a thread on the worldwide web The Official Website of Richard Reilly

The Official Website of Richard Reilly

Roman Roamin

Richard Reilly's THE BIRTH OF ROME is a historical novel about the founding of the Roman Republic. While it certainly reads as a ripping "sword and sandal" novel, it is also a work of scholarship that seeks to reconstruct the true story of real people who lived long ago.

Rome was not founded in 753 BCE, as you will read in most encyclopedias. Rome was actually born when the fever swamps were drained and covered over with the now infamous Forum. The truth is, even modern research books default to the myths and legends about Rome's origins. But the true story is even more fascinating than myth.

The Birth of Rome is set in the true historical period, between the years 627 and 509 BCE, and breathes vitality and passion into the epic saga of real men and women who faced the same challenges as we do today. They too wanted security for their families, financial advancement, shelter, entertainment, good food, and all the joys that life can provide. Their struggle to obtain all that is still relevant to our modern lives, for even today we feel the same hunger pains of an empty belly, celebrate the birth of a child, and mourn the loss of a loved one.

In this section, Richard Reilly shares with readers the challenges of presenting this period to the modern reader; including in-depth discussions about Etruscan and Roman history. The novel is written for fans of Ancient Rome, but serious students of ancient history may also enjoy these 'behind the scenes' meditations.


Table of Contents

You are invited to read and respond to these log entries:

Is this myth, or history?

Reconstructing history without records

The novel can be the perfect vehicle to make history come alive

About the Sibyl of Cumae

Using Livy's tales in an historical narrative

Which temple was the Wonder of the World?

When did Tarpeia (of the Tarpeian Rock) live?

Using later sources to describe early building projects

Soldiers and siege engines in pre-Republican times

How this novel was constructed

The central character of the story is Rome herself

The historical truth about the sheets of gold at Pyrgi