In the First Facts series, a look at life in ancient Rome, presented in double-page spreads, each of which is centered on one fact, such as ""Rich Romans Ate Flamingos and Peacocks"" and ""Many Roman Soldiers Couldn't Speak Latin."" Each spread contains a few paragraphs of information, numerous small captioned pictures, and a box of additional facts. The approach is somewhat scattershot: While each page is loaded with interesting details, they are only loosely related. Further, the pictures are often small for the amount of information they are intended to convey; perhaps because the spreads are crowded, it is sometimes hard to locate the appropriate caption for the picture (and at least in one case, two captions are switched). Finally, it's something of a misrepresentation to state baldly that ""conquered peoples resented Roman rule."" Macdonald (A Samurai Castle, 1995, etc.) offers much to intrigue readers, but they will have to work harder to extract the facts than they would in other, better designed books on the subject.