Philip Matyszak's Classical Compendium, Hardback

Philip Matyszak's Classical Compendium Hardback

5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Many ancient writers from Pliny and Plutarch to Xenophon were incorrigible collectors of miscellany, lively anecdotes and after-dinner jokes.

Here, writer and historian Philip Matyszak brings together his favourite incidents, wisecracks and curious facts from ancient Greece and Rome.

The compendium includes humorous quips by the emperor Augustus and wry observations by the philosopher Socrates.

There are dozens of lists, including Romans who lived to be 100 and odd deities like Sterculinius, the god of manure spreading.

All of the incidents and anecdotes are described in brief, memorable passages, making this book an ideal companion either to dip into or to read from beginning to end.




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This is an author to watch. His Athens in 5 Drachma a Day is pretty good; Rome in 5 Denari a day was excellent and so is The Classical Compendium. It's basically a hodgepodge of trivia about the life and people of classical Rome and Greece, including bits of graffiti, ancient jokes, lines of poetry and snippets of letters and repartee that make the ancients seem refreshingly real. I now want to seek out further reading about this. If you're interested in classical history, you'll love this book. If you're not interested in classical history, this book will make you interested.