Lectures and Essays

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Author: Goldwin Smith
Language: English
Wordcount: 147,511 / 427 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 43.1
LoC Category: AC
Downloads: 312
mnybks.net#: 6498
Origin: gutenberg.org
Genre: Non-fiction
Excerpt

nd upon this monument, and clearing our vision entirely of Romulus and his asylum, we seem dimly to perceive the existence of a deep prehistoric background, richer than is commonly supposed in the germs of civilization,--a remark which may in all likelihood be extended to the background of history in general. Nothing surely can be more grotesque than the idea of a set of wolves, like the Norse pirates before their conversion to Christianity, constructing in their den the Cloaca Maxima.

That Rome was comparatively great and wealthy is certain. We can hardly doubt that she was a seat of industry and commerce, and that the theory which represents her industry and commerce as having been developed subsequently to her conquests is the reverse of the fact. Whence, but from industry and commerce, could the population and the wealth have come? Peasant farmers do not live in cities, and plunderers do not accumulate. Rome had around her what was then a rich and peopled plain; she stood at a meeting-place of nati

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