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History of Rome, and of the Roman People, From Its Origin to the Invasion of the Barbarians, Vol. 1 (Classic Reprint)

History of Rome, and of the Roman People, From Its Origin to the Invasion of the Barbarians, Vol. 1 (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from History of Rome, and of the Roman People, From Its Origin to the Invasion of the Barbarians, Vol. 1

It is the duty of those who offer to the public so large a work on a subject already treated in English books, to justify its position and explain the principles followed in translating and editing it. Strange to say, though some of the greatest English historians have devoted themselves to Roman history, there does not exist any standard English work on the whole subject. Portions of it have been thoroughly handled, but a complete survey is not to be found except in little handbooks; so that the Englishman or American who wants as a work of reference for his library a history of Rome down to the close of its pagan days, has hitherto been unable to find it. Even if he can read French and German, he will encounter the same difficulty; nor is it in any way satisfactory to supply the want by two or three special histories. No doubt the English edition of Mommsen's History, the large work of Merivale, and the incomparable Gibbon cover the ground, but they cover it writing from widely different standpoints, in various styles, and without any general index which could enable the ordinary reader to find any fact required. Moreover, the very original and suggestive work of Mommsen on the early history of Rome is totally unsuited for ordinary readers and for ordinary reference, inasmuch as he treats with silent contempt most of the popular stories, and re-arranges the remnants of tradition according to new and peculiar principles of his own. To a public ignorant of his special researches, - his Romische Forschungen and Romisches Staatsrecht, - the History, published without references or explanations, must be often quite unintelligible.

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