Artifacts from Ancient Rome

Greenwood. (Daily Life Through Artifacts). 2014. 321p. photos. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781610696197. $100. REF
This title's lofty goal of getting high school and college students to learn history through individual items will likely be met through the book's concise writing, a comprehensive bibliography, and intriguing choices of artifacts (such as "Dice and Tavern Board Game"). The introduction offers a brief historical overview of the Romans from the eighth century BCE to the fifth century CE. Tschen-Emmons (history, North Idaho Coll.; the forthcoming Artifacts from Medieval Europe) also includes a short "How to Evaluate Artifacts" section that considers how to interpret the item's overall value and significance to a society, which is crucial to the purpose of this book. The material is superbly organized in categories ranging from "Communications and Record Keeping" to ""Religion and Funerary Practices." There are at least four pieces in each of the eight categories for a total of 45 items discussed. Each artifact chapter begins with a photograph of the item, and most start with an introduction, continue with a description and significance section, and conclude with a bibliography. Some of the artifacts include primary sources, often from literature of the period that mentions the artifact being used in some way or showing relevance to the society. The book has a thorough index and extensive bibliography that makes finding specific information quite easy.
VERDICT Recommended for high school and college libraries, and university collections that serve students of ancient history.
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