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The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome.

The Ancient City: Life in Classical Athens and Rome. Peter Connolly. New York: Oxford UP (800-445-9714), 1998. Illus., hardcover, 256 pp., $29.95.

The importance of the arts to a culture and the role of the arts in informing later cultures about an early civilization is readily apparent in this well researched and lavishly illustrated publication. Each of the cities/civilizations studied seems a travel in time as the reader is led on a virtual walking tour through remarkable architecture while encountering the art, artifacts, and lifestyles of two of the most significant city-states in recorded history.

The first part of the book examines the development of Athens. We examine the building of the Parthenon, the Erechtheum, and the Acropolis. In addition to the architecture, the design of ceramic and wooden furniture, red figure vases, coins, clothing styles, and other artifacts are discussed and illustrated in depth.

Part two of the book covers the " development of Rome at the height of its power in the second century AD. Attention centers on the architecture of the Colosseum, Nero's Golden Palace, and the Circus Maximus, as well as the temples, forums, aquaducts, monuments, and sculpture that characterize the astounding art and architecture of Rome. There are more that 250 illustrations consisting of colorful architectural photographs, vase paintings, murals, mosaics, interior views and plans, and skillful recreations of early architecture based on existing ruins and empirical research. This book seems intended as a text for art history classes, but would serve as a valuable visual resource for any art program from secondary school and beyond.
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Title Annotation:Review
Author:Anderson, Kent
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1999
Words:262
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