In a nutshell:
We accompany the author during his day wandering around ancient Rome, sightseeing, admiring, explaining things.
Language I read the book in: German (Ein Tag im alten Rom)
Did I like it? Yes
For people who: like Ancient Rom and history made come to life by describing daily occurrences.
If you are interested in ancient Rome this book is a must read.
Alberto Angela takes us on a guided tour around Rome at the time of Trajan. We start in the very early morning in the house of a rich man, move on to shops, insulae, taverns, tempels, the baths, banquets and the Colosseum. We explore every aspect of daily ancient Roman life, breakfast, cooking, shopping, eating out, religion, entertainment, childbirth, teaching, dying….
Everything is presented in a very digestible way, explained properly with the appropriate background and shown from all sides (e.g. slavery or gladiators).
Where possible we are told about archaeological discoveries that back up the fictional stories (for example a fight between two gladiators that was documented on a mosaic, so detailed that even the names of the fighters were recorded).
There are only a few illustrations, no models, photos or other visual helpers to conjure Rome, but that is not necessary. Every chapter was so interesting and entertaining that I finished this book in no time. The German subtitle of this book is “Common, mysterious and astonishing facts”, and it completely lives up to that. Highly recommended.
Mr. Angela has one more book on the subject of ancient Rome out and one coming out in June that I will have to track down now.
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Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.
This post is part of the This isn’t Fiction Reading Challenge which is hosted by The Book Garden.