Artifacts from Ancient Rome
by James B. Tschen-Emmons
September 2014, 321pp, 8 1/2x11
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-619-7
$100, 84€, A143
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-620-3
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Ancient Roman artifacts provide a rare glimpse into society 2,000 years ago.

When Roman objects and artifacts are properly analyzed, they serve as valuable primary sources for learning about ancient history. This book provides the guidance and relevant historical context students need to see relics as evidence of long-past events and society.

Artifacts from Ancient Rome is a unique social history that explores major aspects of daily life in a long-ago era via images of physical objects and historical information about these items. This book also affords “hands-on training” on how to approach primary sources.

The author—a historian also trained as an archaeologist—begins by explaining the concept of using artifacts to understand and “see” the past and providing a primer for effectively analyzing artifacts. Entries on the artifacts follow, with each containing an introduction, a description of the artifact, an explanation of its significance, and a list of further sources of information. Readers of the book will not only gain a composite impression of daily life in ancient Rome through the study of artifacts from domestic life, religion, war, transportation, entertainment, and more, but will also learn how to best understand and analyze primary sources for learning.


  • Presents images of artifacts, relevant primary sources, and detailed explanations of each item's historical context together in a single resource, making the information conveniently accessible to both students and general readers
  • Provides students with the opportunity to work with, analyze, and interpret both artifacts and primary sources, making the book an excellent complement to curricula that are increasing their focus on the use of primary sources of all types
  • Allows readers to piece together an overall impression of Roman life and society through artifacts that range from a legionary weapon and a medical scalpel to a wax tablet for writing, a bread oven, and a sundial
James B. Tschen Emmons, PhD, teaches history at North Idaho College and mythology at Northern Virginia Community College. He contributed to ABC-CLIO's History Connections: The Olympics resource book and is a member of the review board for ABC-CLIO's Enduring Questions, part of the Solutions database of online reference and research resources. Previously, Emmons worked as a special collections librarian and manuscript curator at the Maryland Historical Society. He holds a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


". . . Nicely put together, the reader will find this work, just one from the series, Daily Life through Artifacts, an absorbing work of reference that not only prompts further reading but interdisciplinary study. . . . [S]cholars, young and old, as well as the general reader, will find [it] as useful as it is accessible." —ARBA, December 1, 2014

"This is a good resource on the period for undergraduate-level readers."—Booklist, February 11, 2015

"[C]oncise writing, a comprehensive bibliography, and intriguing choices of artifacts. . . . Recommended for high school and college libraries, and university collections that serve students of ancient history."—Library Journal, April 6, 2015

Daily Life through Artifacts

Daily Life through Artifacts presents a collection of objects and artifacts from daily life that shed light on key aspects of social life and culture for specific historical periods or topics. Each artifact is illustrated with a large image, showing interesting detail and allowing for close-up study. The series serves to demonstrate how objects and artifacts can be "read" as primary sources to provide greater insight into the people and societies who created and used them. Each title in the series provides information on the background material for these objects as well as guidance on how to analyze an object or artifact. Readers will not only learn about the daily life of past societies but also gain the skills of observation and assessment needed to analyze the objects and draw meaningful conclusions from them about their context and significance.
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.