The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome

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In this superbly illustrated volume, Athens and Rome, the two greatest cities of antiquity, spring to life through the masterful pen of Peter Connolly. For the first time ever, all the evidence has been painstakingly pieced together to reconstruct the architectural wonders of these mighty civilizations. By re-creating their public buildings, their temples, shops, and houses, Connolly reveals every aspect of a person's life in glorious detail, including religion, food, drama, ...
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Overview


In this superbly illustrated volume, Athens and Rome, the two greatest cities of antiquity, spring to life through the masterful pen of Peter Connolly. For the first time ever, all the evidence has been painstakingly pieced together to reconstruct the architectural wonders of these mighty civilizations. By re-creating their public buildings, their temples, shops, and houses, Connolly reveals every aspect of a person's life in glorious detail, including religion, food, drama, games, and the baths.
The first part of The Ancient City covers the development of Athens in the hundred years following the Persian Wars, which began in the 4th century B.C. These chapters encompass the Golden Years of Athens; the establishment of democracy; the building of the Parthenon, the Erechtheum, and the municipal buildings of the Agora; a typical Athenian workday; and the construction of the Long Walls.
Part II examines the development of Rome in the hundred years from Nero (emperor of Rome from A.D. 54 to 68) to Hadrian (emperor of Rome from A.D. 117 to 138)--the great building period of Rome. Visit Nero's Golden Palace and the buildings subsequently built over it, the Colosseum, the Flavian Palace, the Baths of Trajan, the Temple of Venus and Roma, as well as other buildings such as the Circus Maximus, the Theatre of Marcellus, and Trajan's Forum and Market.
In addition to reading about the great monuments and moments of classical Greece and Rome, readers learn about a typical day in the life of an Athenian and a Roman. They read about--and see--the houses people inhabited; attend 5-day festivals and go to the theatre; fight great battles and witness the birth of Rome's navy; visit temples and spend a day at the races. The fascinating artwork and vivid descriptions provide a window into the great history of these two extraordinary cities and civilizations.
The Ancient City is the crowning achievement of Peter Connolly's distinguished career. His illustrations and reconstructions have a unique authority, providing the starting point for a fascinating exploration of these cities and the lives of the people who inhabited them.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Strewn with minutely detailed cityscapes, cutaway views, and interiors, this hefty urban study recaptures the architectural glories of two great cities in their heydays.... Equally suited to casual readers or serious study, this takes a giant step past the Eyewitness-filled cheap seats and even beyond David Macaulay territory."--Kirkus Reviews (pointer review)

"A fascinating, close-up picture of what daily life was like for the inhabitants of the two most celebrated cities of the Western Classical Age. Private houses, public spaces, city streets, shops, restaurants, Greek temples, Roman baths, clothing, hairdos, utensils, customs, beliefs, manners, and mores are among the many areas that Connolly covers... The text is lucid, succinct, easy-to-follow, and the hundreds of illustrations--photographs, maps, drawings, and diagrams--are attractive and very much to the point."--The Christian Science Monitor

"Connolly and Dodge have done a remarkable job resurrecting the golden years of classical Athens and ancient Rome.... The elaborate maps and lavish illustrations that grace every page most vividly communicate the tenor and the texture of classical antiquity.... A superior historical, sociological, and architectural survey."--Booklist

"For anyone assigned a report on the design, construction, and use of the Parthenon or the Roman Colosseum, it would be hard to find a better source than this one. The full-page color drawings are stunning and include a wealth of detail not often found in other sources."--School Library Journal

"Peter Connolly's eminent reputation as an archaelogical illustrator can only be enhanced by this superb book. Using remarkable simulations of city-scapes, modelled maps, imaginative and convincing reconstructions of objects, together with vase paintings, friezes and statues in clear photographs, he has made two great civilizations come alive on the page... If you want to know exactly what it looked like when Socrates attended the famous Symposium with Agathon and Aristophanes, or what Suetonius saw when he described Nero's Golden House, this is the book to tell you."--Times Educational Supplement

"Focuses on the development and growth of each city, with superb, colorful illustrations that help the reader visualize all aspects of life and building construction." -- Dig!

