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Early Rome: Myth and Society

Jaclyn Neel (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-119-08379-5
336 pages
May 2017, Wiley-Blackwell
Early Rome: Myth and Society (1119083796) cover image

Description

The scholarly community has become increasingly aware of the differences between Roman myths and the more familiar myths of Greece. Early Rome: Myth and Society steps in to provide much-needed modern and accessible translations and commentaries on Italian legends.

This work examines the tales of Roman pre-and legendary history, discusses relevant cultural and contextual information, and presents author biographies. This book offers updated translations of key texts, including authors who are often absent from classical mythology textbooks, such as Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Servius. Editor Jaclyn Neel debunks the idea that Romans were unimaginative copyists by spotlighting the vitality and flexibility of Italian myth — particularly those parts that are less closely connected to Greek tales, such as the story of Caeculus of Praeneste. Finally, by calling attention to the Italian rather than Roman nature of the collection, this book suggests that Roman culture was broader than the city itself. This important work offers:

  • Up-to-date and accessible translations of Roman and Italic legends from authors throughout antiquity
  • Examination of compelling tales that involve the Roman equivalent of Greek “heroes”
  • Unique view of the strength and plasticity of Roman and Italic myth, particularly the parts less closely connected to familiar Greek tales
  • Intelligent discussion of relevant cultural and contextual information
  • Argument that Roman culture reached far beyond the city of Rome

Fresh and readable, Early Rome: Myth and Society offers essential reading for students of ancient Rome as well as those interested in Roman and Greek mythology.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Abbreviations & Symbols xv

1 Introducing Early Rome 1

Introduction 1

1.1 What Is a “Myth”? 2

1.2 Types of Stories You Will Read in this Book 4

1.3 Literary Genres in this Book 7

1.4 Theoretical Approaches to Roman Myth 10

1.5 Chronology of Early Rome 11

Conclusion 14

Notes 14

References 14

Further Reading 15

2 Rome Before the City 17

Introduction 17

For Further Thought 20

2.1 The Earliest Italians 20

2.2 Inhabitants of the Site of Rome 26

2.3 Aeneas in Italy 32

2.4 Aeneas’ Arrival in Latium 34

2.5 War in Italy 37

2.6 The Death of Aeneas and “Pater Indiges” 43

2.7 Ascanius, Silvius, and Lavinia: the Alban Dynasty 45

Notes 50

References 53

Further Reading 53

3 Founding Rome 55

Introduction 55

For Further Thought 58

3.1 Conception, Birth, and Exposure 58

3.2 Youth of Romulus and Remus 65

3.3 Rome’s Foundation 69

3.4 The Death of Remus 74

3.5 Wars with the Sabines 78

3.6 Death of Titus Tatius 86

3.7 Death and Apotheosis of Romulus 88

Conclusion 91

Notes 92

References 95

Further Reading 95

4 Images and Text 97

Introduction 97

For Further Thought 99

4.1 Mlacuch 99

4.2 Hercules and Juno 101

4.3 Suckling Wolf 104

4.4 Prophets 108

4.5 Wolfman 111

4.6 The Vibenna Brothers 113

4.7 Vulca of Veii 119

Conclusion 121

Notes 122

References 122

Further Reading 123

5 Rome’s Kings 125

Introduction 125

For Further Thought 128

5.1 The Interregnum (717–716) 129

5.2 Numa (716–674) 130

5.3 Tullus Hostilius (673–642) 138

5.4 Tarquinius Priscus (616–578) 145

5.5 Servius Tullius (578–535) 155

5.6 Tarquin the Proud (534–509) 162

Conclusion 173

Notes 174

References 177

Further Reading 177

6 Italy Outside Rome 179

Introduction 179

For Further Thought 181

6.1 Greek Founders in Italy 181

6.2 Hercules 185

6.3 Diomedes in Italy 187

6.4 Myths of Locri 190

6.5 The “Sacred Spring” 194

6.6 Caeculus of Praeneste 196

6.7 Pomona and Vertumnus 197

Conclusion 199

Notes 200

References 201

Further Reading 201

7 Rome’s Women 203

Introduction 203

For Further Thought 205

7.1 The Bona Dea 206

7.2 Women of the Aeneid 209

7.3 Acca Larentia 213

7.4 Tarpeia 215

7.5 Horatia 219

7.6 Lucretia 220

7.7 Cloelia 226

7.8 Verginia 228

7.9 Slave-women and the Nonae Caprotinae 230

Conclusion 231

Notes 232

References 234

Further Reading 234

8 Rome’s Heroes 237

Introduction 237

For Further Thought 240

8.1 Brutus 240

8.2 Publicola 244

8.3 The War with Porsenna 246

8.4. Porsenna Captures Rome? 249

8.5 The Battle at Lake Regillus 250

8.6 Stories of Self-sacrifice for Rome 252

8.7 The 306 Fabii 254

8.8 The Conflict of the Orders 257

8.9 Camillus and Veii 262

8.10 The Gallic Sack 265

Conclusion 273

Notes 274

References 276

Further Reading 276

9 Conclusion 279

References 281

Appendix 1 Author Biographies 283

Appendix 2 Greek Mythical Characters 291

Appendix 3 Greek and Roman Gods 297

Index 299

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Author Information

Jaclyn Neel is Assistant Professor of Instruction at Temple University, USA. She is the author of Legendary Rivals: Collegiality and Ambition in the Tales of Early Rome (2014) and several articles on Italic myth.

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