There can be few more historic places in the world. Caesar was cremated there. Charles V and Mussolini rode by it in triumph. Napoleon celebrated his Festival of Liberty there. David Watkin's Forum is the site as it was famous for centuries, celebrated in the romantic views of the Grand Tour, not the archaeologists' building site it has become. He helps us rediscover the Forum's rich history during and since antiquity, and that of the remarkable buildings which later centuries have added to this evocative place.
This charming and erudite book not only reveals much about the history of its subject; it stands as a humanist reproach to the scientific philistinism of our times. -- Allan Massie * Literary Review *
An excellent, handy new book... More successfully than any author before him, Watkin makes his reader aware of the multilayered, fascinating history of the site -- Masolino D'Amico * TLS *
Professor Watkin has an engagingly romantic feeling for the place ... Deploying a good deal of sharp wit, he reveals how the relatively recent obsession with recovering the Forum's classical past has led to much unhappy destruction -- Matthew Sturgis * Country Life *
Watkin provides a challenging new perspective on Rome's ancient heart. -- Nick Rennison * Sunday Times *
David Watkin's short, polemical, brilliant history...the painstaking explanation of the true history and origins of all visible fabric, in clear, authoritative but enjoyable and lively language that makes this an invaluable guide...read this: it will help to tell you who you are. -- Timothy Brittain-Catlin * The Tablet *
Learned but lively... Informative... -- Christopher Hirst * Indepedent *