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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Comprehensive., 15 Dec 2010
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R. EVANS (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c.1000-264 BC) (The Routledge History of the Ancient World) (Paperback)
Let me start by stating that T. J. Cornell is without a doubt one of the best early Roman historians I have had as a resource. I bought this book for the first year of my course. Introduction to Roman History for Ancient History.

The wonderful thing about this book is how comprehensive it is. Cornell does not just take the Latin historical accounts and assess them, as so many do on this subject. He takes Greek, Lost (as in the scraps), Documents, and Archives and so on. This is until we get to one of his most important sources, Archaeological. Cornell blends physical scientific evidence with records and that is why I feel this book is such a great piece of work. You are getting a strong blend and mix that needs to happen more regularly with Ancient History. Archaeology and History must merge and this is what you get.

Cornell's writing style I will add is very precise, and clear. He does not waffle (unlike myself) and you get a huge amount of information well laid out and organised so you can find what is required with great ease.

If you are studying Roman History or Archaeology, if you are interested in either or you study Classics (Roman). Please consider this book, it has helped me immensely and I have used it (reference wise) in essays that have come back with grades, part of which I thank Cornell's incredible research for.

As a side note, if one get's the time, look up Cornell and T. P. Wiseman's debate over the value of Livy. A very interesting debate. part of which is inside this book. Good if you are interested in the value of Latin Literature and Historiography, or just the early history of Rome. Wiseman's books are very good in addition, I may add.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great account of early Rome, 17 July 2011
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This review is from: The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c.1000-264 BC) (The Routledge History of the Ancient World) (Paperback)
Not everyone agrees with the trust Cornell puts in the source material (for example, A Critical History of Early Rome: From Prehistory to the First Punic War by Gary Forsythe), although I think that his arguments have been steadily gaining support (particularly his assertion that, whatever their accuracy, the sources remain relevant because they show what educated Romans themselves believed). That said, the book is intelligent, thorough, well researched, and extremely readable. It holds your interest from start to finish.
I personally think that he's right on many points -- he's certainly created hypotheses that need answering, made a significant contribution to the field, and set a useful framework for future research. But don't take my word for it -- buy the book and make up your own mind! If you disagree with his ideas -- well Cornell's an academic and welcomes enlightened debate!
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must, 13 Dec 2009
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Mr. G. R. Dinse (Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Beginnings of Rome: Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c.1000-264 BC) (The Routledge History of the Ancient World) (Paperback)
for any student of Rome's earliest history. This book has everything you'll need.

Grant.
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