"No-one could accuse Jerry Toner of a lack of empathy with those who take centre stage in his gripping new study ... He makes excellent use of Roman jokes, such as those collected in the Philogelos, which steps lightly through the misfortunes of life, from filthy streets to child mortality."
London Review of Books
"A spirited, engaging and politically committed introduction to the culture of the 'non-elite' in the Roman Empire. Toner's achievement is to open up the world of the Roman tavern, rather than the senate house; the world of the garret rather than the villa."
Mary Beard, Times Literary Supplement
"Plenty of vivid detail, with more laughter, tears and farting than most books on 'everyday life' in Rome. It is a rollicking read and wears its considerable scholarship lightly."
European Review of History
"This is a marvellous book on a neglected subject. On the basis of a rich mosaic of documents supplemented by comparative evidence, Toner has produced a sharply analytical reading of popular culture in Rome, which is both very instructive and highly entertaining."
Peter Garnsey, University of Cambridge
"Toner presents an intellectually courageous account of Roman popular culture that will engage the imaginative sympathies of scholar and general reader alike. This is a brisk, accessible study, rich in data and conceptually well-informed."
Thomas Habinek, University of Southern California