A Smaller History of Romeby William Smith
The early history of Rome is given in an unbroken narrative by the Roman writers, and
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The early history of Rome is given in an unbroken narrative by the Roman writers, and was received by the Romans themselves as a faithful record of facts. But it can no longer be regarded in that light. Not only is it full of marvelous tales and poetical embellishments, of contradictions and impossibilities, but it wants the very foundation upon which all history must be based. The reader, therefore, must not receive the history of the first four centuries of the city as a statement of undoubted facts, though it has unquestionably preserved many circumstances which did actually occur. It is not until we come to the war with Pyrrhus that we can place full reliance upon the narrative as a trustworthy statement of facts. With this caution we now proceed to relate the celebrated legends of the foundation and early history of Home.
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