Synopses & Reviews
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.
"[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." -
"^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." -
"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." -
Journal of Classics Teaching
"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." -
Reference & Research Book News
Despite the fact that the majority of ancient Rome's population lived an agricultural existence and thus resided outside of the physical cities, there was no denying the fact that Rome's core--its cultural, political, and spiritual center--existed in a distinctly metropolitan form. In the most distant recesses of the Empire and the furthest boundaries of the Republic, Rome's metropolitan existence was echoed in the formation of the colonia, municipia, and civitates, Rome's urban sons and daughters, and the pillars of the society itself, whose architecture, infrastructure, language, and laws bore a consistently striking resemblance to their single model and parent: Rome, the Eternal City, towards which all roads led. In Greg Aldrete's exhaustive account, readers will have the opportunity to peer into the inner workings and outer forms of life in Rome's cities, and perhaps gain as well a new insight into the nature and history of the urban existence in America today.
This in-depth study of life in the ancient Roman city explains how the city functioned, who lived there, and what the inhabitants' lives were like.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Roman Cities
History of Ancient Rome
Infrastructure of Ancient Rome
Government of Ancient Rome
The People of Ancient Rome
Living and Dying in Ancient Rome
Dangers of Life in Ancient Rome
Pleasures of Life in Ancient Rome
Entertainment in Ancient Rome
Religion in Ancient Rome
The Emperors and Ancient Rome
The Economy and Ancient Rome
Ostia: An Industrial Port City
Pompeii: A Time-Capsule of Roman Daily Life
Conclusion: Three Visions of Roman Urbanism: Rome, Ostia, and Pompeii
Appendix I: A Brief Guide to Understanding Roman Names
Appendix II: A Brief Guide to Roman Timekeeping and the Calendar
Appendix III: A Brief Guide to Roman Clothing and Appearance
Appendix IV: A Brief Guide to Roman Construction Techniques
Appendix V: The History of the City of Rome from Antiquity to Today
Appendix VI: Timeline of Roman History