Pompeii; The Roman Fort; The Legionary; The Cavalryman
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Opening my review parcel and finding Pompeii was like meeting an old friend as I remember buying a copy for my school library when it first appeared in hardback nearly 20 years ago and I am pleased to say that I am as impressed by the book now as I was then. I have always been fascinated by the story and would dearly love to visit the site but this book is a welcome substitute. Connolly begins with a short account of the disaster and later excavations and this is followed by a stunning double page aerial photo of the ruins today. Much of the book then focuses on one particular block of houses (or insula) and with a judicious mixture of photographs, cutaway drawings and artist's impressions he lays before the reader a rich picture of life as it was lived over 2000 years ago.
The Roman Fort is perhaps the most accessible of these titles as the author adopts a more narrative approach and foregoes many of the more technical forms and Latin words as he deals with the buildings of and daily life in the forts at Vindolanda and Housesteads on Hadrian's Wall.
The Legionary and The Cavalryman tell the story of the military career of Tiberius Claudius Maximus whose tombstone was discovered in northern Greece in 1965.
These are four immensely scholarly and highly detailed books. Only the most able of readers will persevere with the text but the illustrations are quite superb and should provide much to talk about with all ages and abilities from Year 6 upwards.