Book Review

9780199664733

Review: The Life and Death of Ancient Cities

Is it possible to write history without people? Of course, archaeology is all about history without people, but we invent the people. Is it possible to have a more ecological approach? The latest champion of this ecological approach is Greg Woolf, the Director of the Institute of Classical Studies in London, in a new book, The Life and Death of Ancient Cities, which he meaningfully subtitles A Natural History.

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Review: The House of Augustus

The House of Augustus: a historical detective storyT P WisemanPrinceton University Press, £30ISBN 978-0691180076Review by: Andrew Selkirk What is the most terrible fate that can befall you if you are a very distinguished professor of Classics? What if the student sitting quietly at the back of the class should turn out to be the most […]

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Review: The Roman Empire in 100 haikus

The Roman Empire in 100 haikusStuart LaycockAmberley, £12.99ISBN 978-1445693309Review by: Matthew Symonds Much has been written about the Roman Empire, but seldom in the form of haikus. Attempting to tell the tale of an enormously complex entity in 100 terse poems might seem to be an endeavour so obviously doomed that the outcome could only […]

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Review: Pompeii, a different perspective

Pompeii, A Different Perspective: via dell’Abbondanza – a long road, well travelledJennifer F Stephens and Arthur E StephensLockwood Press, £40ISBN 978-1937040789Review by: Lucia Marchini The ruins of Pompeii are among the most familiar sights of the ancient world, and the longest street in the Roman city – via dell’Abbondanza, which runs from the forum to […]

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Review: Connected Communities

Connected Communities: networks, identity, and social change in the ancient Cibola worldMatthew A PeeplesUniversity of Arizona Press, $60ISBN 978-0816535682Review by: Deborah L Huntley Matthew Peeples opens his book with a question that nearly every archaeologist has heard at one time or another when engaging the public at a site visit: ‘Who were the people who […]

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Review: 24 Hours in Ancient Egypt

24 Hours in Ancient Egypt: a day in the life of the people who lived thereDonald P RyanMichael O’Mara Books, £12.99ISBN 978-1782439110Review by: Matthew Symonds Ancient Egypt still exudes an aura of mystery. Visitors have been enchanted by its monuments for millennia, but the culture that created them can be harder to bring into focus. […]

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Review: Frisians and their North Sea Neighbours

Frisians and their North Sea Neighbours: from the 5th century to the Viking age John Hines and Nelleke IJssennagger (eds) Boydell & Brewer, £75 ISBN 978-1783271795 Review by: Catherine Hills Early medieval Frisia had a complicated history. Broadly speaking, it occupied the coastal regions of what are now the Netherlands and north-west Germany. Close connections […]

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Review: Megadrought and Collapse

Megadrought and Collapse: from early agriculture to Angkor Harvey Weiss (ed.) Oxford University Press, £53 ISBN 978-0199329199 Review by: Kyle Harper In the study of the human past, the battle between those who believe in the primacy of environmental causes in the rise and fall of civilisations, those who believe in the pre-eminence of social […]

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Review: The Atlas of Ancient Rome

The Atlas of Ancient Rome Andrea Carandini (ed.) Princeton University Press, £149 ISBN 978-0691163475 Review by: Lucia Marchini One of the great pleasures of a walk around the Eternal City is coming across the abundance of Roman remains that await around practically every corner, whether a seemingly out-of-place bucranium outside a church or a larger-than-life […]

Review: Infancy and Earliest Childhood in the Roman World

Infancy and Earliest Childhood in the Roman World Maureen Carroll Oxford University Press, £75 ISBN 978-0199687633 Review by: Matthew Symonds It is received wisdom that Roman parents did not see infants as people, and so were unmoved by the death of newborns, insulating them from the high infant-mortality rate. This argument is seemingly borne out […]

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Review: Scribbling through History

Scribbling through History: graffiti, places, and people from antiquity to modernity Chloé Ragazzoli, Ömür Harmansah, Chiara Salvador, Elizabeth Frood (eds) Bloomsbury, £85 ISBN 978-1474288811 Review by: Lucia Marchini For thousands of years, people have been leaving their mark on their surroundings through informal but intentional inscriptions. Graffiti today are both revered and reviled; the practice is […]

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Review: The Science of Roman History

The Science of Roman History: biology, climate, and the future of the past Walter Scheidel (ed.) Princeton University Press, £27 ISBN 978-0691162560 Review by: Hella Eckardt The study of the Roman past is often thought of as a conservative discipline, but this book demonstrates the enormous potential of historians and archaeologists engaging with new types […]

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