I am about 200 pages into Boatwright et al. I’ve read about the village of Rome, the draining of the Forum valley, the relations with the Etruscans, Campanians, the other Latins, the development of institutions of government and questors, praetors, tribunes, consuls, and senators, and wars, wars, wars, wars, wars.

And none of it really makes any sense. I don’t feel like I can yet get my arms around the whole scope of the thing.  How did a little village turn into a huge, complex society?  The facts are each individually comprehensible, but they slip, like grains of sand, through the fingers of my mind. Is this what it’s like to study history?


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