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What's on your bookshelf?

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This topic was inspired by two books I bought just the other day. I've got a few fiction titles set in Ancient Rome, but don't actually own much non-fiction on the subject (though I sometimes borrow from my library).

What have you got on your bookshelf that may serve as reference or inspiration for the denizens of AeRo?

Me, I've got:

  • Invisible Romans by Robert Knapp. One of the new purchases. Have only skimmed it, but goes into the lives of common folk - slaves, soldiers, outlaws, women, etc. from the little information available (mostly from funerary inscriptions, grafitti and the Bible). Doesn't seem to be broken up into age or location, though.
     
  • Pax Romana by Adrian Goldsworthy. The other new purchase, haven't started on it either. Attempts to explain how the Romans forged alliances and quashed rebellions, what they provided the conquered peoples with and how and why did the empire last as long as it did with relatively few breakaway conflicts. Haven't yet checked how it's broken up.
     
  • Antony and Cleopatra, also by Adrian Goldsworthy. I'm about 100 pages into this one, and so far it's done a good job of introducing the backgrounds of both the Ptolemies and the Antonii, as well as the political environment of the time. It tries to separate myth from fact, but the writing is a bit dry. Interesting for someone with an interest in politics.
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It sounds like you have the start of an excellent collection. 

I also have Invisible Romans and it was such an awesome read. It helped me with a few of the smaller pieces of information about gladiators and the other lower class citizens of Rome. I'm glad I bought it. 

The two I have on my desk at the moment are; 

  • From the Gracchi to Nero by H.H Scullard. I got this book for one of my textbooks. 
  • S.P.Q.R by Mary Beard. Easy to read and get into. I've had friends who are interested in Rome check it out and be able to understand things easily. It is a good read. 

I have two other books on Roman art and architecture as well. 

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What's on my shelf? Not much right now; I'm in the middle of packing, but I was recommended Invisible Romans by a writing buddy, though I've only dipped into it so far. I do still have my Latin books... I ought to start building my Classics section back up!

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Finished reading Invisible Romans the other day. It was interesting, but I felt like I already knew much of the information presented there and I also found it a bit odd that the author would sometimes state that he would not focus on X and then the next paragraph was precisely about X. Also, the majority of the examples and evidence shown seemed to come from Roman Egypt, which I'm not sure would be generally representative of the lower class population since it was a province with special status and very Hellenised to boot.

Now I'm reading Dammi mille baci ('Give me a thousand kisses') by Eva Cantarella, which goes into how sex, romance and relationships were viewed in ancient Rome and draws heavily from classical literature (including Catullus' verses from its title) - so the picture it paints is biased towards the higher classes, since that's what most of the quoted poets and writers belong to. There's also mentions of obscene Pompeii grafitti. Don't know if there are any English-language editions.

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Will be going straight in Amazon now to look up that Cantarella book just in case there are any translations!

Am just starting Kulikowski’s ‘Imperial Defeat’, Rome from Constantine to the end in the East. 

Edited by Lauren
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Finished Dammi mille baci today and it's a little gem of a book! Accessible, humorous language and a wealth of information spanning several centuries, from Republican to Imperial times. Mostly focused on Rome itself and Italia, unlike Knapp's heavy drawing from Roman Egypt sources. Was also pleasantly surprised to see abortion and adultery approached from both male and female points of view (no primary sources for the latter, unfortunately). If you read Italian, definitely recommend this one. 

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