Remus: A Roman MythPaperback
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- Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
- Format: Paperback | 260 pages
- Dimensions: 140mm x 214mm x 18mm | 358g
- Publication date: 19 November 1995
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge
- ISBN 10: 0521483662
- ISBN 13: 9780521483667
- Edition: 2
- Illustrations note: 16 b/w illus. 4 maps
- Sales rank: 587,433
Romulus founded Rome - but why does the myth give him a twin brother Remus, who is killed at the moment of the foundation? This mysterious legend has been oddly neglected. Roman historians ignore it as irrelevant to real history; students of myth concentrate on the more glamorous mythology of Greece. In this book, Professor Wiseman provides, for the first time, a detailed analysis of all the variants of the story, and a historical explanation for its origin and development. His conclusions offer important new insights, both into the history and ideology of pre-imperial Rome and into the methods and motives of myth-creation in a non-literate society. In the richly unfamiliar Rome of Pan, Hermes and Circe the witch-goddess, where a general grows miraculous horns and prophets demand human sacrifice, Remus stands for the unequal struggle of the many against the powerful few.
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"...a pleasure to read and will lead, one hopes, to renewed interest in the myth of the foundation of Rome and its central characters." Religious Studies Review "[This] wonderfully clear narrative demonstrates the best of contempoary scholarship..." Choice "...[a] wild and wonderful book." Times Literary Supplement "...Wiseman packs several centuries worth of primary sources and scholarship into a delightfully written argument. Wiseman's Remus is required reading for anyone with an interest in Roman mythology, history, or literature." Cynthia Bannon, Folklore Forum
Back cover copy
Professor Wiseman provides, for the first time, a detailed analysis of all the variants of the story, and a historical explanation for its origin and development. His conclusions offer important new insights, both into history and ideology of pre-imperial Rome and into the methods and motives of myth-creation in a non-literate society.
Table of contents
1. A too familiar story; 2. Multiform and manifold; 3. When and where; 4. What the Greeks said; 5. Italian evidence; 6. The Lupercalia; 7. The arguments; 8. The life and death of Remus; 9. The uses of a myth; 10. The other Rome; Appendix: Versions of the foundation of Rome.