viii Preface and many objects had long histories. Votive offerings, such as the terra-cotta male torso, were used by ancient patients in search of divine aid for centu- ries and well after the Roman world had transformed into the medieval world. There is also a “How to Evaluate Artifacts” section that provides the reader with tools for gaining a greater appreciation of the artifacts they will encounter in the book and elsewhere. Artifacts, even when recognizable, require us to interpret them. For example, the gladius, the legionary’s sword, is recognizable as a sword, but there is much to learn from the materials from which it was made as well as from its size, its shape, where it was found, and who—if we know—carried it. For each of the 45 entries in the second section there is an introduction, a description of the artifact itself, and a discussion of its significance. Many artifacts are not well known and will thus open up areas of history not cov- ered in many other works. Each entry also has a list of sources for further information and, where appropriate, Internet sources. To the extent possi- ble, each entry covers the span of that particular artifact’s use in the Roman world from its first appearance to its last, who used it, and why. One advan- tage of this approach is that it provides a glimpse inside not only the general culture, but also into individual lives. The aedicule memorial, for example, is typical of its type but tells us specifically about a woman named Paccia Helpis. Each entry explains and expands upon the cultural significance of the artifact depicted. Artifacts are divided into thematic categories and together provide a composite look at daily life in ancient Rome. The categories are Communications and Record Keeping Cooking and Food Entertainment Grooming, Clothing, and Accessories Household Items Religion and Funerary Practices Tools and Weapons Transportation These categories make it easy to browse and to find associated artifacts. If one is interested in researching the lives of Roman students, for example, the section “Communications and Record Keeping” has several entries, such as “Wax Tablet” and “Inkwell” that reveal key aspects of student life. I have cross-referenced sections and entries as well. For example, the “Wax Tablet” entry contains a cross-reference to the “Toga Praetexta” entry in the “Grooming, Clothing, and Accessories” section, as the toga entry covers other aspects of young men’s lives, and the “Toga Praetexta” entry contains
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