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Roman Honor: The Fire in the Bones 0th Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520225251
ISBN-10: 0520225252
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A bold book. This book is written with passion. Like her earlier "Sorrows of the Ancient Romans, it is also likely to arouse passionate responses, positive and negative, among her professional colleagues. The pace is rapid, the argument built up under short vivid sub-sections."--"Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Carlin A. Barton is Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of The Sorrows of the Ancient Romans (1993).
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 401 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (June 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520225252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520225251
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,644 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By John E. Mack on January 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is one weird book. Barton bounces back between ancient Roman speeches, comments on Freud, French films, rock bands, Christian origins and cracker barrel philosophy. She sometimes writes like the Camille Paglia of classical philology. Her footnotes, which are helpfully printed on the page they annotate, often read like a series of asides. Her parenthetical remarks -- particularly those which have little or nothing to do with Roman histody (like her claim that American free speech is based on the premise that we can say whatever comes into our heads) are often tendentious and almost always provcative. Barton has a "dump truck" mind -- if she thinks of something, she can't help putting it into her hopper and pouring it on the page.

And yet it works. First, Barton has a wonderful command of Latin -- she would be a terrific, if idiosyncratic, translator. I have rarely read an author more comfortable with her sources. Second (and related), she can tease out what the Roman writers are getting at behind what they say. Third, she offers a wonderfully fresh view of the Romans as passionate, insecure, and rather histrionic creatures, far removed from the stoic supermen idolized by Livy and Cato. Of course Barton probably overstates her case and at times simply gets it wrong. But what is important about this book is her demonstration that the traditional view of the Romans not only needs revision but is sometimes 180 degrees off. One cannot help but wonder who Barton is (and, frankly, why we haven't heard more about her). Even if the book lacks focus and does not come to a conclusion (or rather coes to about 20 of them), her eclectic style of analysis is worth 50 more "responsible" monographs. I want to hear more from her.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Barton has done a magnificent job of introducing the Roman world to the modern reader. Throughout the book, she makes reference to the differences between modern culture and that of the Romans without simplification. This was not an easy task, since the book will probably not be a disappointment either to a well-read Classics scholar or a beginner in both its clarity and thoroughness. Dr. Barton did a great job in weaving together the various texts of the Roman world into a complete picture that is captivating. Yet, I never felt lost, even as a beginner in this area. For me, 'Roman Honor' was a real eye-opener, not only to the Roman world but to my own. I think Dr. Barton offers marvelous insights into the roots of modern society while exploring an ancient culture. One of the best books I've read in a long time.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As advertised and on time!
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