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The book ''History of Rome'', sometimes referred to as ''Ab Urbe Condita Libri'' (''Books from the Founding of the City''), is a monumental
history of ancient Rome The history of Rome includes the history of the Rome, city of Rome as well as the Ancient Rome, civilisation of ancient Rome. Roman history has been influential on the modern world, especially in the history of the Catholic Church, and Roman law ...
, written in
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an appa ...

Latin
between 27 and 9 BC by the historian
Titus Livius Titus Livius''Titus'' is the praenomen (the personal name); ''Livius'' is the nomen (the ''gentile'' name, i.e. "belonging to the gens Livia"). Therefore, Titus Livius did not have a cognomen (third name, i.e. family name), which was not unusu ...

Titus Livius
, or "Livy", as he is usually known in English. The work covers the period from the legends concerning the arrival of
Aeneas In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas (, ; from Greek language, Greek: Αἰνείας, ''Aineíās'') was a Trojan hero, the son of the Trojan prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite (equivalent to the Roman Venus (mythology), Venus). His father ...
and the refugees from the fall of
Troy Troy (Greek language, Greek: Τροία) or Ilium (Greek language, Greek: Ίλιον) was an ancient city located at Hisarlik in present-day Turkey, south-west of Çanakkale. It is known as the setting for the Greek mythology, Greek myth of the ...

Troy
, to the city's founding in 753, the expulsion of the Kings in 509, and down to Livy's own time, during the reign of the emperor
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
. The last event covered by Livy is the death of Drusus in 9 BC. About 25% of the work survives (35 books of 142). The surviving books deal with the events down to 293 BC, and from 219 to 166 BC.


Contents


Corpus

The ''History of Rome'' originally comprised 142 "books", thirty-five of which—Books 1–10 with the Preface and Books 21–45—still exist in reasonably complete form. Damage to a manuscript of the 5th century resulted in large gaps ( ''lacunae'') in Books 41 and 43–45 (small lacunae exist elsewhere); that is, the material is not covered in any source of Livy's text. A fragmentary
palimpsest In textual studies, a palimpsest () is a manuscript A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practical typewriters became available, typewritten — as opp ...

palimpsest
of the 91st book was discovered in the
Vatican Library The Vatican Apostolic Library ( la, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, it, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana), more commonly known as the Vatican Library or informally as the Vat, is the library A library is a curated collection of sources of ...
in 1772, containing about a thousand words (roughly three paragraphs), and several papyrus fragments of previously unknown material, much smaller, have been found in Egypt since 1900, most recently about 40 words from Book 11, unearthed in 1986. Some passages are nevertheless known thanks to quotes from ancient authors, the most famous being on the death of
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
, quoted by
Seneca the Elder Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Elder (; c. 54 BC – c. 39 AD), also known (less correctly) as Seneca the Rhetorician, was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century B ...
.


Abridgements

Livy was abridged, in antiquity, to an
epitome An epitome (; gr, ἐπιτομή, from ἐπιτέμνειν ''epitemnein'' meaning "to cut short") is a summary or miniature form, or an instance that represents a larger reality, also used as a synonym A synonym is a word, morpheme A m ...
, which survives for Book 1, but was itself abridged in the fourth century into the so-called ''Periochae'', which is simply a list of contents. The ''Periochae'' survive for the entire work, except for books 136 and 137. In
Oxyrhynchus Oxyrhynchus (; grc-gre, Ὀξύρρυγχος, Oxýrrhynchos, sharp-nosed; ancient Egyptian language, Egyptian ''Pr-Medjed''; cop, or , ''Pemdje''; ar, البهنسا, ''Al-Bahnasa'') is a city in Middle Egypt located about 160 km sou ...

Oxyrhynchus
, a similar summary of books 37–40, 47–55, and only small fragments of 88 was found on a roll of papyrus that is now in the
British Museum The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury Bloomsbury is a district in the West End of London The West End of London (commonly referred to as the West End) is a district of Central London Central London is the innermost part of Lond ...

British Museum
classified as P.Oxy.IV 0668. There is another fragment, named P.Oxy.XI 1379, which represents a passage from the first book (I, 6) and that shows a high level of correctness. However the Oxyrhynchus Epitome is damaged and incomplete.


