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A Pocket Dictionary of Roman Emperors

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A Pocket Dictionary of Roman Emperors
By Paul Roberts. (Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum: 2006. Pg. 48. 60 color illustrations.) ISBN 10: 0-89236-868-3. ISBN 13: 978-0-89236-868-6.

Reviewed by Sheldon Ztvordokov - February 14, 2007

For kids and adults alike, A Pocket Dictionary of Roman Emperors is an informative and amusing reference guide on a cross section of Roman Emperors. In all, biographical information is presented on 27 Roman Emperors, along with a brief description of their reign, leadership style, and major accomplishments. The text was written by Paul Roberts, the curator of Roman Antiquities at the British Museum and it features 60 color illustrations.

The book is organized chronologically into seven sections:
  1. The Earliest Emperors: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero.

  2. The Flavian Dynasty: Vespasian, Titus, and Domitian.

  3. The Golden Age of Empire: Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius, and Commodus.

  4. The Severan Dynasty: Septimius Severus, Caracalla, and Elagabalus.

  5. The Third Century Crisis: Philip 'the Arab', Gallienus, and Aurelian.

  6. Transformation of the Empire: Diocletian, Maxentius, Constantine, and Julian.

  7. The Last Emperors: Valentinian I, Theodosius, Honorius, and Romulus 'Augustulus'.
Geared toward children ages twelve and above, this is a fun and informative, albeit a brief book. The text is scrumptiously illustrated with statuettes, busts, and coins of the Emperiors as well as other artifacts of their reins. This book will guide initiate younger readers into the fascinating world that was Ancient Rome. In addition, adults seeking to learn about some of Rome's Emperors, will find this book a handy reference guide.

A Pocket Dictionary of Roman Emperors is the third volume in Getty's Pocket Dictionary series. The other two books in the series are A Pocket Dictionary of Ancient Greek Heroes and Heroines and A Pocket Dictionary of Roman Gods and Goddesses.

Related Reviews:

A Pocket Dictionary of Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses, By Richard Woff.
A concise dictionary for young readers, which serves as a brief introduction to Greek and Roman mythology.

Greece! Rome! Monsters!, by John Harris and Illustrated by Calef Brown.
An energetic romp through Ancient Greek and Roman mythology written for young readers.

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