This pocket-size reference draws on the vast treasures of this ancient civilization to illustrate the remarkable achievements of one of the great empires of the West, from the traditional date of Rome’s founding—754 BCE—until the fall of the Western Empire in 476 CE, the year in which the last emperor, the boy Romulus Augustus, was deposed by the Goths and the imperial insignia was sent to Constantinople. Rome opens with a section on the major personages, such as Romulus and Remus, Pompey, and Constantine; each concise biography is complemented by full-color reproductions of portraits, ivories, coins, and monuments. A section on power and public life includes the grain dole, the army, the city’s archives, and its imperial triumphs. A chapter on religion considers the major gods and cults, “Oriental” rites, and Christianity. The chapter devoted to daily life includes makeup, gambling, and portraiture, and is followed by a section on funerals and the dead. A section on the layout of the city is a must-read for any tourist to Rome. The book includes a map of the ancient city, a chronology, accounts of the major museums, an index, and a bibliography.
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