Chronology

The entire work covers the following periods: Books 1–5 – The legendary founding of Rome (including the landing of Aeneas in Italy and the founding of the city by Romulus), the period of the kings, and the early republic down to its conquest by the Gauls in 390 BC. Books 6–10 – Wars with the
Aequi 300px, Location of the Aequi (Equi) in central Italy, 5th century BC. The Aequi ( grc, Αἴκουοι and Αἴκοι) were an Italic tribe The Italic peoples were an ethnolinguistic group identified by their use of Italic languages The Ital ...
,
Volsci The Volsci (, , ) were an tribe, well known in the history of the first century of the . At the time they inhabited the partly hilly, partly marshy district of the south of , bounded by the and on the south, the on the east, and stretching ro ...

Volsci
,
Etruscans The Etruscan civilization () of List of ancient peoples of Italy, ancient Italy covered a territory, at its greatest extent, of roughly what is now Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio, as well as what are now the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna ...
, and
Samnites The Samnites were an ancient Italic people The Italic peoples were an ethnolinguistic group identified by their use of Italic languages a branch of the Indo-European language family. The Italic peoples are descended from the Indo-European speak ...
, down to 292 BC. Books 11–20 – The period from 292 to 218, including the
First Punic War The First Punic War (264–241 BC) was the first of three wars fought between Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus Romulus was the legendary founder and first ...
(lost). Books 21–30 – The
Second Punic War The Second Punic War, which lasted from 218 to 201BC, was the second of three wars fought between Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading ...
, from 218 to 202. Books 31–45 – The Macedonian and other eastern wars from 201 to 167. ''Books 46 to 142 are all lost:'' Books 46–70 – The period from 167 to the outbreak of the Social War in 91. Books 71–90 – The civil wars between Marius and
Sulla Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; 138–78 BC), commonly known as Sulla, was a Roman general A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines Marines or naval infan ...

Sulla
, to the death of Sulla in 78. Books 91–108 – From 78 BC through the end of the Gallic War, in 50. Books 109–116 – From the Civil War to the death of Caesar (49–44). Books 117–133 – The wars of the
triumvirs A triumvirate ( la, triumvirātus) or a triarchy is a political institution ruled or dominated by three powerful individuals known as triumvirs ( la, triumviri). The arrangement can be formal or informal. Though the three are notionally equal, ...
down to the death of Antonius (44–30). Books 134–142 – The rule of Augustus down to the death of Drusus (9).


Table of contents


Style

Livy wrote in a mixture of annual
chronology 222px, Joseph Scaliger's ''De emendatione temporum'' (1583) began the modern science of chronology Chronology (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European language ...
and
narrative A narrative, story or tale is any account of a series of related events or experiences, whether nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is a written Writing is a medium of human communication Comm ...

narrative
, often interrupting a story to announce the elections of new
consuls A consul is an official representative of the government of one Sovereign state, state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, and to facilitate trade and friendship between th ...
. Collins defines the "annalistic method" as "naming the public officers and recording the events of each succeeding year". It is an expansion of the
fasti In ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roma ...
, the official public chronicles kept by the magistrates, which were a primary source for Roman historians. Those who seem to have been more influenced by the method have been termed
annalists Annalists (from Latin ''annus'', year; hence ''annales'', sc. ''libri'', annual records), were a class of writers on History of Rome, Roman history, the period of whose literary activity lasted from the time of the Second Punic War to that of Sulla ...
. The first and third decades (see below) of Livy's work are written so well that Livy has become a ''
sine qua non ''Sine qua non'' (, ) or ''condicio sine qua non'' (plural: ''condiciones sine quibus non'') is an indispensable and essential action, condition, or ingredient. It was originally a Latin legal term for " conditionwithout which it could not be", ...
'' of curricula in Golden Age Latin. Some have argued that subsequently the quality of his writing began to decline, and that he becomes repetitious and wordy. Of the 91st book
Barthold Georg NiebuhrImage:BartholdNiebuhr.jpg, Barthold Georg Niebuhr Barthold Georg Niebuhr (27 August 1776 – 2 January 1831) was a Danish–German statesman, banker, and historian who became Germany's leading historian of Ancient Rome and a founding father of moder ...

Barthold Georg Niebuhr
says "repetitions are here so frequent in the small compass of four pages and the prolixity so great, that we should hardly believe it to belong to Livy...." Niebuhr accounts for the decline by supposing "the writer has grown old and become loquacious...", going so far as to conjecture that the later books were lost because copyists refused to copy such low-quality work. A
digressionDigression (''parékbasis'' in Greek, ''egressio'', ''digressio'' and ''excursion'' in Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in ...
in Book 9, Sections 17–19, suggests that the Romans would have beaten
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
if he had lived longer and had turned west to attack the Romans, making this digression the oldest known alternate history.


