A solid, thoughtfully researched, hugely sympathetic account of Ancient Rome's twelve hundred years. About a quarter of the book is reserved for an extensive chronological table and a useful historical and biographical dictionary. The rest is a concentrated study of Roman manners, customs, laws at various stages of that civilization's development. The author shows Roman structures emerging step by step with Hellenism, then surpassing it with the political phenomenon that was the Republic, and finally the extensions of the Empire. The book inaugurates the projected series presenting general pictures of the great civilizations; it's a notable first. With photographs. The style is hearty and the documentation is beefy.