Reading List: Research
Links to some relevant books.
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The World of Roman Costume
University of Wisconsin Press
Amazon.com: "Greeks and Romans felt that nationality could be identified by dress as well as by language. Examining the ways the women and men of antiquity presented themselves through their dress provides valuable insight into their social institutions; concepts of rank, gender, and status; cultural symbols; role playing; and self-identification. These concerns shape "The World of Roman Costume", an extensive investigation of Roman dress, following the pioneering studies of the the 1920s and 1930s by Lillian Wilson. These essays combine the expertise of archaeologists, philologists, anthropologists, and historians. Together they form a transdisciplinary view of the functional and symbolic values of costuming within Roman society and other societies where Roman influence was pervasive. Because habits of dress were determined by, and hence are expressions of, the traditional roles and everyday activities assumed by the Romans, these essays aim to provide a valuable resource for historians of culture, the arts, and religion.."
Roman Clothing and Fashion
by Alexandra Croom
Amazon.com: "There is plenty of information about military dress in Roman Britain and the rest of the Roman Empire, but the evidence for civilian dress has not been comprehensively looked at since the 1930s. In this richly illustrated survey, Alexandra Croom describes the range and style of clothing worn throughout the Western Empire and shows how fashions changed between the first and the sixth centuries. After a short introduction to the evidence (from archaeology, art and literature), and to the manufacture of clothing and its use in status display, she systematically treats male and female dress, looking at the tunic, toga (for men), mantle (for women) and cloaks; underwear, footwear and specialist wear; hats, hairstyles and jewelry. The book concentrates on the clothing work in the Mediterranean region, but includes a section on provincial fashions. A fine and varied corpus of illustrations (including color plates) helps to bring the everyday world of the Roman Empire to life."
The Complete Pompeii (The Complete Series)
by Joanne Berry
Amazon.com: "A gloriously illustrated and comprehensive survey of the most famous ancient site in the world. The dramatic story of Pompeii's destruction has been handed down to us by Roman writers, its paintings and mosaics have astonished visitors since their discovery in the eighteenth century, and its houses and public buildings to this day present a vivid picture of life, disaster, and death in a Roman town. Pompeii is not quite a time capsule, a frozen moment in history, but it is probably the closest we will ever get to one. This up-to-date new survey draws on evidence produced at the cutting edge of modern archaeological research, revealing how the evidence for life in this city was first uncovered, and how archaeologists over the centuries have unpeeled the layers that enable us to reconstruct Pompeii's history. With its lavish illustrations, covering monumental architecture and inscriptions, shops, graffiti, wall-paintings, and mosaics, plus its numerous box features ranging from theatrical entertainments to water supply, The Complete Pompeii is the ultimate resource and inspirational guide to this iconic ancient town.
Among the many topics covered:
- how Pompeii was destroyed in the eruption of AD 79
- what we know of the lives and deaths of its inhabitants
- what the houses tell us about the people who lived in them
- who was involved in politics
- what can be reconstructed about religious practices 360 illustrations, 320 in colour
About the Author: Joanne Berry is a leading authority on Pompeii and has spent many years working at the site. She teaches at the University of Swansea in Wales."
The Fires of Vesuvius: Pompeii Lost and Found
by Mary Beard
Publishers Weekly: "In a grand synthesis, one of our most distinguished classicists relates all that we know—and don't know—about ancient Pompeii, devastated by a flood of lava and volcanic ash from Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. Beard splendidly recreates the life and times of Pompeii in a work that is part archeology and part history. She examines the full scope of life, from houses, occupations, government, food and wine to sex, and the baths, recreation and religion. In this bustling seaside town, makers of garum, a concoction of rotten seafood and salt, did a modest business, but Umbricius Scaurus marketed his product as premium garum and became one of Pompeii's nouveaux riches. Focusing on the restored houses, Beard refutes the common notion that most Romans ate their meals while reclining on a triclinium. Rather, they ate wherever they could within the home. Finally, Beard reminds us that everybody except the very poorest went to the baths, which served as a great social leveler. Beard's tour de force takes the study of ancient history to a new level. 23 color and 113 black and white illustrations."