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A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome: Daily Life, Mysteries, and Curiosities
     

A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome: Daily Life, Mysteries, and Curiosities

4.0 8
by Alberto Angela, Gregory Conti (Translator)
 

The wondrous extravagance of banquets where flamingos are roasted whole and wine flows like rivers. The roar of frenzied spectators inside the Colosseum during a battle between gladiators. A crowd of onlookers gathered at a slave auction. The silent baths and the boisterous taverns...Many books have dealt with the history of ancient Rome, but none has been able to

Overview

The wondrous extravagance of banquets where flamingos are roasted whole and wine flows like rivers. The roar of frenzied spectators inside the Colosseum during a battle between gladiators. A crowd of onlookers gathered at a slave auction. The silent baths and the boisterous taverns...Many books have dealt with the history of ancient Rome, but none has been able to so engage its readers in the daily life of the Imperial capital.

This extraordinary armchair tour, guided by Alberto Angela with the charm of a born storyteller, lasts twenty-four hours, beginning at dawn on an ordinary day in the year 115 CE, with Imperial Rome at the height of its power. The reader wakes in a rich patrician home and discovers frescoes, opulent furnishings and richly appointed boudoirs. Strolling though the splendors of the Roman Forum, one overhears both erudite opinions from learned orators and local ribaldry floating out from the public latrines. One meets the intense gazes of Roman matriarchs strolling the streets, looks on as a banquet is prepared, and is afforded a peek into the sexual habits and fetishes of Roman patricians and plebs. For all those who have ever dreamed of traveling back in time, Alberto Angela's narrative style will prove thoroughly satisfying. Rich in atmosphere and historical information, A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome is a voyage into a world both distant to us in time and surprisingly near in its habits, mores, and passions.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome

"Angela's rigorous research and populist style, aided by Conti's seamless translation, should fascinate casual readers as well as dedicated Italophiles.” 
—Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Alberto Angela makes an important but often complicated subject fascinating and accessible. The reader is catapulted into a day in the Imperial capital and uncovers affinities, secrets, curiosities, and anecdotes about the inhabitants of ancient Rome . . . Angela transforms his book into a kind of three-dimensional set in which the reader strolls, visiting homes, markets, open air school, baths, and even public latrines."
—Il Giornale

"One discovers a wealth of details about the curious habits of ancient Romans, from their recipes to their tastes in interior design, from life in the Insulae, the giant Roman housing projects, to the shocking slave markets."
—Il Corriere della Sera

"A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome feels like a cinematic tour through the apartments and streets of ancient Rome. [The book] is an excellent introduction to the daily life of Roman, likely to inspire further interest in Roman history for the reader."
—Bookslut

"In this scrupulous portrait of ancient Rome, Alberto Angela breathes life into history's intimate aspects, paying homage to that history made not by great figures but by individuals, those citizens of Rome whose daily habits and energies contributed to the grandeur and power of the Roman Empire."
—Agora Magazine

“A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome produces a remarkably illustrative overview of how Romans of that time lived. Angela has succeeded at delivering a large quantity of information with an affable, inviting style.”
—Kristin Merrihew,MostlyFiciton Book Reviews

"Reading this book is like being with a tour guide who has taken you back in time, and is giving you a day’s guided tour of 115 CE Rome.”
—EmmabBooks

“This is a wonderful book for lovers of history and novices alike.”
—History and other Thoughts



            Publishers Weekly
            Starred Review.

            Many books, documentaries and movies claim to chronicle daily life in ancient Rome, but it's rare to find a narrative so encrusted in detail as this lively offering from an Italian author and television host. Adopting a first person plural voice, Angela takes us on an eagle-eyed tour of the ancient city on an "ordinary day" in the year A.D. 115. Serving as a Virgil-like guide, Angela begins in a Domus, an upper-class home, exploring its meticulous inner workings, from the aqueduct hook-up to the slave labor. Out in the streets, Angela provides a fascinating, nail-by-nail description of Roman construction before schooling readers in the particulars of buying slaves. Next up is a bloody scene at the Coliseum (featuring hungry lions and their worthy meal), and a steamy sunset tour of bedrooms, salons, and sexual mores; Romans viewed sex as "a gift of the gods," something to enjoy, and would "judge our sexuality as excessively complicated... by mental complexes and roles." Angela's rigorous research and populist style, aided by Conti's seamless translation, should fascinate casual readers as well as dedicated Italophiles.
            Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

            Il Giornale

            Alberto Angela makes an important but often complicated subject fascinating and accessible. The reader is catapulted into a day in the Imperial capital and uncovers affinities, secrets, curiosities, and anecdotes about the inhabitants of ancient Rome . . . Angela transforms his book into a kind of three-dimensional set in which the reader strolls, visiting homes, markets, open air school, baths, and even public latrines.

