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The Seven Hills of Rome
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"This is the only book I'm aware of that fully integrates the culture and history of a city into its geographical and geological setting. Written by three experts in volcanology and in the geology, culture, and history of Rome, the book has much to offer both the general public and professional city planners. The field trips featured provide guidelines that can be effectively applied to other urban settings, and the book provides good sources for further reading and research."--Ian MacGregor, retired Director, Earth Science Division of the National Science Foundation

"It is most fitting that this book, the first of its kind, should be published on Rome, the most fascinating, ancient--but currently thriving--city in the world. "The Seven Hills of Rom"e covers more history and geology than any other travel book I have read, and it draws readers in by helping them understand how the benefits of geographical structure play out in everyday life; for example, the authors demonstrate that the golden wines from the Alban Hills are the result of vineyards located on the tuff plateaus or in crater bottoms. Throughout the book, the reader feels part of a very personal journey through the countryside."--Jill Andrews, California Institute of Technology

"The greatest virtue of "The Seven Hills of Rome" is that it ties the city's human history to its natural history. Now nonspecialists can fully appreciate the extent to which Rome's destiny, its character, even its very appearance, were founded on its unique geological circumstances."--Rabun Taylor, Harvard University

"Part guidebook, part scholarly resource, all fascinating story, The "Seven Hills of Rome" weaves together the complex geologyand history of Rome's unique locale. The book is throughout a revelation--one that not only illuminates the study of the city's past, but nurtures an appreciation of its present and a concern for its future."--Susan E. Alcock, University of Michigan

"This book is not a typical geological guidebook: it tackles a geology that is largely hidden in an area that has been urban for almost three millennia. As such it is great fun--a treasure hunt in which the reader is invited to piece together the evolution of Rome as part of the Adrian microplate as well as of Rome the city. From temples and quarries to floods, earthquakes and eruptions, all is here. Well researched and never dull, this book offers a brand new insight into an ancient city."--Ruth Siddall, University College, London

"The authors use their expertise to explain how the landscape and natural resources of the region around Rome made it an inviting place for human habitation, and served as inspirations for Romans' achievements in civil engineering, architecture, and construction. The walking tours featured in the book constitute an insider's travel guide, and the chapters on the seven hills are highly evocative and will please the armchair traveler."--Gail Mahood, Stanford University

Product Details

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Walter Veltroni vii Preface ix CHAPTER 1: A Tourist's Introduction to the Geology of Rome 1 Timelines 18 CHAPTER 2: Center of the Western World--The Capitoline (Campidoglio) Hill 27 CHAPTER 3: Palaces and Gardens--The Palatine (Palatino) Hill 37 CHAPTER 4: The Aventine (Aventino) Hill 51 CHAPTER 5: The Tiber Floodplain, Commerce, and Tragedy 59 CHAPTER 6: The Tiber's Tributaries in Rome--Clogged with Humankind's Debris 85 CHAPTER 7: The Western Heights--Janiculum, Vatican, and Monte Mario 110 CHAPTER 8: The Celian (Celio) Hill 123 CHAPTER 9: Largest of the Seven Hills--The Esquiline (Esquilino)153 CHAPTER 10: Upper Class--The Viminal (Viminale) and Quirinal (Quirinale) Hills 162 CHAPTER 11: Field Trips in and around Rome 174 The Seven Hills of Rome in Fifteen Stops 174 Panoramas, Piazzas, and Plateaus 195 A Field Trip to Rome, the City of Water 216 Acknowledgments 229 Further Reading 231 Index 237

