YA-Bunson has compiled a wealth of information into an encyclopedic arrangement that is easy to read, interesting, and concise. Beginning with a map and a chronology of major events, he defines the Roman Empire-people, places, and events-in entries that include charts, drawings, and maps. A made-to-order source for reports. Linda Vretos, West Springfield High School, Springfield,
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Like its earlier edition, published in 1994, Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire
seeks to provide multidisciplinary coverage of 500 years of "the most important personalities, terms, and sites" of this period. Expanded to 636 pages from 494, the encyclopedia includes nearly 2,000 entries, with new ones covering daily life, engineering, science, law, and the role of women in Roman society. There are also new reading lists for the major entries as well as an updated bibliography, which has increased from 56 items of only secondary sources to a list of nearly twice as many, now including primary sources that were not part of the earlier edition.
As in the first edition, entries are arranged alphabetically and range from a short dictionary snippet to longer treatments of 4,000 words or more. Some entries include reading lists, but this convention is not widespread throughout the work. As in the first edition, approximately 60 percent of the entries are biographical. The other entries fall within larger topical categories such as government, society, literature and art, law, trade and commerce, warfare, and religion. Among new entries are China; Clothing; Food and drink, Roman; Law; Transportation ; and Women, status of. Expanded entries include Calendar, Christianity, Industry, Legions, and Philosophy. Legions is one of the longest, with eight pages of text, including subheadings for development, training and equipment, organization, camps, auxiliaries, the role of legions in the late empire, and a large table of known imperial legions that includes the dates of their beginnings, founders, and where they were stationed.
Other special features of this resource remain unchanged from the first edition: black-and-white illustrations, maps, a chronology of major events, a list of emperors, genealogical tables of the dynasties, a glossary, and an index.
The encyclopedia has become a standard one-volume source on the Roman Empire and is a recommended purchase for any library that did not purchase the first edition. As an updated edition, it would seem a worthwhile purchase for academic and larger public libraries because of its expansion by 100 entries and 140 pages as well as revisions to various existing entries, especially regarding the role of women in the empire. Most high-school and smaller public libraries would have to weigh the usage of the earlier edition and needs of their patrons. RBB
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