            Il Corriere della Sera

            One discovers a wealth of details about the curious habits of ancient Romans, from their recipes to their tastes in interior design, from life in the Insulae, the giant Roman housing projects, to the shocking slave markets.

            Product Details

            ISBN-13:
            9781933372716
            Publisher:
            Europa
            Publication date:
            05/26/2009
            Pages:
            352
            Sales rank:
            432,785
            Product dimensions:
            5.30(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)
            Age Range:
            18 Years

            What People are Saying About This

            From the Publisher
            "Alberto Angela makes an important but often complicated subject fascinating and accessible. The reader is catapulted into a day in the Imperial capital and uncovers affinities, secrets, curiosities, and anecdotes about the inhabitants of ancient Rome . . . Angela transforms his book into a kind of three-dimensional set in which the reader strolls, visiting homes, markets, open air school, baths, and even public latrines."
            -Il Giornale

            "One discovers a wealth of details about the curious habits of ancient Romans, from their recipes to their tastes in interior design, from life in the Insulae, the giant Roman housing projects, to the shocking slave markets."
            -Il Corriere della Sera

            Meet the Author

            Alberto Angela hosts two of Italy's most popular science television programs, Superquake and Ulisse. He is the author of Life-sized Museums (1988) and, with his father Piero Angela, The Extraordinary Story of a Growing Life (1996), Sharks (1997), and Voyage in the Cosmos (1998).

            Gregory Conti teaches at the University of Perugia and the University of Rochester. His published translations include works by Rosetta Loy, Mario Rigoni Stern, and Tiziano Scarpa. Most recently, he translated Capital and Language by Christian Marazzi and The Templars by Barbara Frale.

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            A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome: Daily Life, Mysteries, and Curiosities 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
            Rome_Buff More than 1 year ago
            I am an amateur history buff. When I opened Alberto Angela's book I was very leery of what I was reading. First in on the copyright page it states "This book is a work of fiction. Any reference to historical events, real people, or real locales is used fictitiously." I was concerned because I found this book located in the history section at my local Barnes and Noble. Now I have read many historical books on Ancient Rome and I must say that the publishers of the book must have made a mistake in printing this statement because very little of what Mr. Angela writes in this book is fictitious. If anything is fictional in the book it is the author's ability to make you feel as though you are in ancient times by having you visualize a person in an activity. Alberto Angela has a beautiful way of transporting the reader into his writing. He obviously cares a great deal about Ancient Rome. Alberto's book is exceptionally well written and filled full of historical and archeological facts. It is by no means a boring book. This book was very enjoyable to read. I highly recommend this book to anyone getting ready to travel to Rome or someone who is interested in Roman history.
            Anonymous More than 1 year ago
            I think this book is excellent, except for one thing: the lack of pictures. There were so many places in the book that just cry out for some photographs. There are a few illustrations, but not nearly enough. I would have given this book 5 stars if it would have had more pictures. I love the idea of this book. It takes you on a tour of Rome to see what daily life was like. It has lots of interesting information and anyone who enjoys learning about ancient Rome will not be disappointed. I also have to say that I am impressed with the author's descriptions and use of language, especially since this was translated from Italian (which doesn't always work so well). I especially loved reading the descriptions of Roman banquets and the public baths. Entertaining and highly readable!
            Anonymous More than 1 year ago
            hollykesten More than 1 year ago
            I loved this book.  I really felt like I had taken a time machine back but nobody could see me and just watched the different tiers of society go about their lives.  Would love to find similar books about other ancient societies.
            Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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            jezebel_1969 More than 1 year ago
            I love history. I have a ton of history books. People tend to think that it is boring to read about history, but this is written in such a way that the subject is not boring at all. I learned a lot of very interesting things. I'm glad I found this book. I hope he writes one on ancient Greece and one on England.