Livy's publication

The first five books were published between 27 and 25 BC. The first date mentioned is the year
Augustus Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). The emperors used a variety of different titles through ...

Augustus
received that title: twice in the first five books Livy uses it. For the second date, Livy lists the closings of the temple of
Janus In ancient Roman religion Religion in ancient Rome includes the ethnic religion of Ancient Rome that the ancient Romans, Romans used to define themselves as a people, as well as the religious practices of peoples brought under Roman rule, ...

Janus
but omits that of 25 (it had not happened yet). Livy continued to work on the ''History'' for much of the rest of his life, publishing new material by popular demand. This explains why the work falls naturally into 12 packets, mainly groups of 10 books, or decades, sometimes of 5 books (pentads or ) and the rest without any packet order. The scheme of dividing it entirely into decades is a later innovation of copyists. The second pentad did not come out until 9 or after, some 16 years after the first pentad. In Book IX Livy states that the Cimminian Forest was more impassable than the German had been recently, referring to the
Hercynian Forest 300px, View of the Feldberg_(Black_Forest).html"_;"title="Black_Forest_from_Feldberg_(Black_Forest)">Feldberg_(2003);_being_a_very_reduced_relict_tract_of_the_once_unbroken_Hercynian_Forest The_Hercynian_Forest_was_an_ancient_and_dense_forest_tha ...
(Black Forest) first opened by Drusus and
Ahenobarbus Ahenobarbus was a '' cognomen'' used by a plebeian branch of the '' gens Domitia'' in the late Roman Republic and early Empire An empire is a sovereign state consisting of several territories and peoples subject to a single ruling authority, ...
. One can only presume that in the interval Livy's first pentad had been such a success that he had to yield to the demand for more.


Manuscripts

There is no uniform system of classifying and naming manuscripts. Often the relationship of one
manuscript A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practical typewriter A typewriter is a or machine for characters. Typically, a typewriter has an array ...

manuscript
(MS) to another remains unknown or changes as perceptions of the handwriting change. Livy's release of chapters by packet diachronically encouraged copyists to copy by decade. Each decade has its own conventions, which do not necessarily respect the conventions of any other decade. A family of MSS descend through copying from the same MSS (typically lost). MSS vary widely; to produce an emendation or a printed edition was and is a major task. Usually variant readings are given in footnotes.


First decade

All of the manuscripts (except one) of the first ten books (first decade) of ''Ab Urbe Condita Libri'', which were copied through the Middle Ages and were used in the first printed editions, are derived from a single
recensionRecension is the practice of editing or revising a text based on critical analysis. When referring to manuscript A manuscript (abbreviated MS for singular and MSS for plural) was, traditionally, any document written by hand – or, once practic ...
commissioned by
Quintus Aurelius Symmachus Quintus Aurelius Symmachus Eusebius ( ; c. 345 – 402) was a Roman statesman, orator, and man of letters. He held the offices of governor of proconsular Africa (province), Africa in 373, urban prefect of Rome in 384 and 385, and Roman consul, con ...
, consul, AD 391. A recension is made by comparing extant manuscripts and producing a new version, an
emendation An emendation is an alteration to a term, for a specific technical reason: * Emendation (textual), altering a word to make sense, e.g. when incomplete or assumed to have been copied incorrectly * Emendation (zoology), altering the spelling of the n ...
, based on the text that seems best to the editor. The latter then "subscribed" to the new MS by noting on it that he had emended it. Symmachus, probably using the authority of his office, commissioned Tascius Victorianus to emend the first decade. Books I–IX bear the subscription ''Victorianus emendabam dominis Symmachis'', "I Victorianus emended (this) by the authority of Symmachus." Books VI–VIII include another subscription preceding it, that of Symmachus' son-in-law, Nicomachus Flavianus, and Books III–V were also emended by Flavianus' son,
Appius Nicomachus DexterAppius Nicomachus Dexter (''floruit'' before 432 AD) was a politician of the Western Roman Empire. Biography Dexter belonged to the ''Nicomachi'', an influential family of senatorial rank. Among his ancestors there was evidently Appius Claudius T ...
, who says he used his relative Clementianus' copy.Foster (1874), pp. xxxii–xxxvi This recension and family of descendant MSS is called the Nicomachean, after two of the subscribers. From it several MSS descend (incomplete list): Epigraphists go on to identify several hands and lines of descent. A second family of the first decade consists of the Verona
Palimpsest In textual studiesTextual scholarship (or textual studies) is an umbrella term In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods fo ...

