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The Beginnings of Rome: Italy from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars, Ca 1,000-264 BC (History of the Ancient World)
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The Beginnings of Rome: Italy from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars, Ca 1,000-264 BC (Routledge History of the Ancient World)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Using the results of archaeological techniques, and examining methodological debates, Tim Cornell provides a lucid and authoritative account of the rise of Rome. The beginnings of Rome, once thought to be lost in the mists of legend, are now being revealed by an ever-increasing body of archaeological evidence, much of it unearthed during the past twenty-five years. This ne ...more
Paperback, 507 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by Routledge (first published 1995)
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Evan Leach
Writing a history of Rome’s early years is a tricky business. The earliest surviving works of Latin literature weren’t written until about 200 BC, and the earliest surviving Latin histories came 150 years after that. To put that in perspective, the nearby Greeks had been cranking out poems, plays, and philosophers for at least 350 years by that point, and probably longer (depending on when you date Homer). Rome’s written record is scant indeed before the Punic Wars, which makes life tough for hi ...more
Excellent book full of great scholarship. Challenges a lot of the assumptions made by many classical scholars, and rebuts a lot of unscientific theories.
(Note to publishers: 400+ pages of detailed arguments printed on glossy paper bound together into a heavy book are physically difficult to read. Honestly, I shouldn't need an anti-glare filter for a book!)

This is Cornell's synthesis of early Roman history. The challenge is that there are very few primary sources for this early period and most of those are archaeological artifacts that must be interpreted. The earliest histories we have were written generations later, and while those authors had
Andrew Ashling
What I liked most about this book is that the author didn't try to make the facts fit a preconceived theory. Another plus is that the author uses several disciplines, among which archeology and its latest discoveries.

Cornell works in a strict chronological order, working his way through what is known, what can be conjectured and what's probable. He neatly presents all options, and then indicates his preferred scenario with the reasons of his choice. However, he leaves some leeway for the reader
C. Cengiz Cevik
A very detailed source for the earliest period of Rome.
The founding of Rome is shrouded in mystery. There are many stories from the likes of Livy and Vergil which have many falacies as can be expected from a source such as them writing fully believing in the stories of Rome's founding.
If you like the genre you must read it. However, it is very easy to read.
Hayo Bethlehem
It's now clear to me why there was so little written about the early history of Rome. There isn't that much information available to write about. Still, this book very neatly gave an overview of that what is available, and describes the problems of gathering enough evidence to write about.
Accessible and helpful!
Apr 18, 2011 Michael added it
Shelves: history
I enjoyed this, but I think I wasn't really in its target audience. Much of the book seems to assume the reader already knows the historical sketch of the topic at hand.
Mar 11, 2012 Traveller marked it as to-read
Shelves: look-for, empires
I thought Romulus and Remus did it.. ;)

This book looks extremely interesting ; count me in when we're looking at archeological evidence.
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