The Earliest Romans: A Character Sketch

3.33 avg rating
( 3 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780472117987: The Earliest Romans: A Character Sketch

"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 University

Jacket image: Marcus Fabius and Quintus Tannius. Fresco. Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy. Courtesy of Scala / Art Resource, NY..

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Ramsay MacMullen is Professor Emeritus of History at Yale University.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

MacMullen, Ramsay
Published by Univ Michigan Press
ISBN 10: 047211798X ISBN 13: 9780472117987
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Rating
[?]

Book Description Univ Michigan Press. Book Condition: BRAND NEW. BRAND NEW Hardcover A Brand New Quality Book from a Full-Time Bookshop in business since 1992!. Bookseller Inventory # 2260625

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 62.94
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Ramsay MacMullen
Published by The University of Michigan Press, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 047211798X ISBN 13: 9780472117987
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description The University of Michigan Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 University Jacket image: Marcus Fabius and Quintus Tannius. Fresco. Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy. Courtesy of Scala / Art Resource, NY. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780472117987

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 78.23
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Ramsay MacMullen
Published by The University of Michigan Press, United States (2011)
ISBN 10: 047211798X ISBN 13: 9780472117987
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description The University of Michigan Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 University Jacket image: Marcus Fabius and Quintus Tannius. Fresco. Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy. Courtesy of Scala / Art Resource, NY. Bookseller Inventory # AAN9780472117987

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 78.83
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

MacMullen, Ramsay
Published by The University of Michigan Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 047211798X ISBN 13: 9780472117987
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description The University of Michigan Press, 2011. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # CE-9780472117987

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 71.20
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.87
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Ramsay MacMullen
Published by University of Michigan Press
ISBN 10: 047211798X ISBN 13: 9780472117987
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Michigan Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Bookseller Inventory # B9780472117987

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 79.24
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 9.15
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Ramsay MacMullen
ISBN 10: 047211798X ISBN 13: 9780472117987
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Speedy Hen LLC
(Sunrise, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # ST047211798X. Bookseller Inventory # ST047211798X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 106.44
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Ramsay MacMullen
Published by University of Michigan Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 047211798X ISBN 13: 9780472117987
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Michigan Press, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX047211798X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 106.06
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

MacMullen, Ramsay
Published by Univ of Michigan Pr (2011)
ISBN 10: 047211798X ISBN 13: 9780472117987
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Univ of Michigan Pr, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 193 pages. 9.50x6.50x1.00 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __047211798X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 104.43
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.91
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Ramsay MacMullen
Published by University of Michigan Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 047211798X ISBN 13: 9780472117987
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of Michigan Press, 2011. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M047211798X

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 122.76
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Ramsay MacMullen
ISBN 10: 047211798X ISBN 13: 9780472117987
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; 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 man. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780472117987_rkm

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 120.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.10
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book