Unwritten Rome

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University of Exeter Press, Aug 11, 2008 - Art - 366 pages
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How can one begin to understand a society that didn't write down its own history? In the case of Rome, the texts we have available—from the Bronze Age through the conquest of Italy around 300 BC—were all written centuries later, and their view of early Roman culture is impossibly anachronistic. Authentic evidence lurks under the surface, however—in the old stories of a Roman king acting like a magician, and the traditional custom that may have originated the practice of ritual prostitution, for example—and Unwritten Rome applies eighteen methods in order to discover this material, tease it out, and make sense of its social and historical context.  T. P. Wiseman, the much celebrated author of The Myths of Rome, presents an imaginative, appealing, and well-illustrated picture of pre-literary Rome, a free and uninhibited world in which the arts and popular entertainment flourished. Covering the authentic voice of the Roman people from contemporary artifacts, monuments, and passages of later literature, Unwritten Rome continues Wiseman's daring efforts to rewrite the history of Roman literature. 

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About the author (2008)

T. P. Wiseman is professor emeritus of classics at Exeter University and a fellow of the British Academy.

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