A panoramic history of Rome from the legendary beginnings with Romulus and Remus to the revival of modernity with Pope John XXVII. The text of the early days is more interesting as Rome emerges from the mud huts to the might of empire. The days of the Republic were memorable- the Middle Ages gave the world great craftsmen, great saints -- the Renaissance was fostered by the Popes- the boundaries of Empire were no longer the main preoccupation. From Constantine on, the Papacy was preeminent, often showing the same decadence the political power had evinced, but Rome burgeoned, the arts flourished. Rome's history- political and religious-is a record of rise and fall and rise again, but the era when Mazzini, Cavour, Garibaldi brought it into a united Italy does not lend itself to pictures, and this is first and last a picture book. There are some 700 odd photographs, 32 in color. The integration of text and pictures is too close for it to become only a picture book, for the reference code is in the margins and the text itself and there are no captions to make picture reading easy. Rewarding- if you stay with it- but will the average reader attempt it? Possibly travellers, Rome-bound, will want it as a capsule introduction or a refresher in the background and history of ancient and modern Rome.