Cover image for A new topographical dictionary of ancient Rome
A new topographical dictionary of ancient Rome
Richardson, Lawrence, Jr., 1920-2013.
Publication Information:
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, [1992]

Physical Description:
xxxiv, 458 pages : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DG68 .R5 1992 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



The first such dictionary since that of Platner and Ashby in 1929, A New Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome defines and describes the known buildings and monuments, as well as the geographical and topographical features, of ancient Rome. It provides a concise history of each, with measurements, dates, and citations of significant ancient and modern sources.

Author Notes

L. Richardson, jr, is the James B. Duke Professor of Latin, Emeritus, at Duke University and the author of A Catalog of Identifiable Figure Painters of Ancient Pompeii, Herculaneum , and Stabiae and Pompeii: An Architectural History , both published by Johns Hopkins.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

All concerned with the topography and monuments of ancient Rome will welcome this splendid study, which brings up to date and in effect replaces the classic of 1929 by Samual Ball Platner and Thomas Ashby. Richardson catalogs all monuments and landmarks, major or minor, that are mentioned by ancient testimonia or have been discovered by modern archaeology, from Martial's Pear Tree to the Casa della Farnesina. Each entry presents a summary of the evidence and of problems associated with the evidence, as well as a brief guide to the ancient and modern bibliography. Familiarity with the Augustan XIV Regiones is assumed, but these are also explained (though not diagrammed). The introduction sketches the history of the study of Roman topography, a model of pellucid information. Recommended for specialized collections.-- James S. Ruebel, Iowa State Univ., Ames (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

In this massive compilation treating the monuments and topography of ancient Rome, Richardson, a leading specialist on Roman architecture, brings up to date S.B. Platner's great Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome (1929, completed by T. Ashby, hence called PA). Like PA, Richardson excludes Rome's early Christian monuments, and in general follows the titling and structure of PA, but all entries have been rewritten. Richardson makes his dictionary more accessible to undergraduates by including a helpful essay on documentary sources, by quoting less Latin and no Greek, and by introducing general accounts of a broad range of architectural forms. But this is no book for beginners. A basic knowledge of Latin and of Roman civilization is required, and Richardson does not seem entirely certain of his audience. Some entries will be cryptic for those not expert on Roman typography or who lack access to PA. Richardson assumes readers will have both PA and Ernest Nash's Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Rome (2 v., 1961-62), for he refers readers to their bibliographies and cites only the most significant and recent studies. The book is provided with a useful series of textual plans and drawings, but one misses a detailed map of Rome. Even with these drawbacks, an essential purchase. J. H. Kaimowitz; Trinity College (CT)