A History of Private Life, Volume I: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium (Revised)

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Product Details

Belknap Press
Publish Date
7.06 X 1.38 X 8.06 inches | 2.41 pounds
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About the Author

Né en 1930 à Aix-en-Provence, ancien élève de l'École normale supérieure, Paul Veyne est l'un des plus grands historiens français de l'Antiquité romaine. Il est professeur honoraire au Collège de France.
Georges Duby, a member of the Académie Française, is Professor of Medieval History at the Collège de France.
Arthur Goldhammer has translated more than 100 works from French, including Tocqueville's Democracy in America. He is a three-time recipient of the French-American Foundation translation prize. France made him a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and the Académie Française awarded him its Médaille de Vermeil.


Private life has always been a matter of public conjecture. This admirable book brings it intelligently into the web of social history and is a model for historians and readers alike. Beautifully produced, it adds apt and rare illustrations to a text by experts who presuppose human curiosity, but no undue knowledge. Its range and level of argument will intrigue anyone who has wondered about past attitudes to such matters as sex and the family, households, social inferiors, dress and even undress.--Robin Lane Fox "Washington Post "
The five essays collected here...treat readers to a vast array of anecdotes and conjectures about the private life of our forebears.--Roger Kimball "Wall Street Journal "
This first volume is one of the most arresting, original, and rewarding historical surveys to be published in many years, and its value is enhanced by the hundreds of illustrations, which present almost every conceivable detail of private life as it was lived in the centuries.--Bernard Knox "The Atlantic "
A book which makes the reader think, teasing and encouraging with spicy details, long views, a capacity for the unexpected insight. Now for something completely different.--Jasper Griffin "London Review of Books "
This is a long, demanding and very rewarding book. If the remaining four volumes are of this quality, the series will indeed, as the editors claim, be 'a milestone in historical research.'--Jane F. Gardner "Times Higher Education Supplement "
The new emphasis on the history of everybody has now been consecrated in [this] ambitious five-volume series... Copious illustrative materials--paintings, drawings, caricatures, and photographs, all cannily chosen and wittily captioned to display domestic life... Magnificent.--Roger Shattuck "New York Times Book Review "
A stimulating--indeed a provocative--and beautiful book on a difficult subject... It's a treasure.--Christian Science Monitor
This absorbingly illustrated series is intent on presenting the past with both physical immediacy and with as little academic fuss as possible. The illustrations in the first volume have a subjective penetration of the text that is like an inner musical accompaniment. This volume does not pretend to roll out a complete rug of civilization... Few readers, even of I, Claudius, will have experienced pagan Rome with quite the freshness evident here... History-to-touch.--Kirkus Reviews
Together these five compact volumes cover much of the history of the classical world, and do so with both ease and authority.--Washington Post Book World