First of the widely celebrated and sumptuously illustrated series, this book reveals in intimate detail what life was really like in the ancient world. Behind the vast panorama of the pagan Roman empire, the reader discovers the intimate daily lives of citizens and slaves-from concepts of manhood and sexuality to marriage and the family, the roles of women, chastity and contraception, techniques of childbirth, homosexuality, religion, the meaning of virtue, and the separation of private and public spaces.
The emergence of Christianity in the West and the triumph of Christian morality with its emphasis on abstinence, celibacy, and austerity is startlingly contrasted with the profane and undisciplined private life of the Byzantine Empire. Using illuminating motifs, the authors weave a rich, colorful fabric ornamented with the results of new research and the broad interpretations that only masters of the subject can provide.
Paul Veyne is Professor at the College de France. Georges Duby, a member of the Academie Francaise, is Professor of Medieval History at the College de France.
Foreword by Georges Duby Introduction by Paul Veyne 1. Roman Empire by Paul Veyne Introduction From Mother's Womb to Last Will and Testament Marriage Slavery The Household and Its Freed Slaves Where Public Life Was Private "Work" and Leisure Patrimony Public Opinion and Utopia Pleasures and Excesses Tranquilizers 2. Late Antiquity by Peter Brown Introduction The "Wellborn" Few Person and Group in Judaism and Early Christianity Church and Leadership The Challenge of the Desert East and West: The New Marital Morality 3. Private Life and Domestic Architecture in Roman Africa by Yvon Thebert The Roman Home: Foreword by Paul Veyne Some Theoretical Considerations The Domestic Architecture of the Ruling Class "Private" and "Public" Spaces: The Components of the Domus How the Domus Worked Conclusion 4. The Early Middle Ages in the West by Michel Rouche Introduction by Paul Veyne Historical Introduction Private Life Conquers State and Society Body and Heart Violence and Death Sacred and Secret Conclusion 5. Byzantium in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries by Evelyne Patlagean The Byzantine Empire Private Space Self and Others The Inner Life Private Belief Conclusion Notes Bibliography Acknowledgments Index