Drawing on the greatest writers of its civilization, Hamilton vividly depicts the life and spirit of Rome.
In this informal history of Roman civilization, Edith Hamilton vividly depicts the Roman life and spirit as they are revealed in the greatest writers of the time. Among these literary guides are Cicero, who left an incomparable collection of letters; Catullus, the quintessential poet of love; Horace, the chronicler of a cruel and materialistic Rome; and the Romantics Virgil, Livy, and Seneca. The story concludes with the stark contrast between high-minded Stoicism and the collapse of values witnessed by Tacitus and Juvenal.
“No one in modern times has shown us more vividly . . . ‘the grandeur that was Rome.’ Filtering the golden essence from the mass of classical literature, she proved how applicable to our daily lives are the humor and wisdom of more than 2,000 years ago.” New York Times
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About the Author
Edith Hamilton (1867–1963) was made an honorary citizen of Athens because of her writings. She won the National Achievement Award and received honorary degrees from Yale University, the University of Rochester, and the University of Pennsylvania. The author of The Roman Way, Mythology, and other works, she was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Table of Contents
I Comedy's Mirror 13
II Ancient Rome Reflected in Plautus and Terence 24
III The Comic Spirit in Plautus and Terence 46
IV Cicero's Rome: The Republic 58
V Cicero Himself 68
VI Caesar and Cicero 82
VII Catullus 101
VIII Horace 119
IX The Rome of Augustus as Horace Saw It 135
X The Roman Way 148
XI Enter the Romantic Roman: Virgil, Livy, Seneca 161
XII Juvenal's Rome and the Stoics 184
XIII The End of Antiquity 201