Palimpsest
, reconstructed and published by
Theodore Mommsen Christian Matthias Theodor Mommsen (; 30 November 1817 – 1 November 1903) was a German classical scholar, historian, jurist, journalist, politician and archaeologist. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest classicists of the 19th cent ...
, 1868; hence the Veronensis MSS. It includes 60 leaves of Livy fragments covering Books III-VI. The handwriting style is dated to the 4th century, only a few centuries after Livy. In the Middle Ages there were constant rumors that the complete books of the History of Livy lay hidden in the library of a Danish or German Monastery. One individual even affirmed under oath in the court of
Martin V Pope Martin V ( la, Martinus V; January/February 1369 – 20 February 1431), born Otto (or Oddone) Colonna, was the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian ...

Martin V
that he had seen the whole work, written in Lombardic script, in a monastery in Denmark. All of these rumors were later found to be unsubstantiated.


Historicity

The details of Livy's ''History of Rome'' vary from arguably legendary or perhaps even mythical stories at the beginning to detailed accounts of certainly real events toward the end. He himself noted the difficulty of finding information about events some 700 years or more removed from the author. Of his material on early Rome he said "The traditions of what happened prior to the foundation of the City or whilst it was being built, are more fitted to adorn the creations of the poet than the authentic records of the historian." The first book has been one of the most significant sources of the various accounts of the traditional legend of
Romulus and Remus In Roman mythology Roman mythology is the body of myths of ancient Rome as represented in the Latin literature, literature and Roman art, visual arts of the Romans. One of a wide variety of genres of Roman folklore, ''Roman mythology'' m ...

Romulus and Remus
. Nevertheless, according to the tradition of writing history at the time, he felt obliged to relate what he read (or heard) without passing judgment as to its truth or untruth. One of the problems of modern scholarship is to ascertain where in the work the line is to be drawn between legendary and historical. One view has been that buildings, inscriptions, monuments and libraries prior to the sack of Rome in 387 BC by the
Gauls The Gauls ( la, Galli; grc, Γαλάται, ''Galátai'') were a group of Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS ...
under
Brennus Brennus or Brennos (Gaulish Gaulish was an ancient Celtic language that was spoken in parts of Continental Europe Mainland or continental Europe is the contiguous continent of Europe, excluding its surrounding islands. It can also ...
were destroyed by that sack and were scarcely available to Livy and his sources. This view originates from Livy himself, who notes this fact. A layer of ash over the lowest pavement of the
comitium The Comitium ( it, Comizio) was the original open-air public meeting space of Ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century ...

comitium
believed to date from that time seemed to confirm a citywide destruction. A new view by
Tim Cornell Timothy J. Cornell (born 1946) is a British historian specializing in ancient Rome. He is Emeritus Professor of Ancient History at the University of Manchester, having retired from his teaching position in 2011. Cornell received his bachelor's degr ...
, however, deemphasizes the damage caused by the Gauls under Brennus. Among other reasons, he asserts that the Gauls' interest in movable plunder, rather than destruction, kept damage to a minimum. The burnt layer under the
comitium The Comitium ( it, Comizio) was the original open-air public meeting space of Ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century ...

comitium
is now dated to the 6th century BC. There apparently is no archaeological evidence of a widespread destruction of Rome by the Gauls. Cornell uses this information to affirm the historicity of Livy's account of the 5th and 4th centuries BC.


