Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii, and Ostia (The Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series) / Edition 1

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Overview

Despite the fact that the majority of the inhabitants of the Roman Empire lived an agricultural existence and thus resided outside of urban centers, there is no denying the fact that the core of Roman civilization—its essential culture and politics—was based in cities. Even at the furthest boundaries of the Empire, Roman cities shared a remarkable and consistent similarity in terms of architecture, art, infrastructure, and organization which was modeled after the greatest city of all, Rome itself. In Gregory Aldrete's exhaustive account, readers will have the opportunity to peer into the inner workings of daily life in ancient Rome, to witness the full range of glory, cruelty, sophistication, and deprivation that characterized Roman cities, and will perhaps even gain new insight into the nature and history of urban existence in America today.

Included are accounts of Rome's history, infrastructure, government, and inhabitants, as well as chapters on life and death, the dangers and pleasures of urban living, entertainment, religion, the emperors, and the economy. Additional sections explore two other important Roman cities: Ostia, an industrial port town, and Pompeii, the doomed playground of the rich. This volume is ideal for high school and college students, as well as for anyone interested in examining the realities of life in ancient Rome. A chronology of the time period, maps, illustrations, a bibliography, and an index are also included.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is the type of book I could have done with as a newly qualified teacher… Aldrete has written an extraordinarily compact book on Roman history and society. He has a gift for condensing a huge amount of information into an accessible, readable form… I recommend this book for classroom and library use in schools. Undergraduates embarking on classical studies would also find it useful, as would anyone about to teach Classical Civilization with little specific knowledge."

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Journal of Classics Teaching

"[F]or high school to college collections….[c]overs life in Rome, Pompeii and Ostia, covering not just history but political and governmental structures, local culture, dangers and pleasures, and the arts. Students receive plenty of references and supporting documentation."

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MBR Bookwatch

"^IDaily Life in the Roman City^R is a useful textbook for a Roman civilization course….It offers an introduction into the functionality and character of ancient cities and the main differences from their modern counterparts."

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The Historian

"In addition to describing the physical buildings of the classical city of Rome, Aldrete (history and humanistic studies, U. of Wisconsin-Green Bay) explains how the city functioned, who lived there, and what the lives of inhabitants were like. His focus is on ordinary people, who might see the rich and famous pass by now and then, but mostly just went about their lives. Living and dying, dangers and pleasures, entertainment and religion, and the economy are among his topics. He also includes chapters on the industrial port city Ostia, and Pompeii as preserved by ash."

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Reference & Research Book News

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313331749
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/30/2004
  • Series: Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 296
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.54 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

GREGORY S. ALDRETE is Associate Professor of History and Humanistic Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. He is the author of Gestures and Acclamations in Ancient Rome (1999), and editor of The Ancient World volume in The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life (Greenwood, 2004).

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction : Roman cities 1
2 History of ancient Rome 7
3 Infrastructure of ancient Rome 25
4 Government of ancient Rome 43
5 The people of ancient Rome 55
6 Living and dying in ancient Rome 75
7 Dangers of life in ancient Rome 93
8 Pleasures of life in ancient Rome 107
9 Entertainment in ancient Rome 119
10 Religion in ancient Rome 141
11 The emperors and ancient Rome 167
12 The economy and ancient Rome 187
13 Ostia : an industrial port city 203
14 Pompeii : a time capsule of Roman daily life 219
15 Conclusion : three visions of Roman urbanism : Rome, Ostia, and Pompeii 235
App. I A brief guide to understanding Roman names 239
App. II A brief guide to Roman timekeeping and the calendar 241
App. III A brief guide to Roman clothing and appearance 245
App. IV A brief guide to Roman construction techniques 251
App. V The history of the city of Rome from antiquity to today 255
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