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Remember that Metropolitan gala in The Devil Wears Prada, where Miranda Priestly has someone whisper in her ear the name of everyone she meets? Well, ancient Roman politicians had such an aide, too: he was called a nomenclator. León entertainingly introduces us to this and other colorful professions held by men and women in Greco-Roman society. With short, humorous anecdotes, she describes the daily grind of scribes, vestal virgins, fishmongers, astronomers, sophists, hoplite slaves, sellers of purple, curse-tablet makers, funeral clowns, sycophants and orgy planners. Scribes, for example, were speed writers who not only recorded public information but also acted as journalists jotting down juicy tales of love, death and political intrigue in the Daily Record. The beast supplier, or praepositus camelorum, tracked, captured and supplied all the animals used in gladiatorial contests and circuses in Rome. León weaves sketches of actual people employed in these professions. Banker's son Apollodorus, a rich-kid-turned-lawyer, litigated a 19-year lawsuit after his father willed his fortune to an ex-slave. Drawing on the same outrageous sense of humor that's made her Uppity Women series so popular, León demonstrates how uncannily similar the workaday experiences of the ancient world are to ours. Illus. (June)
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Vicki Leon is a writer, traveler, and historian who has built a wide readership with her Uppity Women series. She lives in Morro Bay, California.
Vickie Leon makes the origins of hydrolic concrete interesting to someone who has little interest in engineering. Imagine how fascinating the orgies and funeral clowns are!Published 3 months ago by R L Nogle
This is not a deep scholarly work, but I'm sure it wasn't really intended to be. The author's light, whimsical tone would have been refreshing if it had been toned down just a... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Robertson W. Shinnick
I haven't read it in about 7 months now. I was reading this when I was working nights. It is interesting to read about all the jobs that no longer exist today. ie.. Funeral Clowns. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Linda Bowman
This is a well-written, informative, and funny book about ancient Rome. The style is sassy, and there are a few passages that may not be appropriate for young teens. Read morePublished on March 9, 2013 by V. McKinney
Okay, so this isn't a serious history book--nevertheless, Leon, using humor and snarky comments, manages to turn what might be thought to be a dull subject into a charming little... Read morePublished on November 20, 2011 by Amazon Customer
A good book with little know facts for those interested in the Roman Empire with some carryover to ancient Greece. Read morePublished on March 1, 2011 by Neal
I bought this book on the fly at half price books. I really enjoyed it. I find learning about the way people lived in the past very interesting. Read morePublished on March 12, 2010 by Svarog The Mighty
This book does not merit a long review. (My original review is now the title of this review. Evidently Amazon doesn't like four or five word reviews. Read morePublished on November 24, 2009 by Philip S. Griffey