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Daily Life of the Ancient Romans

4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0313303265
ISBN-10: 0313303266
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Editorial Reviews

Review

The book's use of primary sources to illustrate daily experiences makes it valuable both for the historical and cultural background it presents and for the wide array of Roman voices it includes. Its chapter arrangement and direct, informative style make it an excellent supplementary text for courses on classical literature. The chronology and brief biographies of Roman authors are valuable and uncomplicated resources --Okey Goode, Lewis-Clark State College



A very good, comprehensive introduction to Roman life. Especially valuableare the primary source quotes that let the ancients speak for themselves. I am particularly pleased that the author even probed the treasury of CIL in digging up primary sources. This helps students realize that the treasury of ancient Roman literature is vast, and is handed down to us in various forms. . . the index of authors, which provides a brief biography and list of major works for each, is especially attractive. Students, I feel, will find this index particularly helpful. All in all, a very fine intro. --Keith C. Wessel, Martin Luther College

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Discover the ins and outs of daily life in Ancient Rome through the eyes of the Romans themselves.

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Product Details

  • Series: Daily Life
  • Hardcover: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood (October 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313303266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313303265
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,079,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Matz is a professor of Classical Languages at St. Bonaventure University, located in western New York State. He's written seven books about Greek and Roman civilization and culture, including three on daily life in the ancient world, and another on Greek and Roman sports.

He also enjoys writing gently satirical op-ed pieces for newspapers, often featuring his fictional alter ego, Professor Carlton Molesworth. A number of these stories have appeared on the editorial pages of The Buffalo News.

He's a diehard lover of baseball, and still plays the game, on an over-50 team based in Jamestown, New York. He spends perhaps too much time blogging about his favorite professional team, the Milwaukee Brewers, on a blogsite sponsored by The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. But he justifies the blogging on the grounds that since it's a form of written communication, and since he considers himself a writer, it therefore qualifies as time well spent.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Frank Beckendorf on June 29, 2004
Format: Hardcover
What was it like to be a typical ancient Roman? Well, author Matz tells you in this gem. Whether by amusement or tidbit, Matz takes a different approach in writing this reference book. No confusing prose, text, etc. No confusing paradigms or models.. No confusing concept...
Matz takes you through short passages to make his points, and that he successfully does. So, if you want to read about the Roman Empire and don't want to get bored, confused, twisted or anything else that leads you away from its purpose, buy this book. It's different, pleasantly different. ---from Chalmette, LA
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J Astore Jr. on April 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
I really like the Daily Life series by Greenwood because the titles usually "do the work for you" of putting together the myriad of facts about ancient civilizations (eg dress, festivals, religious practices) that would take a long time to collect and infer on your own.

In this work, Matz really knows his stuff and includes examples of daily life from the original sources (those who wrote epigrams on the subjects themselves) which only doubly validates the authenticity. Matz gives a great introduction delineating the Roman calendar, currency system, and divisions of monarchy/Republic/empire and society at large. After which the chapters describe daily life according to the various institutions which the Romans ascribed to (politics, family, leisure, etc.).

The only reason for which I give this book 4 stars is because it's lacking *something* as detailed as it already is. For instance, there *could* be more information on the Roman life at sea (for sailors/captains, for ships by themselves), the household gods (lares) are not mentioned in the religion chapter, and more detail, particulary drawings of everyday items such as tunics, togas, rings, could be added to fill in some blank space (even though the center of the book is about 20 pages of pictures!).

In all, I recommend it; anyone interested in the Roman day-to-day world should begin here, but consult other works, too for more detail.
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Format: Hardcover
I enjoy the “Daily life” series. It’s a good survey for general readers. I've already read the Greece, Mesopotamia, and Egypt volumes. But this particular volume was poorly written. It had no cohesion or synthesis, not even historical and literary overviews! I didn’t learn anything about Rome’s military either. The Greece volume used primary sources too, but it synthesized them into a cohesive survey. Ancient Rome deserves better than this book.
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Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this book for some research I am doing on the first century A.D. I found the anecdotal style extremely refreshing and well researched.
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