For this paper, I would like you to consider the following question. If you could find TWO NEW pieces of evidence for the Roman Republic in the period prior to 241 B.C., what would be the ones which would illuminate best the political and military history of that period and fill in most effectively the gaps in our current knowledge?
The pieces of evidence should be (a) things that one might realistically be able to find (no magic video-recordings of battles); (b) SINGLE pieces of evidence (e.g. a single book, a document, an excavated building) – don’t start wishing that we could discover the entire Roman state archive; and (c) things that fit our general knowledge of what did and did not exist at Rome (so don’t wish for a contemporary Roman historian writing in the 5th century B.C., when all the evidence we have indicates that there were no Romans writing history before the late 3rd century B.C.).
Your paper should be 5-6 pages long and should be DOUBLE-SPACED. With each of your choices, you should set out both our current state of knowledge on the topics which you feel might be illuminated, and an explanation of how the pieces of evidence you might find would contribute to filling in the gaps. You will probably find that you have to be extremely selective, because the more important a piece of evidence is, the less likely it is that you will be able to cover comprehensively every aspect of Roman war and politics that it would help us with. That selectivity is part of the point of the exercise: you should be focusing on just a few things that you think are particularly important.
Your paper must have a bibliography giving full details of all works consulted (the bibliography does not count towards the overall page-count). In addition, all points taken from material you have researched for the paper should be footnoted giving the precise source for the information (including page-references). There is no need to give a footnote if you have simply taken information from things that I said in my lectures, though you should of course give the exact reference for any material taken from one of my handouts or from the set reading.
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