Reading Latin, so the editors of World of Rome have *tried* to remedy this by including an appendix of cross-references to the lessons of Reading Latin.

Sadly, it's an attempt which fails miserably. Instead of directing readers to the relevant paragraphs, it gives only a rather vague key word ('marriage', or 'comedy')
and suggests that the reader look them up in The general index, the Topographical Index and Index of Personal Names, the Index and Glossary of Latin Words, and a separate appendix on Writers.

In practice, this quickly becomes so incredibly tedious that I can't imagine anyone sticking with it for long.

Also the 'key words' are so obvious as to be unnecessary (if you're studying a Latin text about a marriage, you don't need this 'helpful' key to suggest that you hunt through the index for 'marriage'). It's just plain unhelpful, whereas a direct link to the relevant numbered paragraphs WOULD be extremely helpful.

In other words, when it comes right down to it, World of Rome is no more suitable for users of Reading Latin than any other introductory text on Roman culture.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not a bad book, but a bit eclectic. It is linked to the Reading latin series so may not stand alone. Delivery and quality of used copy excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x92103348) out of 5 stars 5 reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9249fd20) out of 5 stars The Joy of the World of Rome! 1 April 2000
By C Titman - Published on
Format: Paperback
Most Roman reference books seem to present the information in a very muddling way. The World of Rome is a must-have for all those who want to learn about Rome in a progressive, easy to use way. The book is divided into sections on life, religion and is particularly helpful in understanding the poltical systems and leaders. The book covers the period from 1000Bc to 476Ad making it an essential item for the ancient historian who is looking for reference without wanting to spend hours looking through waffle.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9240b564) out of 5 stars As good as The World of Athens 16 July 2010
By J. Fh - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Initially, I was a bit afraid to buy this book. I had read "The World of Athens" and thought this book "The World of Rome" would not be able to match it. I was wrong. "The World of Rome" is absolutely incredible, just like its counterpart about Ancient Greek History.

This book concentrates on a lot of important and accurate information. If you want a very good book on the subject, one that really unites both in depth descriptions of some very relevant matters and conciseness, I think you should buy this book and I don't think you will regret it.

Mostly, I was very afraid to buy this book because of its table of contents, which doesn't tell that much about the book and can be misleading. If that's your case also, don't trust the table of contents. The book is much better than the table of contents may suggest.

I also recommend this book if you already know a lot about Roman History and want to read a relatively short book that helps you organize many different ideas, one that enables you to remember things that we naturally forget after time. If that's what you are looking for, I believe this is a great book for that also.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9263f260) out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, especially for social history 8 Mar. 2008
By Gabriel H. Rossman - Published on
Format: Paperback
I bought this book while traveling and finished the better half of it before arriving home two days later.
The core of the book provides an excellent overview of Roman culture in Geertz's sense of culture as what one would need to know to exist in everyday life as a member of the society. Despite the ambition of such a scope, I found the book to be extremely well organized with minimal repetition. There are very interesting discussions of such things as the economy, family, class, and slaves/freedmen. Each is a very solid introduction to the topic and interesting enough to provoke further inquiry through specialty works -- though unfortunately the lack of bibliographic or footnote references to secondary scholarship means the reader must discover such expansions independently. On the other hand the multiple indices (Latin concordance, general subjects, proper names) are excellent.
In contrast to the core of the book on Roman culture, the beginning few chapters on chronological history are rushed and muddled with debates about whether the Gracchi were good or bad that may be lost on a new reader. The historical aspect of the book is good to provide context to the discussion of culture but someone primarily interested in, say, the dictatorship of Sulla would be disappointed by the abbreviated treatment.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9240b090) out of 5 stars print is too small 9 July 2015
By martha brown - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
print is so small I cannot read it.
1 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9242fdf8) out of 5 stars It's the book 8 April 2014
By Sploder - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got the book for a class. It arrived within days, great condition. I never opened it once ahah. The class ended up being so easy that it wasn't necessary.
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