|Died||AD 17 (aged 74–75)|
|Years active||Golden Age of Latin|
Titus Livius (Latin: [ˈtitus ˈliːwius] ;59 BC –AD 17),known in English as Livy ( // LIV-ee),was a Roman historian. He wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people,titled Ab Urbe Condita ,''From the Founding of the City'',covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome before the traditional founding in 753 BC through the reign of Augustus in Livy's own lifetime. He was on familiar terms with members of the Julio-Claudian dynasty and a friend of Augustus, whose young grandnephew,the future emperor Claudius,he exhorted to take up the writing of history.
Livy was born in Patavium in northern Italy,now modern Padua,probably in 59 BC.At the time of his birth,his home city of Patavium was the second wealthiest on the Italian peninsula,and the largest in the province of Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy). Cisalpine Gaul was merged in Italy proper during his lifetime and its inhabitants were given Roman citizenship by Julius Caesar. In his works,Livy often expressed his deep affection and pride for Patavium,and the city was well known for its conservative values in morality and politics. "He was by nature a recluse,mild in temperament and averse to violence;the restorative peace of his time gave him the opportunity to turn all his imaginative passion to the legendary and historical past of the country he loved."
Livy's teenage years were during the 40s BC,a period of civil wars throughout the Roman world. The governor of Cisalpine Gaul at the time,Asinius Pollio,tried to sway Patavium[ when? ] into supporting Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony),the leader of one of the warring factions. The wealthy citizens of Patavium refused to contribute money and arms to Asinius Pollio,and went into hiding. Pollio then attempted to bribe the slaves of those wealthy citizens to expose the whereabouts of their masters;his bribery did not work,and the citizens instead pledged their allegiance to the Senate. It is therefore likely[ citation needed ] that the Roman civil wars prevented Livy from pursuing a higher education in Rome or going on a tour of Greece,which was common for adolescent males of the nobility at the time. Many years later,Asinius Pollio derisively commented on Livy's "patavinity",saying that Livy's Latin showed certain "provincialisms" frowned on at Rome. Pollio's dig may have been the result of bad feelings he harboured toward the city of Patavium from his experiences there during the civil wars.
Livy probably went to Rome in the 30s BC,and it is likely that he spent a large amount of time in the city after this,although it may not have been his primary home. During his time in Rome,he was never a senator nor held a government position. His writings contain elementary mistakes on military matters,indicating that he probably never served in the Roman army. However,he was educated in philosophy and rhetoric. It seems that Livy had the financial resources and means to live an independent life,though the origin of that wealth is unknown. He devoted a large part of his life to his writings,which he was able to do because of his financial freedom.
Livy was known to give recitations to small audiences,but he was not heard of to engage in declamation,then a common pastime. He was familiar with the emperor Augustus and the imperial family. Augustus was considered by later Romans to have been the greatest Roman emperor,benefiting Livy's reputation long after his death. Suetonius described how Livy encouraged the future emperor Claudius,who was born in 10 BC,to write historiographical works during his childhood.
Livy's most famous work was his history of Rome. In it he narrates a complete history of the city of Rome,from its foundation to the death of Augustus. Because he was writing under the reign of Augustus,Livy's history emphasizes the great triumphs of Rome. He wrote his history with embellished accounts of Roman heroism in order to promote the new type of government implemented by Augustus when he became emperor.In Livy's preface to his history,he said that he did not care whether his personal fame remained in darkness,as long as his work helped to "preserve the memory of the deeds of the world’s preeminent nation." Because Livy was mostly writing about events that had occurred hundreds of years earlier,the historical value of his work was questionable,although many Romans came to believe his account to be true.
Livy was married and had at least one daughter and one son.He also produced other works,including an essay in the form of a letter to his son,and numerous dialogues,most likely modelled on similar works by Cicero.
Titus Livius died at his home city of Patavium in AD 17.
Livy's only surviving work is commonly known as History of Rome (or Ab Urbe Condita , 'From the Founding of the City'). Together with Polybius it is considered one of the main accounts of the Second Punic War.
When he began this work he was already past his youth, probably 32; presumably, events in his life prior to that time had led to his intense activity as a historian. He continued working on it until he left Rome for Padua in his old age, probably in the reign of Tiberius after the death of Augustus. Seneca the Youngersays he was an orator and philosopher and had written some historical treatises in those fields.
History of Rome also served as the driving force behind the "northern theory" regarding the Etruscans' origins. This is because in the book Livy states, "The Greeks also call them the 'Tyrrhene' and the 'Adriatic ... The Alpine tribes are undoubtedly of the same kind, especially the Raetii, who had through the nature of their country become so uncivilized that they retained no trace of their original condition except their language, and even this was not free from corruption". Thus, many scholars, like Karl Otfried Müller, utilized this statement as evidence that the Etruscans or the Tyrrhenians migrated from the north and were descendants of an Alpine tribe known as the Raeti.
