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on 12 March 2017
I was interested to give this book a try when I saw it to see if it would give me an easy to understand version of something that I have always been curious about, but also cut out all the not so interesting bits. It certainly does that and is very informative and easy to read. However, how irritating are all the really crass jokes? It has turned a good book into a bad one and makes me think that I will not be able to endure what should be a five star read to the end. I was so furious about the rubbish jokes I stopped halfway through to vent my spleen!
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on 7 March 2017
Good for a brief overview, if you can bear the attempts at often forced and puerile 'humour'. Nothing better than a good chuckle, but found too many bad jokes grated after a few pages and detracted from the content. Most of the 'gags' are aimed at ten year olds and are so bad, I had to put the book down. Would have been better without - or a better editor.
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I'm old enough to have had a classical education (even though I'm a scientist). When I was being educated (aeons ago!!), seven years of Latin, and an A'level in Ancient History - with the disciplines of logic, rhetoric and grammar thrown in for good measure - were rites of passage for many of us (remember, there was no IT to eat away at the timetable back then). So whilst I might not learn much that's new to me with this delightful little volume, my off-spring (and theirs) certainly will, and in highly-digestible chunks that make acquiring the knowledge that underpins our whole Western worldview FUN! Once again, Caroline Taggart has achieved a real tour de force. As you will have gathered, I highly recommend this little book as a reference tool that the reader will dip into over and over again! Order and enjoy! :-)
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on 17 April 2017
While dry at points, this is a solid introduction to this classics, peppered with dry wit and humorous observations which holds your attention.
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on 13 April 2017
Quite a compelling read. I love the tone of voice. One to come back to again and again or to dip into. I have the audiobook too - the narrator on this is perfect.
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on 4 March 2017
My 23 year old son enjoyed this
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on 4 May 2017
Taught me a lot!
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on 6 July 2009
This book is truly unputdownable. Be warned if you enjoy reading about the Ancient Greeks and Romans you'll be reading this at the dinnertable at bedtime and at every opportunity. I love the style.
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on 6 September 2009
Having studied some of the classics, out of interest as distinct from academic pressure, I found this book extremely interesting and easy to read, in fact I could hardly put it down. Although I had come across practically everything in this book, the book itself is a wonderful summary, both for the beginner and the well versed. For the price of a couple of pints it is well worth it if only to gain an introduction to th classics. BUY IT and you will not be disappointed.
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on 12 May 2017
I suppose it appeals to the inadequacy felt by all who didn’t have a traditional grammar school education but it does enable someone to bluff their way through a conversation where someone talks about being caught between Scylla and Charybdis.

She explains common Latin expressions (vice versa / status quo) and idioms (Herculean task), classical architecture and Aristotle’s influence on logical argument. common Latin expressions (vice versa / status quo) and idioms (Herculean task), Also classical architecture and Aristotle’s influence on logical argument.

Ironically, academies were where you learned philosophy. In the Tory academies, RE is usually marginalised.

She doesnt mention that the Romans invented the ghastly custom, beloved of soap opera weddings, ‘You may now kiss the bride.’

Those who can’t fathom why Easter is ‘third day’ after Good Friday do well to know that’s how the Roman calendar counted days.

It’s witty and amusing.
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