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Roads from Rome   By: (1871-1932)

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E text prepared by Ron Swanson




Author with Francis G. Allinson of "Greek Lands and Letters"

[Illustration: Poster of the Roman Exposition of 1911]

New York The MacMillan Company 1922 All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America Copyright, 1909, 1910, 1913, by the Atlantic Monthly Company. Copyright, 1913, by the MacMillan Company. Set up and electrotyped. Published September, 1913.

Three of the papers in this volume have already appeared in The Atlantic Monthly: "A Poet's Toll," "The Phrase Maker," and "A Roman Citizen." The author is indebted to the Editors for permission to republish them. The illustration on the title page is reproduced from the poster of the Roman Exposition of 1911, drawn by Duilio Cambeliotti, printed by Dr. E. Chappuis.



The main purpose of these Roman sketches is to show that the men and women of ancient Rome were like ourselves.

"Born into life! 'tis we, And not the world, are new; Our cry for bliss, our plea, Others have urged it too Our wants have all been felt, our errors made before."

It is only when we perceive in "classical antiquity" a human nature similar to our own in its mingling of weakness and strength, vice and virtue, sorrow and joy, defeats and victories that we shall find in its noblest literature an intimate rather than a formal inspiration, and in its history either comfort or warning.

A secondary purpose is to suggest Roman conditions as they may have affected or appeared to men of letters in successive epochs, from the last years of the Republic to the Antonine period. Three of the six sketches are concerned with the long and brilliant "Age of Augustus." One is laid in the years immediately preceding the death of Julius Caesar, and one in the time of Trajan and Pliny. The last sketch deals with the period when Hadrian attempted a renaissance of Greek art in Athens and creative Roman literature had come to an end. Its renaissance was to be Italian in a new world.

In all the sketches the essential facts are drawn directly from the writings of the men who appear in them. These facts have been merely cast into an imaginative form which, it is hoped, may help rather to reveal than cloak their significance for those who believe that the roads from Rome lead into the highway of human life.

In choosing between ancient and modern proper names I have thought it best in each case to decide which would give the keener impression of verisimilitude. Consistency has, therefore, been abandoned. Horace, Virgil and Ovid exist side by side with such original Latin names as Julius Paulus. While Como has been preferred to Comum, the "Larian Lake" has been retained. Perugia (instead of Perusia) and Assisi (instead of Assisium) have been used in one sketch and Laurentum, Tusculum and Tibur in another. The modern name that least suggests its original is that of the river Adige. The Latin Atesia would destroy the reader's sense of familiarity with Verona.

My thanks are due to Professor M. S. Slaughter, of the University of Wisconsin, who has had the great kindness to read this book in manuscript. My husband, Francis G. Allinson, has assisted me at every turn in its preparation. With one exception, acknowledged in its place, all the translations are his.

A. C. E. A.


PAGE THE ESTRANGER . . . . . . 1 A POET'S TOLL . . . . . . 37 THE PHRASE MAKER . . . . . 72 A ROMAN CITIZEN . . . . . 107 FORTUNE'S LEDGER . . . . . 144 A ROAD TO ROME . . . . . . 176




In the effort to dull the edge of his mental anguish by physical exhaustion Catullus had walked far out from the town, through vineyards and fruit orchards displaying their autumnal stores and clamorous with eager companies of pickers and vintagers... Continue reading book >>

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