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Pagan Holiday: On the Trail of Ancient Roman…

Pagan Holiday: On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists (2002)

by Tony Perrottet

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344946,715 (3.81)11



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How did ancient Romans spend their holidays? The author, and his very patient pregnant wife, travel around the Mediterranean following the path of the ancient roman tourists. He quotes from old roman texts to demonstrate that they had some of the same problems as today's tourists as well.

the book is a nice read for somebody before or after they travel to Greece or Rome. ( )
  M_Clark | Mar 12, 2016 |
Cool travelogue emulating the ancient Grand Tour, from Rome to Aswan, Egypt. ( )
  saholc | Jul 7, 2015 |
What a delightful book! I was engrossed by Perrottet's travels and how he combines knowledge about ancient Roman tourism with modern day experiences. I found it engaging, insightful, and informative. It reassured me that although some things have changed in two millennia, some things remain the same. However, his inclusion of stories about his pregnant girlfriend whom he brought along on the trip was a minor annoyance. Would recommend for anyone interested in Roman history, traveling the Mediterranean, or who want to enjoy the journey from their armchair. ( )
  astasin | Sep 9, 2014 |
What's to say? It's a fun read. ( )
  Cacuzza | Nov 16, 2013 |
This is the nerdiest travel narrative I have ever read. Awesome. ( )
  ben_h | Apr 6, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Don't you swelter all day in the sun? Aren't you all jammed in with the crowds? Isn't it hard to get a bath? Aren't you soaked to the bone whenever it rains? Don't the din and the shouting and the other petty annoyances drive you completely mad?
But of course you put up with it all because it's an unforgettable spectacle.

—EPICTETUS, Stoic philosopher (c. A.D. 55–135),
querying the pleasures of a journey
to Olympia for the Games
For Lesley and Juno,
the ruling divas
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It must have been like a film premiere at Cannes.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375756396, Paperback)

The ancient Romans were responsible for many remarkable achievements—Roman numerals, straight roads—but one of their lesser-known contributions was the creation of the tourist industry. The first people in history to enjoy safe and easy travel, Romans embarked on the original Grand Tour, journeying from the lost city of Troy to the Acropolis, from the Colossus at Rhodes to Egypt, for the obligatory Nile cruise to the very edge of the empire. And, as Tony Perrottet discovers, the popularity of this route has only increased with time.

Intrigued by the possibility of re-creating the tour, Perrottet, accompanied by his pregnant girlfriend, sets off to discover life as an ancient Roman. The result is this lively blend of fascinating historical anecdotes and hilarious personal encounters, interspersed with irreverent and often eerily prescient quotes from the ancients—a vivid portrait of the Roman Empire in all its complexity and wonder.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:19 -0400)

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