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    The Earliest Romans: A Character Sketch (Hardback) By (author) Ramsay MacMullen

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    Description"A vibrant account that puts flesh on the bare bones of early Roman history."---Celia Schultz, University of Michigan The ancient Romans' story down to 264 B.C. can be made credible by stripping away their later myths and inventions to show how their national character shaped their destiny.After many generations of scholarly study, consensus is clear: the account in writers like Livy is not to be trusted because their aims were different from ours in history-writing. They wanted their work to be both improving and diverting. It should grow out of the real past, yes, but if that reality couldn't be recovered, or was uncertain, their art did not forbid invention. It more than tolerated dramatic incidents, passions, heroes, heroines, and villains. If, however, all this resulting ancient fiction and adornment are pruned away, a national character can be seen in the remaining bits and pieces of credible information, to explain the familiar story at least in its outlines.To doubt the written sources has long been acceptable, but this or that detail or narrative section must always be left for salvage by special pleading. To press home the logic of doubt is new. To reach beyond the written sources for a better support in excavated evidence is no novelty; but it is a novelty, to find in archeology the principal substance of the narrative---which is the choice in this book. To use this in turn for the discovery of an ethnic personality, a Roman national character, is key and also novel.What is repeatedly illustrated and emphasized here is the distance traveled by the art or craft of understanding the past---"history" in that sense---over the course of the last couple of centuries. The art cannot be learned, because it cannot be found, through studying Livy and Company. Readers who care about either of the two disciplines contrasted, Classics and History, may find this argument of interest."Like Thucydides of the hyperactive Athenians and de Tocqueville of the nation-building Americans, MacMullen here draws a character sketch of the early Romans---the men who built Rome, conquered Italy, and created an empire. Based on profound familiarity with history, evidence, and their better-known descendants, attention to what they did and failed to do, remarkable insight, empathy, constructive imagination, and not without humor, he reconstructs the homo Romanus and thus helps us imagine what he was like, and understand why he achieved what he did. This little book is informative, full of important ideas, and delightful to read."---Kurt Raaflaub, Brown UniversityJacket image: Marcus Fabius and Quintus Tannius. Fresco. Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy. Courtesy of Scala / Art Resource, NY..


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    Title
    The Earliest Romans
    Subtitle
    A Character Sketch
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Ramsay MacMullen
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 200
    Width: 152 mm
    Height: 229 mm
    Thickness: 23 mm
    Weight: 469 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780472117987
    ISBN 10: 047211798X
    Classifications

    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.1
    BIC subject category V2: HBTB
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBLA
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 05
    Libri: I-HP
    LC subject heading:
    Ingram Theme: CULT/ITALY
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    B&T General Subject: 431
    BISAC V2.8: SOC003000
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 22
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002020
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15530
    DC22: 937/.03
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 937.03
    LC subject heading: , , ,
    LC classification: DG78 .M329 2011
    DC23: 937.03
    BISAC region code: 1.5.3.0.0.0.0
    Thema V1.0: NHTB, NHC
    Illustrations note
    Illustrations, map
    Publisher
    The University of Michigan Press
    Imprint name
    The University of Michigan Press
    Publication date
    15 September 2011
    Publication City/Country
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Author Information
    Ramsay MacMullen is Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University.