they romanticized them

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aiyu

Senior Member
Japanese
As a consequence, tourists usually assumed they were all locally born and – despite the fact that the city had enjoyed eighteen centuries of immigration
from all over the Mediterranean – they romanticized them as the direct descendants of the ancient Romans.

This is from a book 'Rome: A History in Seven Sackings'.
Does 'romanticized them' here mean 'pretended themselves to be' or Romanized themselves?

Any comments would be appreciated.
 
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    If you romanticize someone, you make them appear better than they really are. It's a bit like creating some kind of a legend.
    "They" seems to refer to "tourists". I don't know what "them" refers to: more context is needed.
     

    aiyu

    Senior Member
    Japanese
    more context is needed.
    Thanks. here goes more:

    It did not take long for arrivals from the country to take on Roman ways and they were soon largely indistinguishable from the rest of the population. As a consequence, tourists usually assumed they were all locally born and – despite the fact that the city had enjoyed eighteen centuries of immigration from all over the Mediterranean – they romanticized them as the direct descendants of the ancient Romans. Many claimed to see a clear resemblance between their faces and those of classical statues. They were particularly fascinated by the Trasteverini whom they found delightfully picturesque. <——-Excess quote removed by moderator (Florentia52)——->
     
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