.....for any classical history library. This stupendous work goes beyond the framework of an atlas, giving readers a comprehensive one volume presentation of Roman history from the foundation thru the Justinian renconquest of Italy. The writing is concise but far from shallow and on its own makes for excellent casual reading and a worthwhile research source. Featured throughout the narrative are brisk but informative sections detailing key aspects of Roman social life, philosophy, technology, and economic activity. The heart of the volume is of course a series of beautifully drawn relief maps of the provinces of the Empire, featuring their major cities and roads as well as sundry other geopolitical details including the sites of legionary camps and alternate names of cities. Numerous other maps disseminated thru the volume give key coverage of the development, expansion and contraction of Kingdom, Republic and Empire, as well as giving us a geographic overview on such topics as religious diversity and commercial activity. Rounding out this work is a plethora of visually striking, well annotated illustrations and photographs. The more committed Roman scholar will find the selective bibliography a bit limiting, but an enthusiastic newcomer to Roman history will appreciate the authors attempt to give them a solid introduction to further pursuit of Roman historical study.
This cultural atlas has become one of my most treasured resources. I have owned and consulted it for years, and now use my copy for research, preparing for teaching Sunday School, travel planning, and helping the boys with their homework. The atlas is particularly useful when exploring Rome beyond Italy, especially in the Western and Northern provinces. Oddly, the principal shortcoming is a good map of Italy and Sicily during the Empire. Anyone who touches the Roman World can benefit from this work, and know that his or her resulting communication of that World to others will be more compelling.
I have had this book for many years and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in Roman History or would like to learn about it. The story is told is told in an interesting and understandable way. The maps and illustrations are superb. I would highly recommend it. It could be used as a textbook for a survey course in Roman History. I have read many histories of Rome and this is one of the most accessible and well written I have ever had.