Promotional Information

This is the only book I'm aware of that fully integrates the culture and history of a city into its geographical and geological setting. Written by three experts in volcanology and in the geology, culture, and history of Rome, the book has much to offer both the general public and professional city planners. The field trips featured provide guidelines that can be effectively applied to other urban settings, and the book provides good sources for further reading and research. -- Ian MacGregor, retired Director, Earth Science Division of the National Science Foundation It is most fitting that this book, the first of its kind, should be published on Rome, the most fascinating, ancient--but currently thriving--city in the world. The Seven Hills of Rome covers more history and geology than any other travel book I have read, and it draws readers in by helping them understand how the benefits of geographical structure play out in everyday life; for example, the authors demonstrate that the golden wines from the Alban Hills are the result of vineyards located on the tuff plateaus or in crater bottoms. Throughout the book, the reader feels part of a very personal journey through the countryside. -- Jill Andrews, California Institute of Technology The greatest virtue of The Seven Hills of Rome is that it ties the city's human history to its natural history. Now nonspecialists can fully appreciate the extent to which Rome's destiny, its character, even its very appearance, were founded on its unique geological circumstances. -- Rabun Taylor, Harvard University Part guidebook, part scholarly resource, all fascinating story, The Seven Hills of Rome weaves together the complex geology and history of Rome's unique locale. The book is throughout a revelation--one that not only illuminates the study of the city's past, but nurtures an appreciation of its present and a concern for its future. -- Susan E. Alcock, University of Michigan This book is not a typical geological guidebook: it tackles a geology that is largely hidden in an area that has been urban for almost three millennia. As such it is great fun--a treasure hunt in which the reader is invited to piece together the evolution of Rome as part of the Adrian microplate as well as of Rome the city. From temples and quarries to floods, earthquakes and eruptions, all is here. Well researched and never dull, this book offers a brand new insight into an ancient city. -- Ruth Siddall, University College, London The authors use their expertise to explain how the landscape and natural resources of the region around Rome made it an inviting place for human habitation, and served as inspirations for Romans' achievements in civil engineering, architecture, and construction. The walking tours featured in the book constitute an insider's travel guide, and the chapters on the seven hills are highly evocative and will please the armchair traveler. -- Gail Mahood, Stanford University

About the Author

Grant Heiken is a past president of the International Association of Volcanology. He is the author or co-author of several professional and general-interest books on geology, including "Volcanoes: Crucibles of Change" (Princeton). Renato Funiciello is Professor of Geology at the University of Roma Tre and Vice President of the National Institute for Geophysics. Donatella De Rita is Professor of Field Geology and the Geology of Volcanic Areas at the University of Roma Tre.

Reviews

Based on the 1995 technical monograph Geologia de Roma from the National Geological Service of Italy, this easy-to-read guidebook successfully explains the geology of Rome within its rich political and social history. Heiken (past president, International Assn. of Volcanology) and geologists Renato Funiciello and Donatella De Rita (both Univ. of Rome III) recount the development of water supplies, roads, and major buildings within a complex history of volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, and natural disasters; also covered are essential geochronologies, time scales, maps, figures, and aerial and current photos. Of paramount interest are the historical vignettes of places-ranging from the building of the Trevi Fountain to the placement and construction of the Colosseum-shaped by the geography and geology of a vibrant urban landscape. Chapters based on Rome's seven interconnecting hills, together with three field trips, make this journey particularly distinctive. This is a truly unusual book of great interest to amateur geologists, historians, and travelers. Recommended for public libraries.-Ian D. Gordon, Brock Univ. Lib., St. Catharines, Ont. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"A detailed description."--Ingrid Rowland, New York Review of Books "Rome we know as a museum of empires and faiths, architecture and art collections: this fascinating little book shows how it may be a museum of the earth as well."--Greg Woolf, Times Literary Supplement "This is a truly unusual book of great interest to amateur geologists, historians, and travelers."--Library Journal "A very interesting book on the geology of Rome and how that geology has strongly influenced the city's geography, history, economics, and culture since its earliest settlement."--Choice "This is a book of delights. A volcanologist and two geologists unpick the fabric of Rome, from its roots of silts and gravels overlain by volcanic flows to the summits of the seven hills."--Maggie McDonald, New Scientist "Now here's a tourist guide to Rome with a difference...This isn't just a guide. The authors have also set out to awaken people to Rome's geological framework in the hope of making the city itself more sustainable."--Sarah Barnett, Geographical Magazine "This fascinating and easy-to-read guidebook shows how the geography and geology of Rome allowed it to grow into the great center of civilization that it became... This book is for travelers and readers interested in both history and geology."--Science News "The writing in this joint Italian-American volume is delightfully clear, and the book is full of helpful illustrations."--Ron Smith, Georgia Review

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