It feels like archaeology, this excavation, sifting through silicon tablets inscribed with the chronicles of a fallen civilisation. Here we find evidence of its rituals and celebrations, its values and cuisine, its talismans and taboos. We see this was once a vibrant, living culture of two: one that told stories and wrote songs, and made art and made war and made love.

There are none today who can say what it meant to live it. The scattered survivors of that far-off catastrophe no longer answer to their secret names, their private language now a dead tongue. There is no one left qualified to decipher these signs and sigils; none who could limn the artefacts of a bygone age.

Yet still I dig, picking through the ruins, examining each fragment like a shard of precious pottery. Here, then, is the proof. Here is the record of an ancient people at the height of their power and glory. Here is the history of all that was lost when I left.

We were Rome once, you and I.

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