The short story The Sobbin’ Women by the American writer Stephen Vincent Benét (1898-1943) retells the legend of Romulus’ capture of the Sabine women by setting it on the American frontier. Benét’s version of the story is based closely on Plutarch’s Life of Romulus. During his literary career, Benét turned several times to Plutarch as a way of exploring themes of history, justice and liberty, and his readings of and responses to Plutarch’s Rome offer a distinctive case study in American idealizing discourse about Rome.

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