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21 books of Mary Beard

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One of the world’s leading historians provides a revolutionary tour of the Ancient World, dusting off the classics for the twenty-­first century.

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What made the Romans laugh? Was ancient Rome a carnival, filled with practical jokes and hearty chuckles? Or was it a carefully regulated culture in which the uncontrollable excess of laughter was a force to fear—­a world of wit, irony, and knowing smiles? How did Romans make sense of laughter? What role did it play in the world of the law courts, the imperial palace, or the spectacles of the arena?

Laughter in Ancient Rome explores one of the most intriguing, but also trickiest, of historical subjects. Drawing on a wide range of Roman writing—­from essays on rhetoric to a surviving Roman joke book—­Mary Beard tracks down the giggles, smirks, and guffaws of the ancient Romans themselves. From ancient "monkey business" to the role of a chuckle in a culture of tyranny, she explores Roman humor from the hilarious, to the momentous, to the surprising. But she also reflects on even bigger historical questions. What kind of history of laughter can we...

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34 downloads

The ruined silhouette of the Parthenon on its hill above Athens is one of the world's most famous images. Its 'looted' Elgin Marbles are a global cause celèbre. But what actually are they? In a revised and updated edition, Mary Beard, award winning writer, reviewer and leading Cambridge classicist, tells the history and explains the significance of the Parthenon, the temple of the virgin goddess Athena, the divine patroness of ancient Athens.

'Sophisticated, engaging ... she unravels the intricacies with the light and deft touch which characterises the whole book ... something for classicists and laymen alike' Gavanndra Hodge, Independent on Sunday

'The classical world still rouses fierce passions, and books like this help to make the study of ancient Greece urgent and relevant' Tom Holland, New Statesman

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The stunning masterpieces of Ancient Greece and Rome are fundamental to the story of art in Western culture and to the origins of art history. The expanding Greek world of Alexander the Great had an enormous impact on the Mediterranean superpower of Rome. Generals, rulers, and artists seized, imitated, and re-­thought the stunning legacy of Greek painting and sculpture, culminating in the greatest art-­collector the world had ever seen: the Roman emperor Hadrian.

This exciting new look at Classical art starts with the excavation of the buried city of Pompeii, and investigates the grandiose monuments of ancient tyrants, and the sensual beauty of Apollo and Venus. Concluding with that most influential invention of all, the human portrait, it highlights the re-­discovery of Classical art in the modern world, from the treasure hunts of Renaissance Rome to scientific retrieval of artworks in the twenty-­first century.

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Her central themes are the classics, universities and teaching - and much else besides. In this second collection following on from the success of It's a Don's Life, Beard ponders whether Gaddafi's home is Roman or not, we share her 'terror of humiliation' as she enters 'hairdresser country' and follow her dilemma as she wanders through the quandary of illegible handwriting on examination papers and 'longing for the next dyslexic' - on whose paper the answers are typed, not handwritten. Praise for It's a Don's Life 'Delightful ... it has the virtues of brevity, eclecticism and learning worn lightly ... if they'd had Mary Beard on their side back then, the Romans would still have their empire' Daily Mail

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This book offers a radical new survey of more than a thousand years of religious life at Rome. It sets religion in its full cultural context, between the primitive hamlet of the eighth century BC and the cosmopolitan, multicultural society of the first centuries of the Christian era. The narrative account is structured around a series of broad themes: how to interpret the Romans' own theories of their religious system and its origins; the relationship of religion and the changing politics of Rome; the religious importance of the layout and monuments of the city itself; changing ideas of religious identity and community; religious innovation - and, ultimately, revolution. The companion volume, Religions of Rome: A Sourcebook, sets out a wide range of documents richly illustrating the religious life in the Roman world.

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'This marvellous book won the Wolfson History Prize and is a model of subtle but accessible writing about the past' Judith Rice, Guardian

'Classicist Mary Beard has had a great time rooting about that ghostly place and she has brought it quite splendidly back to life' Nicholas Bagnall, Sunday Telegraph

'To the vast field of Pompeiana she brings the human touch ... this absorbing, inquisitive and affectionate account of Pompeii is a model of its kind. Beard has caught the quick of what was and, in our lives today, remains the same' Ross Leckie, The Times

'Very readable and excellently researched ... Beard's clear-­sighted and accessible style makes this a compelling look into history' Alexander Larman, Observer

'If you want to know what really happened in the last days of the petrified city, Beard's meticulous reconstruction will fill you in, scraping away many of your preconceptions as it goes, while her evocative writing will transport you back' Guardian (Best Holiday . . .

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What made the Romans laugh? Was ancient Rome a carnival, filled with practical jokes and hearty chuckles? Or was it a carefully regulated culture in which the uncontrollable excess of laughter was a force to fear-­a world of wit, irony, and knowing...

Book rate:
2 downloads

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Books of Mary Beard