Livy's sources

For the first decade, Livy studied the works of a group of historians in or near his own time, known as
annalists Annalists (from Latin ''annus'', year; hence ''annales'', sc. ''libri'', annual records), were a class of writers on History of Rome, Roman history, the period of whose literary activity lasted from the time of the Second Punic War to that of Sulla ...
. Some twelve historians in this category are named by Livy in Book I as sources on the period of the monarchy. In date order backward from Livy they are:
Gaius Licinius Macer Gaius Licinius Macer (died 66BC) was an official and annalists, annalist of ancient Rome. Life A member of the ancient plebeian gens (Roman), clan Licinia (gens), Licinia, he was tribune in 73BC. Sallust mentions him agitating for the people's righ ...
,
Quintus Claudius Quadrigarius Quintus Claudius Quadrigarius was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a letter in the Ne ...
,
Valerius Antias Numa Pompilius consulting Egeria (mythology), Egeria. Valerius Antias ( century BC) was an ancient Roman annalists, annalist whom Livy mentions as a source. No complete works of his survive but from the sixty-five fragments said to be his in the w ...
,
Gnaeus Gellius Gnaeus Gellius ( half of 2nd centuryBC) was a Roman historian. Very little is known about his life and work, which has only survived in scattered fragments. He continued the historical tradition set by Fabius Pictor of writing a year-by-year histo ...
,
Gaius Sempronius Tuditanus (consul 129 BC) Gaius Sempronius Tuditanus was a politician and historian of the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the , run through of the . Beginning with the of the (traditionally dated to 509 BC) and endin ...
,
Lucius Cassius Hemina Lucius Cassius Hemina (2nd centuryBC) was a Roman Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome, the capital city of Italy *Ancient Rome, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *Roman people, the people of ancient Rome *''Epistle to ...
,
Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi (consul 133 BC) Lucius Calpurnius Piso Frugi (sometimes Censorinus) (c. 180 – 112 BC) was a Roman politician and historian of plebeian origin, consul in 133 BC and censor in 120 BC. Family background Piso belonged to the Plebeians, plebeian ''gens'' Calpurnia g ...
,
Aulus Postumius Albinus (consul 151 BC) :''For other persons with the cognomen "Albus" or "Albinus", see Albinus (cognomen).'' Aulus Postumius Albinus was a statesman of the Roman Republic, notably Roman consul, consul in 151 BC. He was also a historian and wrote the ''Annals'' in Greek. ...
, Gaius Acilius Glabrio, Marcus Porcius Cato,
Lucius Cincius Alimentus Lucius Cincius Alimentus (200BC) was a celebrated Roman annalist, jurist, and provincial official. He is principally remembered as one of the founders of Roman historiography, although his ''Annals'' has been lost and is only known from fragment ...
,
Quintus Fabius Pictor Quintus Fabius Pictor (born BC, BC) was the earliest known Roman historianRoman historiography stretches back to at least the 3rd century BC and was indebted to earlier Greek historiography. The Romans relied on previous models in the Ancient Greek ...
. Elsewhere he mentions
Sempronius AsellioSempronius Asellio (flourished BC c. 91BC) was an early Roman historian and one of the first writers of historiographic work in Latin. He was a military tribune of P. Scipio Aemilianus Africanus at the siege of Numantia in Hispania Hispania ( ; ...
. Macer, the latest of these, died in 66. Fabius, the earliest, fought in the Gallic War of 225. Livy's sources were by no means confined to the annalists. Other historians of his time mention documents then extant dating as far back as the Roman monarchy. These include treaties between
Servius Tullius Servius Tullius was the legendary sixth king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest in its class. Historically, the two d ...
and the
Latins The Latins were originally an Italic tribe in ancient central Italy from Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Definition La ...
, between
Lucius Tarquinius Superbus Lucius Tarquinius Superbus (died 495 BC) was the legendary seventh and final king of Rome The king of Rome ( la, rex Romae) was the chief magistrate Chief magistrate is a public official, executive or judicial, whose office is the highest in ...
and
Gabii Gabii was an ancient city of Latium Latium ( , ; ) is the region of central western Italy in which the city of Rome was founded and grew to be the capital city of the Roman Empire. Definition Latium was originally a small triangle of fer ...
, three between Rome and
Carthage Carthage was the capital city of the ancient , on the eastern side of the in what is now . Carthage was the most important trading hub of the Ancient Mediterranean and one of the most affluent cities of the . The city developed from a n colony ...
, and one between Cassius and the Latins, 493, which was engraved in bronze. In addition the
Pontifex Maximus The (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation w ...
kept the
Annales Maximi The ''Annales maximi'' were annals Annals ( la, annāles, from , "year") are a concise historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of ...
(yearly events) on display in his house, the
censors Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information. This may be done on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient". Censorship can be conducted by governments, ...
kept the Commentarii Censorum, the
praetor Praetor ( , ), also pretor, was the granted by the government of to a man acting in one of two official capacities: (i) the commander of an , and (ii) as an elected ' (magistrate), assigned to discharge various duties. The functions of the magi ...
s kept their own records, the Commentarii Pontificum and Libri Augurales were available as well as all the laws on stone or brass; the
fasti In ancient Rome In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roma ...
(list of magistrates) and the Libri Lintei, historical records kept in the temple of Juno
Moneta In Roman mythology Roman mythology is the body of myths of ancient Rome as represented in the Latin literature, literature and Roman art, visual arts of the Romans. One of a wide variety of genres of Roman folklore, ''Roman mythology'' may a ...
. Nevertheless, the accounts of Rome's early history are for the most part incomplete and therefore suspect (in this view). Seeley argues, "It is when Livy's account is compared with the accounts of other writers that we become aware of the utter uncertainty which prevailed among the Romans themselves... The traditional history, as a whole, must be rejected..." As Livy stated that he used what he found without passing judgement on his sources, attacks on the credibility of Livy often begin with the annalists. Opinions vary. T.J. Cornell presumes that Livy relied on "unscrupulous annalists" who "did not hesitate to invent a series of face-saving victories." Furthermore, he argues, "The annalists of the first century BC are thus seen principally as entertainers..." Cornell does not follow this view consistently, as he is willing to accept Livy as history for the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. A more positive view of the same limitations was given by Howard:
The annalists were not modern historians, and not one of them is absolutely free from the faults attributed to Antias. That any of them, even Antias, deliberately falsified history is extremely improbable, but they were nearly all strong partisans, and of two conflicting stories it was most natural for them to choose the one which was most flattering to the Romans, or even to their own political party, and, as the principle of historical writing even in the time of Quintilian was stated to be that history was closely akin to poetry and was written to tell a story, not to prove it, we may safely assume that all writers were prone to choose the account which was most interesting and which required the least work in verification.
For the third decade, Livy followed the account of the Greek historian
Polybius Polybius (; grc-gre, Πολύβιος, ; ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic period The Hellenistic period covers the period of Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the ...

