Why did I love this book?
I adore this book because it explains the development of streets lined with shops that we see in Pompeii and identifies this phenomenon as a key development in the Roman empire. Steve shows that shops develop as part of the façade to what were houses of the elite in the second century BCE, but then proliferate in the towns of Italy. Ultimately, he shows how shops also spread to the towns of the provinces. The implications for a fundamental change in urban life were immense. The book is full of archaeological data and painstaking study, which is concisely presented to the reader in an accessible manner.