Translated by Stephen Sartarelli
Andrea Carandini's archaeological discoveries and controversial theories about ancient Rome have made international headlines over the past few decades. In this book, he presents his most important findings and ideas, including the argument that there really was a Romulus--a first king of Rome--who founded the city in the mid-eighth century BC, making it the world's first city-state, as well as its most influential. Rome: Day One makes a powerful and provocative case that Rome was established in a one-day ceremony, and that Rome's first day was also Western civilization's.
Historians tell us that there is no more reason to believe that Rome was actually established by Romulus than there is to believe that he was suckled by a she-wolf. But Carandini, drawing on his own excavations as well as historical and literary sources, argues that the core of Rome's founding myth is not purely mythical. In this illustrated account, he makes the case that a king whose name might have been Romulus founded Rome one April 21st in the mid-eighth century BC, most likely in a ceremony in which a white bull and cow pulled a plow to trace the position of a wall marking the blessed soil of the new city. This ceremony establishing the Palatine Wall, which Carandini discovered, inaugurated the political life of a city that, through its later empire, would influence much of the world.
Uncovering the birth of a city that gave birth to a world, Rome: Day One reveals as never before a truly epochal event.
Andrea Carandini is professor of archaeology at the University of Rome, La Sapienza, and the author of many books. For more than two decades, he has supervised some of the most important archaeological excavations in Rome, and he was instrumental in the discovery of the ancient Palatine Wall and the earliest phase of the Sanctuary of Vesta.