"[T]his handsomely-produced volume performs admirably as a series of introductions to sources, approaches, and the state of scholarship on major topics in Roman social history . . . Collections of essays come and go, but this one will stay in wide use. Each essay can stand alone but, tied together by the theme of dominance, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts."
---Donald Kyle, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"This collection of essays is intended to serve as a coursebook for introductory lecture series on Roman civilization; the essays are concentrated on fundamental aspects of Roman society, and no prior knowledge of antiquity on the reader's part is assumed. . . . The book as a whole is entirely successful in its projected aim: an immense range of detailed information about antiquity is presented in readable and largely sophisticated discussion. . . . Increasingly we need to be able to suggest to our students reading that is introductory but also in-depth and challenging, and this book is one possible reading that we can offer."
---Ellen O'Gorman, Classical Review
Life, Death, and Entertainment gives those with a general interest in Roman antiquity a starting point, informed by the latest developments in scholarship, for understanding the extraordinary range of Roman society. Family structure, slavery, gender identity, food supply, religion, and entertainment---all crucial parts of the Roman world---are discussed here, in a single volume that offers an approachable guide for readers of all backgrounds. The collection unites a series of general introductions on each of these topics, bringing readers in touch with a broad range of evidence, as well as with a wide variety of approaches to basic questions about the Roman world.
The newly expanded edition includes historian Keith Hopkins' pathbreaking article on Roman slaves. Volume editor David Potter has contributed two new translations of documents from emperors Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius. Hadrian's letters document a reorganization of the festival cycle in the Empire and reassert the importance of the Olympic Games; the letter to Marcus provides the most important surviving evidence for how gladiatorial games were actually organized.
Contributors to the volume include Greg S. Aldrete, Hazel Dodge, Bruce W. Frier, Maud W. Gleason, Ann E. Hanson, Keith Hopkins, David J. Mattingly, and David S. Potter.
D.S. Potter is Professor of Classics and Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, University of Michigan.
D.J. Mattingly is Professor of Roman Archaeology, University of Leicester, and a Fellow of the British Academy.
Cover illustrations: top left, Karanis Excavation, courtesy Kelsey Museum; bottom right, Monte Testacchio, courtesy David J. Mattingly; center, Pollice Verso by Jean-Léon Gérôme, courtesy Phoenix Art Museum, Museum Purchase.