A writer’s guide to Ancient Rome

Author: Carey Fleiner

How do you create a fictional story out of an historical period? What do you need to know about the people, the places, the events? What’s the better inspiration: historical scholarship or popular knowledge? A writer’s guide to Ancient Rome serves as inspiration and a guide to the Roman population, economy, laws, leisure, and religion for the author, student, general reader seeking an introduction to what made the Romans tick. The Guide considers trends and themes from roughly 200 BCE to 200 CE with the occasional foray into the antecedents and legacy on either side of the period. Each chapter explicates its main themes with examples from the original sources. Throughout are suggestions for resources to mine for the subject at hand and particular bits affected by scholarly debate and changing interpretation based on new discoveries or reinterpretation of written and material remains. It’s up to you whether or not you will produce a work of careful verisimilitude or anachronistic silliness (or one of the flavours in between). That’s your call as creator. This little guide is but a brief survey of a vast quantity of resources, sources, and scholarship on the Classical world that is available for reflection, evaluation, interpretation, and creativity. It is intended to open doors for further reading and consideration as you construct your own Roman world – it’s a welcome mat inviting you in to listen to the stories of the Romans and to contribute tales of your own.

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