Q&A: Cobb County Author Releases Biographical Book About Romes Fable Founder
Author and longtime Cobb County resident Marc Hyden recently had his second book, “Romulus: The Legend of Rome’s Founding Father,” published here in the states and overseas. As the first comprehensive biography of Romulus in English, Hyden hopes his work will end the fabled founder of Rome’s neglect. Hyden shared the inspiration and process behind his latest release with the MDJ.
Q: Tell our readers a little about your book.
A: According to legend, Romulus was born to a Vestal Virgin and left for dead as an infant near the Tiber River. His life nearly ended as quickly as it began, but fate had other plans. A humble shepherd rescued the child and helped raise him into manhood. As Romulus grew older, he fearlessly engaged in a series of perilous adventures that ultimately culminated in Rome’s founding, and he became its fabled first king.
However, establishing a new city had its price, and Romulus was forced to defend the nascent community. As he tirelessly safeguarded Rome, Romulus proved that he was a competent leader and talented general. Yet, he also harbored a dark side, which reared its head in many ways and tainted his legacy, but despite all of his misdeeds, redemption and subsequent triumphs were usually within his grasp. Indeed, he is an example of how greatness is sometimes born of disgrace.
Regardless of his foreboding flaws, Rome allegedly existed because of him and became massively successful. As the centuries passed, the Romans never forgot their celebrated founder.
This is the story that many ancient Romans believed.
Q: What inspired this book?
A: I have long been fascinated with ancient Rome, and spent years researching various aspects of its history. However, I found several gaps. In fact, despite supposedly being the fabled founder of Rome and being a household name, I discovered that no author had ever written a comprehensive biography of Romulus in English – until now. Given how fascinating Romulus’ legendary story truly is, I desperately wanted to end his long-term neglect and share the tale with the world.
Q: How long did it take you to write it, and what was that process like?
A: The entire process took a little over three years, and just like my first book, it was arduous and time-consuming. To begin with, I needed to read the different ancient sources, but the problem is that many of the ancient authors’ accounts either offer conflicting reports or tell the same story from a different perspective. So, I had to decide how to weave the differing narratives into one coherent account and then put it on paper. In the end, I spent many long evenings and entire weekends secluded in my home office poring over ancient texts and drafting Romulus’ story. Primarily relying on Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Plutarch, Cicero, and Livy, I’ve been able to piece together the most comprehensive biography ever written about Romulus.
Q: What is your career background?
A: I am the Director of State Government Affairs at a free market think tank called the R Street Institute, and I graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in philosophy. I am also the author of ‘Gaius Marius: The Rise and Fall of Rome’s Saviour’ and ‘Romulus: The Legend of Rome’s Founding Father.’
Q: How can people purchase your book?
A: You can purchase the book directly from my publisher (Pen and Sword Books), Amazon, and practically any book store can easily get it in stock if they don’t have it already.