KLIATT
This book is a magnificent combination of text and illustration, undoubtedly the best of its kind on this topic. What makes it such a success is the authors' understanding of how ancient cities were constructed, what they contained. This knowledge is combined with an ability to illustrate this understanding in a manner that rivals David Macaulay. The cutaway drawing of the Parthenon on p.73 is a good example of this. One finds such drawings in many books on ancient cities and on classical Greek architecture. The two drawings on this page rival any that one will find anywhere. Even more impressive is the "exploded drawing" of the north-east corner of the Parthenon, which breaks up the architectural components into parts that are identified separately (e.g., acroterion, triglyphs, metopes, architrave, etc.). Again, this kind of illustration of the Parthenon's architecture is attempted in other books, but not as effectively as it is in this one. The accompanying photographs of the Parthenon are similarly excellent in quality, and noteworthy for the understanding they portray of the monument. For example, there is a beautiful photograph on p. 68 of the southeast corner of the Parthenon that shows its unfinished state, with knobby stone projections (for handling) left on the wall. Some of the illustrations in this book do say a thousand words. The accompanying text is fairly dense but quite accessible for the general reader. It is hard to imagine a better book on the ancient city, or one that is as comprehensive. The chapters on Athens include politics, daily life, the economy, domestic architecture, religious buildings, religious celebrations, and drama. For Rome there are chapters on thecity's early history, on its law and civil service, on aqueducts and ports, on domestic architecture, on daily life, commerce, religion and worship, chariot racing, drama, gladiatorial games, the great palace of Domitian, Trajanic architecture, and the baths. Recommended for every secondary school and public library. KLIATT Codes: JSA*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1998, Oxford Univ. Press, 256p, illus, bibliog, index, 28cm, $18.95. Ages 13 to adult. Reviewer: John Rosser; Professor, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, July 2000 (Vol. 34 No. 4)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-For anyone assigned a report on the design, construction, and use of the Parthenon or the Roman Colosseum, it would be hard to find a better source than this one. The full-page color drawings are stunning and include a wealth of detail not often found in other sources. Readers may not be aware, for example, of the lively use of color that prevailed on Greek temples and sculpture, but it is well portrayed here. Numerous photographs and reproductions also illustrate the text. The daily life, history, and architecture of Athens and Rome are extensively covered, in more detail than most students will be able to absorb. Advanced readers with a background in ancient history may find some interesting topics for in-depth research. An up-to-date bibliography and a useful index are appended.-David N. Pauli, Missoula Public Library, MT
Kirkus Reviews
Strewn with minutely detailed cityscapes, cutaway views, and interiors, this hefty urban study recaptures the architectural glories of two great cities in their heydays, with as much specific information as assignment-driven readers or browsers could want. In a substantial text providing plenty of historical background, aided by a blizzard of sharp, full-color photos of artifacts and classical art, Connolly (Pompeii, 1990) and Dodge examine both cities' major and minor buildings, from Bronze Age remnants through the aftermath of the Persian War (for Athens) and the great fire of a.d. 64. (for Rome), also describing government, legal systems, religious ceremonies, theater and other public amusements, fashion, daily life for people of all classes, food, water, and waste disposal. More debatable or speculative reconstructions are noted as such. Equally suited to casual readers or serious study, this takes a giant step past the Eyewitness-filled cheap seats and even beyond David Macaulay territory. (maps, diagrams, glossary, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199172429
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 10.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Connolly is one of the foremost writers and illustrators on the subject of the ancient world. His best-selling books are popular throughout the world. He is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Institute of Archaeology, London, and has studied at the British School in Athens and in Rome. Co-author Hazel Dodge is a scholar of international reputation, known for her publications on Roman architecture and construction.

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Table of Contents

Part I: Athens

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 6, 2014

    Amazing.....!Excellent......!Just enjoy it.....!

    Amazing.....!Excellent......!Just enjoy it.....!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2000

    This Book Is a 'Must Have'

    This book, in my opinion, is the pinnacle upon which other like books will be based. The book come to life with incredible pictures and the text is not only readable, but very exiting, detailed, and informative even for an expert on the subject of ancient cities and their aspects. Peter Connolly's expertise in the subjecst of History, architecture, and archaeology are clearly show as he litterally covers all three in his explanation and analysis of Athens and Rome. Every time I read it or just pick it up to look at a certain section of the book I learn something and at the same time realize how much I have learned.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2009

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