Polybius
, as did the historical accounts of
Marcus Tullius Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient ...

Marcus Tullius Cicero
. Polybius had access to Greek sources in the eastern Mediterranean, outside the local Roman traditions.


Machiavelli and Livy

Niccolò Machiavelli Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (; ; rarely rendered Nicholas Machiavel (see below See or SEE may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * Music: ** See (album), ''See'' (album), studio album by rock band The Rascals *** "See", song by ...
's work on
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
s, the ''
Discourses on Livy The ''Discourses on Livy'' ( it, Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, literally "Discourses on the First Ten of Titus Livy") is a work of political history and philosophy written in the early 16th century (c. 1517) by the Italian writer and ...
'', is presented as a commentary on the ''History of Rome''.


Translations

The first complete rendering of ''Ab Urbe Condita'' into English was
Philemon Holland Philemon Holland (1552 – 9 February 1637) was an English schoolmaster, physician and translator. He is known for the first English translations of several works by Livy Titus Livius''Titus'' is the praenomen (the personal name); ''Livius'' ...
's translation published in 1600. According to Considine, 'it was a work of great importance, presented in a grand folio volume of 1458 pages, and dedicated to the
Queen Queen may refer to: Monarchy * Queen regnant, a female monarch of a Kingdom ** List of queens regnant * Queen consort, the wife of a reigning king * Queen dowager, the widow of a king * Queen mother, a queen dowager who is the mother of a reigni ...

Queen
'. A notable translation of Livy titled ''History of Rome'' was made by B.O. Foster in 1919 for the
Loeb Classical Library The Loeb Classical Library (LCL; named after James Loeb; , ) is a series of books, originally published by Heinemann_(publisher), Heinemann in London, UK, today by Harvard University Press, US, which presents important works of ancient Greek l ...

Loeb Classical Library
. A partial but important translation by Aubrey de Sélincourt was printed in 1960–1965 for
Penguin Classics Penguin Classics is an imprint Imprint or imprinting may refer to: Entertainment * Imprint (TV series), ''Imprint'' (TV series), Canadian television series * Imprint (Masters of Horror), "Imprint" (''Masters of Horror''), episode of TV show ''Mas ...
. An online English translation is available.


Footnotes


References


Sources

* * * * * * ''
Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology The ''Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology'' (1849, originally published 1844 under a slightly different title) is an encyclopedia An encyclopedia (American English), encyclopædia (archaic spelling), or encyclopaedia ...
'', William Smith, ed., Little, Brown and Company, Boston (1849). * T. Robert S. Broughton, ''The Magistrates of the Roman Republic'', American Philological Association (1952).


Further reading

*Briscoe, John ** ** ** * * * * * * * * * * * *


External links


Primary sources

* * * * * * * * * *


Secondary sources

* * * * * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Ab Urbe Condita (Book) Latin histories History books about ancient Rome 1st-century BC Latin books