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VINE VOICEon 17 January 2008
This excellent introduction to the Roman Empire is succinct and selective rather than superficial. Its compass ranges from the iconography of the Imperial cult to contemporary perceptions of Rome in the cinema.

Far from being a conventional, political history centred on the Roman elite, Kelly is most impressive when trying to recreate the ordinary lives of the silent and all but invisible majority, who have left no historical trace and only the faintest of impressions in the archaeological record. He is especially interesting and perceptive when writing about elusive topics like population studies within the Empire. Hard evidence on such matters is, naturally, very scant. Kelly uses statistical models and contemporary demographic studies of the developing world to reach his conclusions, some of which are startling - for example, the life expectancy at birth for emperors who died from natural causes between the 1st and 7th centuries: 26.3 years (no greater, therefore, than the life expectancy of people in much poorer and less privileged social groups).

This slim volume manages to be authoritative, concise and thought-provoking. Anyone wanting to investigate further, meanwhile, can make good use of its extensive bibliography.
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on 25 October 2013
As part a series I have come to trust as an excellent resource in my own studies as a final year classics student I had high expectations of this book, and it certainly did not disappoint.

All too often with any texts relating to Ancient Rome the entire focus is upon the empires conquests and its great or sometimes rather bizarre rulers, and by no means are these topics neglected. However, this book also provides a rare insight into what day to day life may have meant for an average person living under Roman rule outside of the capital.

For such a low price I cannot recommend it enough, regardless of the depth of your knowledge of Rome.
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on 14 April 2017
It is interesting as a basic introduction could have had more sources though I think
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on 15 November 2017
Great little book, pity about the microscopic print ... its a little uncomfortable to read.
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on 23 February 2017
Good book
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on 5 November 2015
great product well packed prompt delivery Thanks!
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on 13 August 2016
Fine!
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on 9 August 2014
An interesting introduction to the Roman Empire for anyone interested in the subject.
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on 5 August 2013
'short introductions' sound like a great idea but I found this fairly hard going to read. I am keen to read others in the series so it's not put be off. Hopefully they will not be as hard work!
One person found this helpful
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on 24 May 2013
This is a very helpful and interesting book. My only observation is that it is rather on the small side, that is, it fits well into holiday luggage! Take your reading specs!!
One person found this helpful
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