Rome – Older Than You Thought!

Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 1.73:

But if anyone would care to look at the earlier past, they would find a third and even older Rome which was founded before Aeneas and the Trojans came to Italy. None of the popular or modern historians have written about this, but one can find it in the works of Antiochus of Syracuse, whom I have mentioned before. He says that, while Morges ruled in Italy (and Italy was then just the coast from Tarentum to Posidonia), a certain refugee from Rome came to him, and said, ‘When Italus got old, Morges took the throne. During his time, a refugee came from Rome, and his name was Sicelus.’ According to this Syracusan author, then, there is an old city of Rome which predates the Trojan War. Whether it was in the same place in which the current city of Rome now stands, or whether a different region just happened to share the same name, he leaves unclear. I am unable to make a conjecture on the matter. But I think that what I have said is enough concerning the ancient settlements.


εἰ δέ τις ἀπιδεῖν βουλήσεται τὰ προσωτέρω καὶ τρίτη τις ἀρχαιοτέρα τούτων εὑρεθήσεται ῾Ρώμη γενομένη πρὶν Αἰνείαν καὶ Τρῶας ἐλθεῖν εἰς ᾿Ιταλίαν. ταῦτα δὲ οὐ τῶν ἐπιτυχόντων τις οὐδὲ νέων συγγραφεὺς ἱστόρηκεν, ἀλλ’ ᾿Αντίοχος ὁ Συρακούσιος,  οὗ καὶ πρότερον ἐμνήσθην. φησὶ δὲ Μόργητος ἐν ᾿Ιταλίᾳ βασιλεύοντος (ἦν δὲ τότε ᾿Ιταλία ἡ ἀπὸ Τάραντος ἄχρι Ποσειδωνίας παράλιος) ἐλθεῖν ὡς αὐτὸν ἄνδρα φυγάδα ἐκ ῾Ρώμης. λέγει δὲ ὧδε· ‘ἐπεὶ δὲ ᾿Ιταλὸς κατεγήρα, Μόργης ἐβασίλευσεν. ἐπὶ τούτου δὲ ἀνὴρ ἀφίκετο ἐκ ῾Ρώμης φυγάς· Σικελὸς ὄνομα αὐτῷ.’ κατὰ μὲν δὴ τὸν Συρακούσιον συγγραφέα παλαιά τις εὑρίσκεται καὶ προτεροῦσα τῶν Τρωικῶν [χρόνων ἡ ῾Ρώμη.] πότερον δὲ περὶ τοὺς αὐτοὺς ἦν τόπους, ἐν οἷς ἡ νῦν οἰκουμένη πόλις ἐστίν, ἢ χωρίον ἕτερον ἐτύγχανεν οὕτως ὀνομαζόμενον ἀσαφὲς ἐκείνου καταλιπόντος οὐδ’ ἐγὼ δύναμαι συμβαλεῖν. περὶ μὲν οὖν τῶν παλαιῶν κτίσεων ἱκανὰ ἡγοῦμαι τὰ προειρημένα.

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