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Ancient Rome on 5 Denarii a Day

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  359 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
This entertaining guide provides all the information a tourist needs for a journey back in time to ancient Rome in AD 200. You just have to pack your imagination and a toothbrush! Here is advice on arranging the sea journey to Italy, how to negotiate the road to Rome, and what to see on each of the city's famous seven hills. You'll learn what to take to a fancy dinner part ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published October 17th 2008 by Thames & Hudson (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30)
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Alisa Kester
This was a fun book, but not especially informative - as a previous reviewer said, the author is attempting to cover hundreds of years of history, which doesn't allow for in-depth coverage. I do like the way it's written though, as an 'ancient roman' travel guide similar to the Fodor's or Frommer's guides today. And definitely check out the list of useful phrases in the very back of the book - it made me laugh out loud; want to learn how to say a quote from Winnie the Pooh in latin? This is your ...more
May 24, 2010 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contexts, 2000s, antiquity
Ancient Rome on Five Denarii a Day is the Rough Guide to a rough town, teeming with brigands, cutpurses, rowdies, hooligans, poop, prostitutes, and wacked out emperors. I loved every page. Matyszak is silly at times, but he’s nearly always informative, and his little book did more to bring ancient Rome to life for me than all of Livy’s decades or Cicero’s long-winded orations. What you get in this book is Rome at its greatest, and its worst: intricate aquaducts funneling water over hundreds of m ...more
Pete daPixie
Mar 01, 2011 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history-roman
Think I maybe slightly over generous with four stars here, but it's Sunday and the sky is blue. However, I did really like this one, though it is only just over 130 pages. Published in 2007,
Philip Matyszak's book is a travel guide for the pilgrim of around 200ad. So this is a funny, tongue in cheek, time travellers guide to the eternal city. Replete with all the standard guide booky info and advice on safe travel, where to buy, where to eat, best places to stay, what to wear and with latin phras
Jul 30, 2008 Ijorabi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, nonfiction
This is a fun little book that's meant to give a small amount of insight into Roman culture. It's for the person who has very little understanding of how much the ancient world was similar to our modern world. If you want a definitive book of Roman culture, this is not your book. Treat this as a brief introduction.
Anna Maria Ballester Bohn
Very fun. Even for people like me who really couldn't care less about life in ancient Rome.
Nov 28, 2016 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very cool format for a non-fiction book. Great Rome info. Now that I read it, I will definitely be buying it for my classroom bookshelf!
Mar 10, 2011 sabisteb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sachbuch
Rom für 5 Denar am Tag ist ein als Reiseführer getarntes Geschichtsbuch. In diesem "Reiseführer" für das Rom des Jahren 200 n. Chr. wird auf genau die gleichen Dinge eingegangen wie in einem modernen Reiseführer: Reisevorbereitungen, die beste Unterkunft und worauf man achten sollte, Sehenswürdigkeiten und Rundgänge, Shopping Guide, kulturelle Besonderheiten...
Belegt werden viele Hinweise und Erzählungen durch antike Zitate und archäologische Funde. Statt der in normalen Reiseführern üblichen Fo
Feb 23, 2015 Josephine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book so much, it was informative, historically accurate and funny!
The author takes us on a trip to Rome in the year AD 200, it is a place where a traveller really needs to keep his wits about him as at the very least he may be cheated or robbed at worst attacked and killed. Knowing where to go was the most important thing and if you had no one to advise you (there was no Trip Adviser in those days), you could end up in some very undesirable accommodation eating some very suspect f
Sep 02, 2014 Arne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone, but perhaps teachers will enjoy this even more for students
So, you might find history slightly boring (Okay, admittedly I don't), but give this book a shot. Its not like a regular old textbook, always ready to swamp your brain with facts and piles of numbers. Instead this book prepares to engage you as if you were one of the ancient people of the time visiting the magnificent city Rome for the first time.

Its a factious guidebook for Rome, but written with respect to historical sources and paints an accurate picture of how the Romans lived. Functioning a
I think I've discovered a genre I adore: humorous time-traveler's guides. I was easy prey for this book.

Its breezy format is no substitute for actual research, of course, but it's quite readable in little snippets that often invoke laughter. Learn how to behave as a guest in a Roman's house; read random, amusing trivia ("The Roman aristocrat Clodius once bribed a jury so shamelessly that when he was acquitted the judge sarcastically asked the jury if they required an armed escort to get their bo
Jan 28, 2014 Eric rated it really liked it
For what this author set out to accomplish this is a entertaining and some what educational book. Written in a manner similar to a Fodor's Guide to Disney or France, the books highlights the history if Rome, the cultural nuances, and the must-see sites.

