New PDF release: As the Romans Do: An American Family's Italian Odyssey

By Alan Epstein

A party of the nature and magnificence of 1 of the world's so much marvelous towns! This brilliant insider's view of the main mature urban in the world is definitely the right better half for someone who loves something Italian. In 1995, after a twenty-year love affair with Italy, Alan Epstein fulfilled his dream to stay in Rome. In As the Romans Do, he celebrates the spirit of this fashionable, dramatic, historic urban that shaped the hub of a far-flung empire and brought the Mediterranean tradition to the remainder of the realm. He additionally finds today's Roman women and men in all their beautiful contradictions: their gregarious caffe tradition; inborn inventive aptitude; passionate appreciation of excellent foodstuff; instinctive distrust of know-how; showy intercourse allure; ingrained appeal and expressiveness; strangely strange attitudes towards marriage and faith; and lots more and plenty, even more.

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Odysseus’ father, Laertes, is pictured as having built his own farm from scratch and planted his own fruit trees and vineyard. He is depicted, aged, widowed, and depressed, clad by choice as a labourer in patched clothing and goat-skin cap, tending his own vineyard (Odyssey 24. 226–31)—a salutary reminder of how the fortunes even of a rich aristocrat could be reversed and he could merge into the rural background if, for instance, his son and heir really had been lost at sea. Home Truths from Travellers’ Tales 19 Laertes’ creature needs were met by his servants, all of whom lived in cottages close by, including old Dolios, who had originally been a slave, probably purchased as a boy, but had been rewarded for long service with a Sicilian woman whom Laertes had bought and given to him as a wife.

While the traYc in tin from Britain to the Mediterranean prospered, the window he had opened on the inhabited lands of the remote northwest was shut by a rising tide of scepticism, along with a taste for tales of fabulous lands inhabited by strange creatures in the place of reasoned observation of natural phenomena using scientiWc method. It is all the more remarkable that this narrowing of the horizons was taking place when Roman armies were advancing far into Europe and annexing vast new territory to the Roman empire.

4 John Wilkes Pytheas’ own account of his travels is preserved in later writers, who at the least denigrated his achievement and often branded him a downright liar with considerable vehemence, while still exploiting his detailed account of the lands and seas he saw. Despite this the value of his astronomical observations was recognized by some of the greatest minds of antiquity and as a result his place in the development of the geographical sciences is assured. CunliVe’s reconstruction begins not with a dangerous and improbable circumnavigation of the Iberian peninsula but with a coastal voyage from his home to Narbonne followed by a crossing of southwest Gaul by the AudeGironde corridor via Carcasonne, Toulouse, and Bordeaux.

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As the Romans Do: An American Family's Italian Odyssey by Alan Epstein

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