Book Review – 24 Hours in Ancient Rome

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing a non-fiction review for a bit of a change, of the absolute riot of a read, 24 Hours in Anicent Rome.

Walk a day in a Roman’s sandals.
What was it like to live in one of the ancient world’s most powerful and bustling cities – one that was eight times more densely populated than modern day New York?
In this entertaining and enlightening guide, bestselling historian Philip Matyszak introduces us to the people who lived and worked there. In each hour of the day we meet a new character – from emperor to slave girl, gladiator to astrologer, medicine woman to water-clock maker – and discover the fascinating details of their daily lives.

I’ve always loved history, especially ancient history, and while my major knowledge may lay in the Egyptian area, I have a reasonable knowledge of the Roman era too. I’m always keen to expand on what I know, and after drifting in between a few fiction books, decided some non-fiction was the way to go.

The way the book is laid out is both clever and intriguing. It manages to keep a narrative running through a non-fiction book, so that it makes it accessible to people of all levels and interests, from the usual fiction reading novice to the purely facts based experts. There’s something for everyone in this book to take away. Each minature tale educates around that profession and the history surrounding it. One of the things I was particularly fascinated to learn about was the Roman methods of telling the time – accurately – as it was something I’d never heard before.

Throughout the book there were moments of text shared, from great works of literature to graffitti. Not only were these interesting overall, but sharing such a mix of works allows us to keep in focus and remember that we are talking about ancient history, yet also dealing with people who thought, acted and felt just like us. This is a fact that we can all forget – again, from the novice to the expert – when we study things intently, becoming so focused on the facts we forget about the people. it was in combining these two streams of thought that this book excelled.

Thanks for stopping by today for this little trip to Ancient Rome. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of this books in this series – Egypt, Greece, and China – so I’ll be sharing those reviews somewhere along the line too.


  1. This book sounds excellent! I love it when non-fiction, and especially history, is presented in an accessible way. So much has happened in the past that it can be daunting to start exploring it. I think the human angle, and being able to experience what they would have experienced, is a fantastic way to do it. 24 Hours in Ancient Rome is going on my tbr.
    Cora |


  2. Ooh this sounds great. I don’t know a huge amount about Ancient History but love history in general and what I do know about the Romans has always been fascinating. This sounds like a really accessible read. Thanks for sharing.


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