A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities
The ancient Romans have left us far more information about themselves than has any other Western society until much more recent times. But what we know about them is sometimes bizarre, and hardly fits the conventional view of the Romans as a pragmatic people with a ruthlessly efficient army and…
Why read it?
2 authors picked A Cabinet of Roman Curiosities as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
The author is a scholar, a professor of Classics, so he knows his stuff. He is also a wonderful writer. This is a collection of small and fascinating facts about Rome and the ancient world. A sampling of entries includes notes on Hannibal’s reputed use of jars of poisonous snakes as catapult ammunition, Roman fly fishing, window glass, and the mechanics of Nero’s revolving dining room.
This is an absolute treasure trove of knowledge. The book is precisely what it says. Arranged roughly by subject, the book is a collection of tidbits and snippets taken directly from ancient sources. What you are learning are fascinating and often amusing or unbelievable facts on ancient Rome, written by the men who lived there at the time, from Pliny regarding medical bills as a “down payment on death” to Roman naming conventions, you will learn more about ancient Rome from simply browsing this book than you would from any single treatise.
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