Introduction: The Evidence
It is customary for books on the ancient world to begin with an introductory account of the evidence. But whereas for most periods of ancient history a brief catalogue of the main sources is usually sufficient, something more is required in a book on the early history of Rome. The reliability of the written sources, and the relevance and interpretation of the archaeological material, are so controversial, and raise such complex issues, that a more extended account is called for. Discussion of particular problems will occur throughout the main part of the book, but it is important to begin with a general outline of the various types of evidence, and to define and defend the approach to them that will be taken in the following chapters.