The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens & Rome

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1998 - History - 256 pages
4 Reviews
In this superbly illustrated volume, Athens and Rome, the two greatest cities of antiquity, spring to life through the masterful pen of Peter Connolly. For the first time ever, all the evidence has been painstakingly pieced together to reconstruct the architectural wonders of these mighty civilizations. By re-creating their public buildings, their temples, shops, and houses, Connolly reveals every aspect of a person's life in glorious detail, including religion, food, drama, games, and the baths.
The first part of The Ancient City covers the development of Athens in the hundred years following the Persian Wars, which began in the 4th century B.C. These chapters encompass the Golden Years of Athens; the establishment of democracy; the building of the Parthenon, the Erechtheum, and the municipal buildings of the Agora; a typical Athenian workday; and the construction of the Long Walls.
Part II examines the development of Rome in the hundred years from Nero (emperor of Rome from A.D. 54 to 68) to Hadrian (emperor of Rome from A.D. 117 to 138)--the great building period of Rome. Visit Nero's Golden Palace and the buildings subsequently built over it, the Colosseum, the Flavian Palace, the Baths of Trajan, the Temple of Venus and Roma, as well as other buildings such as the Circus Maximus, the Theatre of Marcellus, and Trajan's Forum and Market.
In addition to reading about the great monuments and moments of classical Greece and Rome, readers learn about a typical day in the life of an Athenian and a Roman. They read about--and see--the houses people inhabited; attend 5-day festivals and go to the theatre; fight great battles and witness the birth of Rome's navy; visit temples and spend a day at the races. The fascinating artwork and vivid descriptions provide a window into the great history of these two extraordinary cities and civilizations.
The Ancient City is the crowning achievement of Peter Connolly's distinguished career. His illustrations and reconstructions have a unique authority, providing the starting point for a fascinating exploration of these cities and the lives of the people who inhabited them.

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Review: The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome

User Review  - Emma Brown - Goodreads

Simplistic overall, but filled with useful tidbits and helpful drawings, photographs, maps, and dissected buildings. A good resource for a casual study of the two cities. Read full review

Review: The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome

User Review  - David - Goodreads

Fantastic book! The illustrations are the best part by far, but the information is good, too. Most of the focus seems to be on specific buildings, but there is great information on everyday life and history, too. It was a perfect addition to my Ancient Cultures class. Read full review

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About the author (1998)


Peter Connolly is one of the foremost writers and illustrators on the subject of the ancient world. His best-selling books are popular throughout the world. He is an Honorary Research Fellow of the Institute of Archaeology, London, and has studied at the British School in Athens and in Rome. Co-author Hazel Dodge is a scholar of international reputation, known for her publications on Roman architecture and construction.

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