A cabinet of Roman curiosities : strange tales and surprising facts from the world's greatest empire / J.C. McKeown
- McKeown, J. C.
- Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010.
- Physical Description:
- xi, 243 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
- Family life -- Women -- Names -- Education -- The army -- Romans at sea -- The law -- Farming -- Medicine -- Religion and superstition -- The life of the mind -- Foreigners -- Slaves -- Animals -- Spectacles -- Food and drink -- Decadence -- Buildings -- Pompeii and Herculaneum -- Toilets -- Not for the puritanical -- Tempus fugit -- Kings, consuls, and emperors.
- ""Greater than the Iliad."---Sextus Propertius (on Vergil's Aeneid)" ""A Fair Exchange for a Kangaroo"---King Ferdinand of the Two Sicilies (on the Herculaneum papyri)" ""Such a Sublime Masterpiece will not Perish Till the Final Day Gives the Whole World Over to Destruction."---Publius Ovidius Naso (on Lucretius's On the Nature of Things)" ""A Must for all Libraries."---The Emperor Tacitus (on the works of the historian Tacitus)" ""Without this Fundamental Study, the Romans Theemselves Would Wander Like Strangers Through the Streets of Rome."---Marcus Tullius Cicero (on Varro's Roman, Antiquities)" ""A Monument More Lasting than Bronze, Loftier than the Regal Pyramids; Neither Gnawing Rain Nor the Raging North Wind Nor the Countless Series of Years Nor the Flight of Time Could Bringit to Ruin."" "We Know far More about the Romans than about any other ancient Western society. But what we know is sometimes bizarre, and hardly fits the conventional view of the Romans as a pragmatic people with a ruthlessly efficient army, an exemplary legal system, and a precise and logical language." "A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities is a serendipitous collection of odd facts and outlandish opinions, carefully gleaned from the wide body of evidence left to us by the Romans themselves. Each fact or opinion highlights a unique and curious feature of life in ancient Rome. Readers will find a cornucopia of fascinating particulars about Rome, from the fantastical (a description of werewolves) to the quotidian (styles of chamber pots), and from the refined (dining etiquette of Pompeians) to the vulgar (brothel graffiti). Classicist J. C. McKeown has organized the entries around major themes---e.g., The Army, Women, Education, Foreigners, Spectacles, etc.---making the book easily accessible for quick browsing or for more deliberate consumption. Throughout, the purpose of the enterprise is to amuse and to stimulate an interest in the ancient world's most remarkable and abundantly documented civilization."--BOOK JACKET.
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