The Ancient City by Peter Connolly and Hazel Dodge published in 2000, is a wonderful history book both about ancient Greece and ancient Rome. Wonderful because it is nicely illustrated (for example, there are amazing bird eye views of the city of Rome) and because it is not only about the history of Rome but also about daily life of the ancient Romans. Readers get to see how Romans lived as buildings and cities are brought back to life thanks to the thousands of beautiful colorful images and illustrations. Every aspect of Roman (and Greek) life is shown from religion, to food and entertainment like the public baths, the coliseum, festivals, the houses in which Romans lived, life in Roman cities, etc.
What we also like about the book is that it is well-structured. The first part is about ancient Greece. The second part is about ancient Rome. The last pages at the end of the book contain a long list of words that readers can use to look for a specific topic (for example, temple, coliseum, aqueducts, baths, etc). Therefore, it is hard to get lost and easy to find information on a specific Roman history topic as the book also works like a small encyclopedia. Actually we believe that the book is ideal for history students.
The book can be used by both adults and children: it is well-written and easy to read, and the illustrations can make it interesting and enjoyable for school-age children. It is worth noting that The Ancient City covers the history of Rome from the reign of Augustus (27 B.C. - 14 A.D.) to that of Septimius Severus (193 A.D. - 211 A.D). Therefore, you won't find information on Rome's early or later history (e.g. the Roman kingdom, the barbarian invasions, the Byzantine Empire).
It is hard to find history books that are so nicely illustrated that's why we think that The Ancient City is a must-have at home for anyone interested in the history of Rome (and Greece). It is also good to have for students of Roman (and Greek) history. The book is available in hardcover and paperback. Since it is a beautiful book, we recommend the hardcover version which can be found online for as little as $25.
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