oa Scholia : Studies in Classical Antiquity - A world of Roman myths
The Myths of Rome, T. P. Wiseman : book review

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-9017



In this eloquently written, artfully crafted and highly original book, Wiseman's objectives are these: to demonstrate that there is a rich world of Roman myths, to trace its development from the eighth century BC to the late first century AD, and to reconcile with it a few elusive conundrums of Roman myth and religious institutions. But Wiseman also explores the comparatively unfettered knowledge and use of Roman myth in art, literature and political ideologies from late antiquity to the eighteenth century in order to challenge the idea of the 'mythless Romans' - lacking divine myths on the order and scale of Greek mythology, and using historical myth in manner as idiosyncratic as it was unimaginative - as a modern construct imposed by nineteenth century scholarship. Everyone professionally engaged in the study of ancient Rome, or in myths of the ancient world, should read this book, even if, according to Wiseman, was written for a non-specialist audience.

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