Ancient Romans; Expanding the Classical Tradition

Ancient Romans; Expanding the Classical Tradition

by Rosalie F. Baker, Charles F. Baker
     
 

"As for life, it is a battle and a journey in a strange land."—Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Seeking to control an empire that spread throughout the Mediterranean world and beyond, the ancient Romans developed a distinctive culture in which they adapted many Greek ideas and styles but also created a wealth of new ones. The Roman heritage continues to

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Overview

"As for life, it is a battle and a journey in a strange land."—Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Seeking to control an empire that spread throughout the Mediterranean world and beyond, the ancient Romans developed a distinctive culture in which they adapted many Greek ideas and styles but also created a wealth of new ones. The Roman heritage continues to affect our architecture, government, military, language, laws, and literature.
Ancient Romans chronicles the lives and accomplishments of Roman figures whose influence continues to be felt today. We read about Romans from all walks of life, from the rebel gladiator Spartacus to the poets, historians, and playwrights who documented Roman life, to the many emperors (and some of their wives) who governed the empire. In 46 essays, Rosalie and Charles Baker explore the lives of these fascinating personalities, from the most famous Romans to people who are usually overlooked, including:
* Juvenal, a master satirist who ridiculed Rome as a haven for crime, free spending, and other social evils
* Livia, wife of Rome's first emperor (Augustus), mother of Rome's second (Tiberius), and grandmother of Rome's fourth (Claudius)
* Mark Antony, the general and statesman whose life and romance with the Egyptian queen Cleopatra have been re-created throughout history by writers and actors
* Virgil, the poet who composed the Aeneid, the national epic of Rome
* Cicero, the statesman, lawyer, and orator
* Nero, who became emperor at age 16 and went on to rebuild Rome after a disastrous fire and to foster peace throughout his empire
The biographies span the years 396 B.C. to A.D. 410. Each includes a handy fact box that lists birth and death dates and the major accomplishments of each person profiled. In addition, abundant illustrations and specially commissioned maps, an appendix chronicling the lives of legendary heroes and heroines of early Rome, a table of Roman emperors and their reigns, a family tree that traces the Julian and Claudian families, a timeline, a glossary of Roman terms, an index of Romans by profession, and suggestions for further reading all add to the usefulness of this exceptional reference. With figures from fields as diverse as literature, politics, the military, and philosophy, Ancient Romans provides a comprehensive examination of the origins of modern civilization.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Illustrations and sidebars help make the entries visually appealing... The authors do an admirable job of presenting the culture without sensationalizing its brutal aspects... Challenging reading."—Booklist

"Every page... is a feast of information... Absolutely everything about this book is first-rate.... Include[s] so many interesting and informative anecdotes and are written in such a clear and engaging style that they beg to be read aloud... Should be in every middle-school and high-school library [and] deserve[s] a place of honor in the classroom library of anyone who teaches younger students about the ancient Mediterranean world."—Classical Outlook

"An extensive collection of Roman biographies and historical anecdotes. It is an excellent classroom resource with which teachers can bring important Roman personalities to life for high school and middle school students.... The book's wide selection of images encourages students to make connections with later stages and other cultures.... A number of extremely helpful ancillary sections... An invaluable handbook for Latin classes at the secondary and middle levels,"—New England Classical Journal

"Chronicles the lives and accomplishments of 40 historically important Roman personalities.... The biographies are exceptionally readable."—Library Lane

"A complete index and an excellent list for further reading make this work suitable for research and reports."—School Library Journal

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Drawing on the work of Plutarch, Livy, Tacitus, and Suetonius, the authors recount the history of Rome's rise to power through brief biographies of 39 notable Romans. The five periods covered span the years 400 B.C.E. to A.D. 350. Many of the names will be familiar, Julius Caesar, Constantine, etc., but other lesser-known figures are also included. Spartacus, leader of a successful slave revolt, is profiled along with the poets Virgil and Ovid. Only two women appear: Livia, wife of the emperor Augustus, and Agrippina the Younger, mother of Nero. The authors tend to shy away from some of the unsavory aspects of certain personages such as Nero. Each section concludes with a two-page summary entitled "More Ancient Romans to Remember," which briefly depicts others who had an impact on their times. Olivia Coolidge's Lives of Famous Romans (Linnet, 1992) is a more concise and less intimidating book. Indistinct black-and-white photographs, reproductions, and simple maps illustrate the Bakers's text. A complete index and an excellent list for further reading make this work suitable for research and reports.--David N. Pauli, Starke County Library, Knox, IN
Booknews
Describes the lives of 40 men and women responsible for nurturing the political and cultural life of ancient Rome. The biographical entries, which tend to run several pages, are followed by short bibliographies. For each of the four periods covered (396-78 BC, 73-30 BC, 30 BC- 37 AD, and 37-98 AD), there is a map of Italy at the time, and a series of brief biographies of lesser known figures. The authors include numerous b&w photos of Roman art and artifacts. An appendix covers legendary heroes and heroines, such as Aeneas and Romulus. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195108842
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
04/02/1998
Series:
Oxford Profiles Series
Edition description:
ILLUSTRATE
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
11.10(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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