Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Finding Rome in writing

In this fascinating exploration of the foundations of Ancient Rome, C.J. Lee has produced an insightful exploration of what is so often ignored in history lessons and even in aspects of our literary thought– questioning the very foundations of historical constructs, and possibly uncovering more in the process. This is a highly structured, sensitive piece which opens up the accessibility of knowledge and text, and, as writing should, raises ever-the-more questions about ourselves today.
The foundation of Rome is an event shrouded in mystery, myth and legend, only dimly illuminated by modern archaeological and literary investigation. There are, however, many issues regarding the investigation of the earliest Roman history, in both archaeology and literature, and the illumination received by both is indeed precious. Archaeology, though an integral weapon in the ancient historian's arsenal, can provide only a basic framework around which the padding of literature and contemporary historical writings can be placed, in order to provide a more complete picture of the era. Archaeology can provide clues about the chronology of the peoples living in the distant past, for example which artefacts and buildings were in use at which time. It can also provide some clues about the life and death of the individuals living at the time, but for a complete idea of the way of life of the ancients we must turn to literary evidence written by those who lived in the period we are investigating.

Via http://www.lancashirewritinghub.co.uk/2012/07/finding-rome-in-writing-an-article-by-c-j-lee/