In away this book is both humorous and educational, but it lacks the depth of most other history books. It also doesn't clearly layout when events occurred, making it hard to differentiate between important events in the republic and this that oc
Margaret Sankey
Clever work from a classicist/archeologist, framed as a travel guide to Late Imperial Rome--indispensable advice for planning your trip years in advance (be nice to Romans traveling to your backwater in order to cage invitations to stay in their townhouses), money exchanging and ship booking via good shipping agents, navigating the elegantly brutal Roman court system (where to hire the best hounding to trial agents in a police-less city), the etiquette of attending gladiatorial games, a handy ca ...more
Mar 23, 2016 Shane rated it really liked it
Shelves: roman-history
This is a fun, enjoyable history book. The premise--an Ancient citizens travelling to visit the wonders that are in Rome--is really clever, and masterfully told. Matyszak has a good writing style, informative yet entertaining.
There are many interesting little tidbits here; my favorites are about Roman diets, the seven hills and fourteen regions of Rome, and what festivals occur when.
My only minor complaint is Matyszak's material doesn't always seem logically organized, and the information is too
Apr 03, 2012 Heather80 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, humour
This book is written like a travel guide to Rome in circa 200 A.C. It's humorous in style, and there are many good quotes by famous Romans. Photographs, CGI and drawings illustrate the glories of the great city. There is a map, a collection of Latin phrases (Fortesse, haec olim meminisse nobis iuvabit = Maybe one day we'll look back at this and laugh), and many interesting facts called Res Romae, which are sprinkled throughout the book. I would recommend it for history buffs, tourists and anyone ...more
Simon Binning
Aug 25, 2015 Simon Binning rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman-history
This is a good little book, which gives you a whistlestop tour of Rome in about 200ce. Written in a 'Rough Guide' style, it has chapters on such things as eating, shopping, sightseeing, religion and entertainment. It gives a good feel of life in the imperial capital at its height. For those who already have a little knowledge of Rome, it probably won't add much new, but if you want a place to start - or perhaps are a reader of historical fiction set in Rome, wanting to check some facts - this wo ...more
Pat Mizell
May 04, 2013 Pat Mizell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I rate a book on whether it accomplished it's purpose, the reader knew what that purpose was beforehand, and enjoyed reading it. I thought it was a hoot. The wonderful thing about Dr. Matyszak's books is that you can enjoy and learn. And have some grins along the way. I would love to take this book, walk up to a traffic cop in Rome, and point down at an establishment; then ask directions.

See, Phillip, I can stir things up to. On to Mithradates now.
A fun little book in the form of a modern-day travel guide to the ancient city of Rome, circa AD 200, with information for the traveler on how to get there, where to stay, dining out, shopping, entertainment, "must-see" sights, and useful Latin phrases for a variety of situations including Vel vinum mihi da, vel nummos mihi redde (I want my wine or my money back) and Noli me tangere (Get your hands off of me).
Dec 02, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A travel guide that takes you not only through space, but time as well! It's a guide to Rome in the 2nd Century CE and if I could go back... this would be an essential part of my carry-on luggage. This is a great book for people who want to know more about life in ancient Rome, whether they are scholars or just folks inspired by the recent HBO series. [return][return]It's a fun read and the Useful Latin Phrases in the back of the book are a hoot!
Mar 21, 2010 Leandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rome travellers
I bought this for my Rome-holiday, and it was even more awesome than I thought it could be.

The book is essentially a travel guide for a Rome traveller visiting Rome 200 A.C. - Matzysak fills his descriptions of ancient Rome with a multitude of information, but manages to stay incredibly funny while doing so. This was the perfect read during our holidays - we read it in the evening in bed, we took it with us to the sights.

Very recommendable.
Nov 30, 2009 Menno marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This travel guide is a peoples' history in disguise. It is concerned with the details of daily life such as what to eat, where to stay, and what sights to see for a visitor to ancient Rome. These sorts of details are often overlooked in the more traditional histories. And it will come in really handy if I decide to do some time traveling.
Jun 20, 2009 hexaspir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: travellers to Rome
Shelves: hist-0000-1500
I used this during my latest visit to Rome to make ancient Rome more vivid for my (adult) travelling partner. We would sit down at points of interest (Colosseum, Forum Romanum, Circus Maximus, ...) and I would read out related passages from the book. Highly recommended to bring ancient Rome back to life while you are there.
Jul 05, 2008 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, history
Cute idea to structure it as a travel guide. It makes it much more readable than Lionel Casson's 'Travel in the Ancient World' where he seems to get a lot of his information. In fact they use a many of the exact same excerpts from primary documents.
Jun 06, 2011 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a fun book. It makes one actually wish they were on a tour of ancient Rome. This book is even better if you are planning on visiting Rome in the near future as it gives you a completely different perspective on the city. Easily can be read multiple times.
Kirsty Gray
Aug 04, 2012 Kirsty Gray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roman
I thought this was an enjoyable if somewhat fluffy look at classical Rome - which from the title is exactly what I expected. A quick and easy read in preparation for doing some actual study on this topic.
Abraham Ray
Apr 16, 2012 Abraham Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
intresting history book
Nov 23, 2008 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
What a terrific book - equally funny and educational. Can't wait to read the Athenian version!
A very fun little book. Covers many aspects of typical Roman life (circa early-mid empire) which are not usually covered by more standard roman texts.
Apr 11, 2010 Sadie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun to read through, and to get a glimpse of Romans as they were as regular people, and not as we tend to elevate them. Not something you'll learn terribly much from, but it's a joy to read.
Andrew Price
Jan 06, 2016 Andrew Price rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great way to answer questions you might have about life in the Roman Empire. I recommend it for anyone who loves Roman history, SPQR.
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“Provided the gods of Rome are given their due, it doesn't really matter to them whether their worshippers believe in them or not. Having taken part in the official rituals, a citizen is free to worship whatever other deities he pleases. Rom'es gods are there to be obeyed and respected, not loved, and they no more mind sacrifices to other deities than the taxman minds people paying other dues elsewhere. Dealing with the gods is an exchange of duties and mutual respect. Confessing a deep love for a particular god is superstitio and the person concerned is probably emotionally concerned.” 1 likes
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