List of Illustrations vi
Introduction: Elite and Popular Cultures 1
1. Problem-solving 11
2. Mental Health 54
3. The World Turned Bottom Up 92
4. Common Scents, Common Senses 123
5. Popular Resistance 162
Conclusion: Towards a Christian Popular Culture 185
Select Bibliography 228
London Review of Books
"A spirited, engaging and politically committed introduction to the culture of the 'non-elite' in the Roman Empire. Toner's achievement is to open up the world of the Roman tavern, rather than the senate house; the world of the garret rather than the villa."
Mary Beard, Times Literary Supplement
"Plenty of vivid detail, with more laughter, tears and farting than most books on 'everyday life' in Rome. It is a rollicking read and wears its considerable scholarship lightly."
European Review of History
"This is a marvellous book on a neglected subject. On the basis of a rich mosaic of documents supplemented by comparative evidence, Toner has produced a sharply analytical reading of popular culture in Rome, which is both very instructive and highly entertaining."
Peter Garnsey, University of Cambridge
"Toner presents an intellectually courageous account of Roman popular culture that will engage the imaginative sympathies of scholar and general reader alike. This is a brisk, accessible study, rich in data and conceptually well-informed."
Thomas Habinek, University of Southern California
- A vivid account of the everyday life of the non-elite masses in the Roman world
- Includes consideration of social and family life, health, leisure and religious beliefs, and resistance through popular culture to the ruling elite
- The first book to take fully into account mental health in the ancient world
- Also gives particular attention to sensory dimensions, illustrating how attitudes to smell, touch, and noise all varied with social status