A Day in Old Rome: A Picture of Roman Life

A Day in Old Rome: A Picture of Roman Life

A Day in Old Rome: A Picture of Roman Life

A Day in Old Rome: A Picture of Roman Life

Excerpt

This book tries to describe what an intelligent person would have witnessed in Ancient Rome if by some legerdemain he had been translated to the Second Christian Century, and conducted about the imperial city under competent guidance. Rare and untypical happenings have been omitted, and sometimes to avoid long explanations probable matters have been stated as if they were ascertained facts: but these instances it is hoped are so few that no reader can be led into serious error.

The year 134 after Christ has been chosen as the hypothetical time of this visit, not from any special virtue in that date, but because Rome was then architecturally nearly completed, the Empire seemed in its most prosperous state, although many of the old usages and traditions of the Republic still survived, and the evil days of decadence were as yet hardly visible in the background. The time of the absence of Hadrian from his capital was selected particularly, in order that interest could be concentrated upon the life and doings of the great city itself, and upon its vast populace of slaves, plebeians, and nobles, not upon the splendid despot and his court, matters too often the center for attention by students of the Roman past.

To acknowledge all the modern books upon which the writer has drawn heavily would be to present a list of almost all the important handbooks or discussions of Roman life and antiquities. It is proper to say, however . . .

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