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The Great Fire of Rome

Life and Death in the Ancient City

Joseph J. Walsh

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A thrilling and momentous account of the Great Fire of Rome and how a modern city arose from its embers.

Peril was everywhere in ancient Rome, but the Great Fire of 64 CE was unlike anything the city had ever experienced. No building, no neighborhood, no person was safe from conflagration. When the fire finally subsided—after burning for nine days straight—vast swaths of Rome were in ruins. The greatest city of the ancient world had endured its greatest blow.

In The Great Fire of Rome, Joseph J. Walsh tells the true story of this deadly episode in Rome's history. He explains why Rome was such a…

A thrilling and momentous account of the Great Fire of Rome and how a modern city arose from its embers.

Peril was everywhere in ancient Rome, but the Great Fire of 64 CE was unlike anything the city had ever experienced. No building, no neighborhood, no person was safe from conflagration. When the fire finally subsided—after burning for nine days straight—vast swaths of Rome were in ruins. The greatest city of the ancient world had endured its greatest blow.

In The Great Fire of Rome, Joseph J. Walsh tells the true story of this deadly episode in Rome's history. He explains why Rome was such a vulnerable tinderbox, outlines the difficulties of life in that exciting and dangerous city, and recounts the fire's aftermath and legacy—a legacy that includes the transformation of much of ancient Rome into a modern city. Situating the fire within the context of other perils that residents of Rome faced, including frequent flooding, pollution, crime, and dangerously shoddy construction, he highlights the firefighting technology of the period and examines the ways in which the city's architecture and planning contributed to the severity of the blaze.

Introducing readers to the grim realities of life in that overwhelming and overwhelmed city while chronicling its later glories, The Great Fire of Rome is grounded in the latest scholarship on fire analysis and forensics. Walsh's multifaceted analysis, balanced insights, and concise, accessible prose make this book a versatile teaching tool. Readers interested in ancient (and modern) Rome, urban life, and civic disasters, among other things, will be fascinated by this book.

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The Great Fire of Rome

Joseph J. Walsh

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Reviews

Reviews

The Great Fire of Rome combines disasters, daily life, and the emperor Nero, all of which have proved enduringly popular subjects in ancient history, in a fresh and stimulating way. Vividly and vigorously written, this lively account is thought-provoking and provocative.

Walsh's examination of the Great Fire is wide-ranging in its scope, impressively well researched, sensible in its assessments, and above all gloriously vivid. This is a book that both the general reader and the professional scholar can read with pleasure and profit.

Distinctive in The Great Fire of Rome are the ways in which Walsh uses each aspect of the fire and its aftermath to explore themes from Roman imperial topography to the social structures of the city's inhabitants to the early history of the Roman Christian community. In lively and accessible prose, he displays commendable sympathy for the plight of the ordinary Romans caught up in the catastrophe. For those with a serious interest in Nero and his fire, this book is the place to begin.

About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
192
ISBN
9781421433714
Illustration Description
4 b&w photos, 4 maps
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Prologue
I Perils of Life in Rome
II Inferno
III The Day After
IV Neropolis
V Legacy
Appendix A. Sources
Appendix B. Proposed Timeline of the Great Fire
Notes
Suggested Further

Acknowledgments
Prologue
I Perils of Life in Rome
II Inferno
III The Day After
IV Neropolis
V Legacy
Appendix A. Sources
Appendix B. Proposed Timeline of the Great Fire
Notes
Suggested Further Reading
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Joseph J. Walsh, Ph.D.

Joseph J. Walsh is a professor of classics and history at Loyola University Maryland. He is the author of Were They Wise Men or Kings? The Book of Christmas Questions.6