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The Private Life of the Romans (1903) Paperback – June 12, 2009


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The Private Life of the Romans  (1903) + Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome + As the Romans Did: A Sourcebook in Roman Social History, 2nd Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Library (June 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1112026894
  • ISBN-13: 978-1112026898
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,194,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bradford Duncan on March 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Harold W. Johnston wrote an easy-to-read survey text on daily Roman life. Particularly suited to students in high school and introductory level college courses, the book clearly and succinctly covers many aspects of Roman civilization. The title is somewhat misleading, as most people would not consider the subject matter "private." The 16 chapters present an overview of family structure, nomenclature/epigraphy, marriage, children and education, slavery, the host-client relationship, the house and its furnishings, clothing, food and meals, games and other amusements, travel and correspondence, occupations, country life, death, religion, and the water supply. Only the chapter on religion is disappointing (and books on Roman religion are not difficult to find). Helpful woodcuts, line drawings, and black and white photographs illustrate the subject matter throughout. Though Johnston introduces many Latin (and a few Greek) terms, his writing remains clear so that even those with no training in the Classics will find the terminology augments rather than detracts from his work.
Scholarship in recent decades has proved some of Johnston's information inaccurate but, on the whole, it still stands. For a more recent review of Roman life, I recommend Leslie and Roy Adkins' Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome (1998).
Despite being decades old, Private Life of the Romans remains a leading source for daily life and customs questions at Latin competitions around the United States, which is probably why it's often on backorder so grab a copy whenever you can!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dernhelm on June 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
After reading this book, Roman history seems much more - real. It covers many aspects of the private life of a Roman citizen: The Family, The Name, Marriage and the position of Women, Children and Education, Dependents: Slaves and Clients, The House and Its Furniture, Dress and Personal Ornaments, Food and Meals, Amusements, Travel and Correspondence, Sources of Income and Means of Living, Burial Places and Funeral Ceremonies. Under each of these chapter headings is a list of specific sections and their paragraph numbers. (In the text, the paragraph numbers are placed on the outer edge of the page, so it is easily visible.) There are many illustrations (205, to be exact), which are very helpful, and it is not at all difficult reading.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm researching the Romans for a book I'm writing, and needed more back ground on how they lived. This was very useful, but I want even more! You'll learn a lot from this, and its very readable, and not pretentious or overly pedantic and snotty.
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By David S Griffin on September 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very informative book! Gives you insite into the everyday Roman's life!
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