This revealing look at life in ancient Rome offers a compelling journey through the vivid landscape of politics, domestic life, entertainment, and inequality experienced daily by Romans of all social strata.

Frenzied crowds, talking ravens, the stench of the Tiber River: life in ancient Rome was stimulating, dynamic, and often downright dangerous. The Romans relaxed and gossiped in baths, stole precious water from aqueducts, and partied and dined to excess. Everyone from senators to the enslaved crowded into theaters and circuses to watch their favorite singers, pantomime, and comedies and scream their approval at charioteers. The lucky celebrated their accomplishments with elaborate tombs. Amid pervasive inequality and brutality, beauty also flourished through architecture, poetry, and art.

From the smells of fragrant cookshops and religious sacrifices to the cries of public executions and murderous electoral mobs, Guy de la Bédoyère's Populus draws on a host of historical and literary sources to transport us into the intensity of daily life at the height of ancient Rome.

Publication Date: 
April 29, 2024