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    The Ancient Middle Classes: Urban Life and Aesthetics in the Roman Empire, 100 BCE-250 CE (Hardback) By (author) Ernst Emanuel Mayer

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    DescriptionOur image of the Roman world is shaped by the writings of Roman statesmen and upper class intellectuals. Yet most of the material evidence we have from Roman times - art, architecture, and household artifacts from Pompeii and elsewhere - belonged to, and was made for, artisans, merchants, and professionals. Roman culture as we have seen it with our own eyes, Emanuel Mayer boldly argues, turns out to be distinctly middle class and requires a radically new framework of analysis. Starting in the first century bce, ancient communities, largely shaped by farmers living within city walls, were transformed into vibrant urban centers where wealth could be quickly acquired through commercial success. From 100 bce to 250 ce, the archaeological record details the growth of a cosmopolitan empire and a prosperous new class rising along with it. Not as keen as statesmen and intellectuals to show off their status and refinement, members of this new middle class found novel ways to create pleasure and meaning. In the decor of their houses and tombs, Mayer finds evidence that middle-class Romans took pride in their work and commemorated familial love and affection in ways that departed from the tastes and practices of social elites.

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  • Full bibliographic data for The Ancient Middle Classes

    The Ancient Middle Classes
    Urban Life and Aesthetics in the Roman Empire, 100 BCE-250 CE
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Ernst Emanuel Mayer
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 312
    Width: 163 mm
    Height: 236 mm
    Thickness: 28 mm
    Weight: 590 g
    ISBN 13: 9780674050334
    ISBN 10: 0674050339

    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.1
    BIC subject category V2: HBTB
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBJD
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1QDAR
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: JFSC
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 05
    Libri: I-HP
    Ingram Theme: CULT/ITALY
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 22
    LC subject heading:
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15830
    BIC subject category V2: HBLA1
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002020, SOC050000
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    BISAC V2.8: ART015060
    BIC subject category V2: 1QDAR
    LC subject heading: ,
    BISAC V2.8: HIS054000
    LC subject heading: , ,
    DC23: 937.06
    DC22: 305.550937, 305.5/50937
    LC classification: DG78 .M42 2012
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC region code:
    Thema V1.0: JBSA, NHTB, NHD, NHC
    Illustrations note
    30 halftones
    Imprint name
    Publication date
    20 June 2012
    Publication City/Country
    Cambridge, Mass
    Author Information
    Emanuel Mayer is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Chicago.
    Review quote
    [A] remarkable volume Mayer provides an indispensable and well-argued refutation of the conventional top-down readings of Roman art.--G. S. Gessert"Choice" (12/01/2012)"