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Ancient Rome in So Many Words Paperback – July 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Francese excels at elucidating the social and cultural implications of language, and is particularly good at showing how the use and development of the Romans' language reflect the history of their culture. ...I recommend this book not only for its primary intended audience of general readers, but also for classroom use. The intended reader will receive a good introduction to an interesting assortment of Latin words and to roughly a millennium's worth of Roman cultural and social history." -- Betty Rose Nagle, Indiana University, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, July 30 2008

...a page-turner, a wonderful and witty work of scholarship hard to put down for anyone who loves the quixotic stories that words can often tell... -- Digressus, Vol 7, 2007

This is a delightful book, well worth any teacher's attention. The idea is very simple. [Francese] has taken 93 Latin words of some historical or cultural significance, illustrated their usage with four or five quotations, discussed the range of meanings they possess, and told the stories behind them... All great fun an very informative. A perfect book for schools and libraries. -- Journal of Classics Teaching, Number 13, Spring 2008

About the Author

Christopher Francese is associate professor of classical studies at Dickinson College. He is also author of Parthenius of Nicaea and Roman Poetry (2001) and articles about Roman Literature.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Hippocrene Books; 1St Edition edition (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781811538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781811538
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,197,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Anson Cassel Mills on July 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
One detriment of pseudo-historical films like "Gladiator" is that the undereducated are encouraged to believe that Romans were "just like us." Francese's well-written study of more than ninety more-or-less important Latin words is a good antidote to such thinking.

In his preface, Francese confesses to making idiosyncratic decisions about which words to include; but he has made his choices thoughtfully and has well fulfilled his goal to use (sometimes secondary meanings of) Latin words to "tell some of the central stories of Roman history and culture." This book can be profitably read by an educated general reader with no knowledge of Latin, but it is a gold mine of quotable material for both teachers of the language and professors of ancient history.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Colonel on June 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Francese's book is a unique and engaging history of ancient Rome through particularly important and/or representative words and concepts. Spanning law, the military, religion, everyday life, politics, and the arts, Francese makes a compelling case for the importance--and the challenge--of seeing a culture through its language. One wonders how contemporary American culture might be described to future generations of earthlings--how, for example, might one capture the full meaning of the term "dude"? Highly recommended for specialists, students, and just plain curious readers who enjoy history through a somewhat different lens.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kristin Masters on December 29, 2007
Format: Paperback
Professor Francese's "Ancient Rome in So Many Words" provides readers with the cultural context of Latin terms essential for the understanding of the Roman world. Each entry succinctly explores the word history of each term, offering ancient citations to reveal the changing nuances over time. These terms, ranging from virtues like "mores" and "pietas" to political terminology such as "consilium" and "auctoritas," are organized into chapters according to theme. Furthermore, the book contains a useful index including suggestions for further readings and a list of authors cited. This is an extremely accessible resource to all levels of readers, and should be on the bookshelves of anyone interested in the Roman world--whether professor, historian, Latin teacher, or student.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on July 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting facts, not heavy and boring like many ancient history books. You can get through it quickly and pick up lots of interesting tidbits.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Okay, I'm a bit of a nerd. For anyone interested in ancient history or cultural comparisons, this is an interesting read and ideal for short quick reads five minutes at a time.
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