Daily Life in Ancient Rome

The People and the City at the Height of the Empire; Second Edition

Jérôme Carcopino; Edited and annotated by Henry T. Roswell; Translated by E.O. Lorimer; With a new Introduction and Bibliographic essay by Mary Beard

View Inside Price: $23.00


November 10, 2003
368 pages, 5 x 7 3/4
ISBN: 9780300101867
Paper

This classic book brings to life imperial Rome as it was during the second century A.D., the time of Trajan and Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus. It was a period marked by lavish displays of wealth, a dazzling cultural mix, and the advent of Christianity. The splendor and squalor of the city, the spectacles, and the day’s routines are reconstructed from an immense fund of archaeological evidence and from vivid descriptions by ancient poets, satirists, letter-writers, and novelists—from Petronius to Pliny the Younger. In a new Introduction, the eminent classicist Mary Beard appraises the book’s enduring—and sometimes surprising—influence and its value for general readers and students. She also provides an up-to-date bibliographic essay.

“Carcopino’s pledge to his readers was to open up to them some traces of the world that lay underneath the grandeur that remains the public face of ancient Rome. . . . No one has ever done it better.”—Mary Beard, from the Introduction

Jérôme Carcopino (1881–1970) was the author of many books on ancient Rome including César and Ovid and the Cult of Isis. Mary Beard is the author or coauthor of numerous books including The Parthenon, Classics: A Very Short Introduction, Classical Art: From Greece to Rome, and Religions of Rome.

“The author’s vivid depiction of Roman life itself is timeless.”—History Magazine

“Carcopino’s pledge to his readers was to open up to them some traces of the world that lay underneath the grandeur that remains the public face of ancient Rome. . . . No one has ever done it better.”—Mary Beard, from the Introduction

"A full and fascinating reconstruction of the daily life of ancient Rome."—Gilbert Highet, New York Times Book Review

"For the reader who wants to see the streets of ancient Rome come to life before his very eyes, to know how the people lived, what and how they ate and how they earned the money to pay for it, how they amused themselves, and what their social customs were, what their schools were like, what they thought about their gods and how they worshiped them—and every other imaginable thing that the title covers—this is the book. . . . It sparkles with life, but also gives a thorough account of Roman social, religious, and intellectual life."—Christian Century

"Excellent reading. . . . Carcopino tells the story well and in frank and graphic detail. Professor Rowell, as editor, has supplied a series of illustrations and added extensive notes to the French original."—Ralph Thompson, New York Times

"Here we find exactly the kind of information, abundantly supported by evidence of all kinds, that paints a vivid picture of the city."—American Journal of Archaeology

"Anyone with a taste for history, and curiosity as to the resemblances and differences between our own civilization and that of the ancients, should find intensely interesting Jérôme Carcopino's Daily Life in Ancient Rome. . . . The book, which is carefully documented, is that all too rare phenomenon among works of scholarship, a narrative written with verve and animation."—Book-of-the-Month Club Bulletin