All roads lead to Rome. Sites and events throughout the ancient world provided Romans with a rich tapestry woven with the stories of their past. The city itself was a melting pot of peoples from across the Mediterranean and beyond, each bringing their myths and legends of heroes and heroines, gods and goddesses. Rome’s citizens wholeheartedly embraced these stories of kings consorting with river nymphs, a prophetic baby discovered in a field and the founding of Rome itself. Myths formed the backdrop to the rituals and customs of everyday life.
David Stuttard takes the reader on a tour of eighteen of the great sites of the ancient Roman world, following in the footsteps of Aeneas and his companions from Troy via Greece, North Africa and Sicily to Italy, and travelling with his descendants to Rome, while also enjoying an excursion into Tuscany and Latium to explore later legends. Each chapter begins with an evocative description of the site’s location and landscape, followed by its associated myths and stories, as well as any rituals performed there in antiquity. Drawing on the great works of Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Plutarch, Ovid, Horace and Virgil, and with specially commissioned illustrations and information about key events and remains that can still be seen today, this is a fresh look at a subject of eternal fascination.