Roman Passions : A History of Pleasure in Imperial Rome / Edition 1

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Immerse yourself in the sensual delights of Rome in all their guises.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Laurence (research fellow, archaeology & antiquity, Univ. of Birmingham; coauthor, with Alex Butterworth, Pompeii: The Living City) brings a spirit of lighthearted inquiry to this readable work. Each chapter analyzes a first-century Roman pleasure or leisure activity, e.g., dining, architecture, bathing, sex, theater, violence, collecting, and gifts, drawn especially from erotic culture and supported by archaeological evidence. Linking the disparate subject matter is Laurence's examination of how each of the early emperors created a new culture of pleasure in his reign to reflect his individual greatness while appealing to a sense of tradition and stability. Comparisons between Roman and 21st-century lifestyles are instructive while avoiding anachronism, e.g., against expectations, geological evidence shows that imperial Rome was the greatest polluter before modern industrialized societies. With a broader appeal and more currency than other surveys of Roman leisure, this is sure to interest students not only of Roman history but of cultural history in general.
—Margaret Heller

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847250322
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 6/8/2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

RAY LAURENCE is a popular historian living in Britain. He is co-author of Pompeii: The Living City.
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Table of Contents

1: Introduction - Roman Passions 2: Into the World of Roman Pleasure 3: The Emperor's Pleasures 4: The Aesthetics of the City 5: A Little Place in the Country 6: The Roman Body at the Baths 7: Roman Erotics 8: Dining 9: Food and Wine 10: A Great Song and Dance 11: Violence 12: Collectors and Collections 13: Pleasure transforms Roman culture \ Timeline \ Glossary of terms \ Further Reading \ Bibliography \ Index

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