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Daily Life in Ancient Rome
This book, now available in paperback, concerns the everyday private and public lives of the citizens of ancient Rome. Drawing on a broad selection of contemporary sources, the author examines the institutions, actions and rituals of day to day life.
Published October 20th 1994 by Wiley-Blackwell
(first published 1993)
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We all know about the Roman Empire. But the Republic not only sets a better example of nobility and community, but has human figures with stories equally as compelling as during the empire: From Cincinnatus who in 457 BC accepted the Senate's pleas to take on dictatorship in a time of peril, then relinquished it 16 days later when the danger was past, to Cicero, one of the greatest orators of all time. This book looks at the little things, daily life at home, daily activities in the marketplace, ...more
Most histories of the Roman Republic cover wars and conquests, roads and architecture. This one tells us about how the people of Rome in the centuries prior to the Empire lived. It may suffer a bit from translation, but it's interesting. Their culture was much different from ours. In some ways, it seems oppressive, barbaric, but in others surprisingly civilized.
A truly enjoyable book. It is not focused on events and dates, but on anecdotes and stories that illustrate the daily life of Romans. It almost reads like a novel. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about Roman customs and traditions particularly during the period of the Roman Republic.
We used this book in an undergraduate course on "Roman Civilization Through Literature" - It contains excerpts from various literary sources that give a window on daily life. I found that approach to be very effective, especially with the quality translations into contemporary English that make it easy to imagine someone today writing very similar passages about modern life.
I liked this one - I got it from the library, but would like to own it. Dupont does get inside the Roman mind fairly well. I disagreed with some of her conclusions, and noted a few errors in Latin (e.g. "homini" for "homines," etc.). Highly recommended to Romans and Latinists.