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Presents a history of ancient Greece and Rome as well as information about the literature and daily life of these early civilizations.
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Scribner has revised its college-level Ancient Writers: Greece and Rome (1982) and Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome (1988) to provide us with an attractive encyclopedia for younger students. With a glimpse into the relevance of Greek and Roman history and their impact on Europe and the Americas, these four volumes cover the period from 2,000 B.C. to 529 A.D. The volumes are arranged alphabetically, with volume 1 containing a table of contents that lists the maps, color plates, and entries for all four volumes.
The encyclopedia features almost 500 entries ranging from a few short paragraphs to more than 17 pages for Greece, history of. Entries provide explanations of each subject, as well as references to related topics found within the four volumes. On each page, in the left margin, one can find definitions of terms that might be unfamiliar to users, along with sidebars and time lines. Following the entries in volume 4 is a list of suggested readings grouped under 11 subject areas, including culture and society, myths and legends, biography, and fiction. A "Timeline of Ancient Greece and Rome" is repeated at the beginning of each volume.
Covering a wide range of topics, the entries provide students with a basic understanding before they move on to more in-depth sources such as Facts On File's Handbook to Life in Ancient Greece [RBB Ag 97] and Handbook to Life in Ancient Rome (1994). Most public and school libraries will want to add this set to their reference collections because of the lack of similar resources designed especially for students at the middle-to high-school level.From School Library Journal:
Grade 8 Up-Flamingo boiled with dates, dormice stuffed with pork and pine kernels-just typical Roman banquet dishes. In addition to providing information on the daily life and customs of the classical world, these alphabetically arranged volumes cover people, places, history, culture, and mythology with enough asides to keep students reading after their reports are finished. Clearly written entries range in length from one-half to several pages. While some refer specifically to one culture (e.g., "Tribune," "Sculpture, Greek"), others discuss both cultures under the same entry (e.g., "Houses," "Slavery") drawing frequent comparisons. Lots of additional information can be found in the sidebars, chronologies, definitions, and captions, providing readers with additional useful facts and explanations. Average black-and-white photographs and quality full-color plates illustrate the text. Purple borders and framed word entries add a decorative element, while the careful design prevents all of the visual elements from becoming overwhelming. See and see-also references to the other entries, maps, and illustrations abound. A complete index and subject bibliographies appear in the fourth volume. The information here is, in part, "a distillation...and reshaping" of Ancient Writers: Greece and Rome (1982) and Civilization of the Ancient Mediterranean: Greece and Rome (1988, both Scribners), both adult titles. An accessible and useful introduction to the subject for a younger audience.
Daryl Grabarek, School Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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