The legends told by Roman chroniclers about the founding and the early history of the city cannot be regarded as sober narratives of real events. They rest on the insecure basis of oral tradition alone, for the written records perished at the sack of Rome by the Gauls in 390 B.C. Nor are the traditions in themselves so probable as to inspire belief. They give us, indeed, admirable pictures of old Roman ideals and institutions, but the personages and events portrayed in them are shadowy and unreal. -from "Chapter IV: The Regal Period" Originally intended as a university-level textbook, this history of the Roman civilization, written by two fellows and tutors at Oxford, is a crisp and refreshingly readable overview of the rise of Rome through the legendary reign of Julius Caesar, including his spectacular conquest of the Gauls. First published in 1896 and featuring numerous enlightening maps and illustrations, this essential primer focuses primarily on military and civic arenas, covering at the length the important and eventful wars of the Romans-including the Punic and Macedonian conflicts-and offering an excellent chronicle of the Roman army. The authors also describe, briefly but clearly, the development of the Roman constitution, the institutions of the Roman government, and the religious, political, social, and economic issues that predominated through the centuries. Here, in one concise, elegant volume, is the story of the civilization that is the root of our own.
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