Livy's History of Rome was in high demand from the time it was published and remained so during the early years of the empire. Pliny the Younger reported that Livy's celebrity was so widespread, a man from Cádiz travelled to Rome and back for the sole purpose of meeting him. [ citation needed ]Livy's work was a source for the later works of Aurelius Victor, Cassiodorus, Eutropius, Festus, Florus, Granius Licinianus and Orosius. Julius Obsequens used Livy, or a source with access to Livy, to compose his De Prodigiis, an account of supernatural events in Rome from the consulship of Scipio and Laelius to that of Paulus Fabius and Quintus Aelius.
Livy wrote during the reign of Augustus, who came to power after a civil war with generals and consuls claiming to be defending the Roman Republic, such as Pompey. Patavium had been pro-Pompey. To clarify his status, the victor of the civil war, Octavian Caesar, had wanted to take the title Romulus (the first king of Rome) but in the end accepted the senate proposal of Augustus. Rather than abolishing the republic, he adapted it and its institutions to imperial rule.
The historian Tacitus, writing about a century after Livy's time, described the Emperor Augustus as his friend. Describing the trial of Cremutius Cordus, Tacitus represents him as defending himself face-to-face with the frowning Tiberius as follows:
I am said to have praised Brutus and Cassius, whose careers many have described and no one mentioned without eulogy. Titus Livius, pre-eminently famous for eloquence and truthfulness, extolled Cn. Pompeius in such a panegyric that Augustus called him Pompeianus, and yet this was no obstacle to their friendship.
Livy's reasons for returning to Padua after the death of Augustus (if he did) are unclear, but the circumstances of Tiberius' reign certainly allow for speculation.[ citation needed ]
During the Middle Ages, due to the length of the work, the literate class was already reading summaries rather than the work itself, which was tedious to copy, expensive, and required a lot of storage space. It must have been during this period, if not before, that manuscripts began to be lost without replacement. The Renaissance was a time of intense revival; the population discovered that Livy's work was being lost and large amounts of money changed hands in the rush to collect Livian manuscripts. The poet Beccadelli sold a country home for funding to purchase one manuscript copied by Poggio.Petrarch and Pope Nicholas V launched a search for the now missing books. Laurentius Valla published an amended text initiating the field of Livy scholarship. Dante speaks highly of him in his poetry, and Francis I of France commissioned extensive artwork treating Livian themes; Niccolò Machiavelli's work on republics, the Discourses on Livy , is presented as a commentary on the History of Rome. Respect for Livy rose to lofty heights. Walter Scott reports in Waverley (1814) as an historical fact that a Scotchman involved in the first Jacobite uprising of 1715 was recaptured (and executed) because, having escaped, he yet lingered near the place of his captivity in "the hope of recovering his favourite Titus Livius".
The authority supplying information from which possible vital data on Livy can be deduced is Eusebius of Caesarea, a bishop of the early Christian Church. One of his works was a summary of world history in ancient Greek, termed the Chronikon, dating from the early 4th century AD. This work was lost except for fragments (mainly excerpts), but not before it had been translated in whole and in part by various authors such as St. Jerome. The entire work survives in two separate manuscripts, Armenian and Greek (Christesen and Martirosova-Torlone 2006). St. Jerome wrote in Latin. Fragments in Syriac exist.
Eusebius' work consists of two books: the Chronographia , a summary of history in annalist form, and the Chronikoi Kanones, tables of years and events. St. Jerome translated the tables into Latin as the Chronicon , probably adding some information of his own from unknown sources. Livy's dates appear in Jerome's Chronicon.
The main problem with the information given in the manuscripts is that, between them, they often give different dates for the same events or different events, do not include the same material entirely, and reformat what they do include. A date may be in Ab Urbe Condita or in Olympiads or in some other form, such as age. These variations may have occurred through scribal error or scribal license. Some material has been inserted under the aegis of Eusebius.
The topic of manuscript variants is a large and specialized one, on which authors of works on Livy seldom care to linger. As a result, standard information in a standard rendition is used, which gives the impression of a standard set of dates for Livy. There are no such dates.[ citation needed ] A typical presumption is of a birth in the 2nd year of the 180th Olympiad and a death in the first year of the 199th Olympiad, which are coded 180.2 and 199.1 respectively. All sources use the same first Olympiad, 776/775–773/772 BC by the modern calendar. By a complex formula (made so by the 0 reference point not falling on the border of an Olympiad), these codes correspond to 59 BC for the birth, 17 AD for the death. In another manuscript the birth is in 180.4, or 57 BC.
Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus was the second Roman emperor. He reigned from 14 AD until 37 AD, succeeding his stepfather, the first Roman emperor Augustus. Tiberius was born in Rome in 42 BC. His father was the politician Tiberius Claudius Nero and his mother was Livia Drusilla, who would eventually divorce his father, and marry the future-emperor Augustus in 38 BC. Following the untimely deaths of Augustus' two grandsons and adopted heirs, Gaius and Lucius Caesar, Tiberius was designated Augustus' successor. Prior to this, Tiberius had proved himself an able diplomat, and one of the most successful Roman generals: his conquests of Pannonia, Dalmatia, Raetia, and (temporarily) parts of Germania laid the foundations for the empire's northern frontier.
The gens Livia was an illustrious plebeian family at ancient Rome. The first of the Livii to obtain the consulship was Marcus Livius Denter in 302 BC, and from his time the Livii supplied the Republic with eight consuls, two censors, a dictator, and a master of the horse. Members of the gens were honoured with three triumphs. In the reign of Augustus, Livia Drusilla was Roman empress, and her son was the emperor Tiberius.
Lucius Livius Andronicus was a Greco-Roman dramatist and epic poet of the Old Latin period during the Roman Republic. He began as an educator in the service of a noble family by translating Greek works into Latin, including Homer's Odyssey. The works were meant, at first, as educational devices for the school in which he founded. He also wrote works for the stage—both tragedies and comedies—which are regarded as the first dramatic works written in the Latin language. His comedies were based on Greek New Comedy and featured characters in Greek costume. Thus, the Romans referred to this new genre by the term comoedia palliata. The Roman biographer Suetonius later coined the term "half-Greek" of Livius and Ennius. The genre was imitated by the next dramatists to follow in Andronicus' footsteps and on that account he is regarded as the father of Roman drama and of Latin literature in general; that is, he was the first man of letters to write in Latin. Varro, Cicero, and Horace, all men of letters during the subsequent Classical Latin period, considered Livius Andronicus to have been the originator of Latin literature. He is the earliest Roman poet whose name is known.
The gens Claudia, sometimes written Clodia, was one of the most prominent patrician houses at ancient Rome. The gens traced its origin to the earliest days of the Roman Republic. The first of the Claudii to obtain the consulship was Appius Claudius Sabinus Regillensis, in 495 BC, and from that time its members frequently held the highest offices of the state, both under the Republic and in imperial times.
The gens Pontia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Few members of this gens rose to prominence in the time of the Republic, but the Pontii flourished under the Empire, eventually attaining the consulship. Pontius Pilatus, as prefect of Judaea, is known for his role in the execution of Jesus.
The gens Junia was one of the most celebrated families of ancient Rome. The gens may originally have been patrician, and was already prominent in the last days of the Roman monarchy. Lucius Junius Brutus was the nephew of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, the seventh and last King of Rome, and on the expulsion of Tarquin in 509 BC, he became one of the first consuls of the Roman Republic.
The gens Scribonia was a plebeian family of ancient Rome. Members of this gens first appear in history at the time of the Second Punic War, but the first of the Scribonii to obtain the consulship was Gaius Scribonius Curio in 76 BC.
The work called Ab urbe condita, sometimes referred to as Ab urbe condita libri, is a monumental history of ancient Rome, written in Latin between 27 and 9 BC by Livy, a Roman historian. The work covers the period from the legends concerning the arrival of Aeneas and the refugees from the fall of Troy, to the city's founding in 753 BC, the expulsion of the Kings in 509 BC, and down to Livy's own time, during the reign of the emperor Augustus. The last event covered by Livy is the death of Drusus in 9 BC. 35 of 142 books, about a quarter of the work, are still extant. The surviving books deal with the events down to 293 BC, and from 219 to 166 BC.
The gens Aquillia or Aquilia was a plebeian family of great antiquity at ancient Rome. Two of the Aquillii are mentioned among the Roman nobles who conspired to bring back the Tarquins, and a member of the house, Gaius Aquillius Tuscus, was consul in 487 BC.
The gens Quinctilia, also written Quintilia, was a patrician family at ancient Rome, dating from the earliest period of Roman history, and continuing well into imperial times. Despite its great antiquity, the gens never attained much historical importance. The only member who obtained the consulship under the Republic was Sextus Quinctilius in 453 BC. The gens produced numerous praetors and other magistrates, but did not obtain the consulship again for over four hundred years.
The gens Terentia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Dionysius mentions a Gaius Terentius Arsa, tribune of the plebs in 462 BC, but Livy calls him Terentilius, and from inscriptions this would seem to be a separate gens. No other Terentii appear in history until the time of the Second Punic War. Gaius Terentius Varro, one of the Roman commanders at the Battle of Cannae in 216 BC, was the first to hold the consulship. Members of this family are found as late as the third century AD.
Roman 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 Greek tradition such as the works of Herodotus and Thucydides. Roman historiographical forms are usually different from their Greek counterparts, however, and often emphasize Roman concerns. The Roman style of history was based on the way that the Annals of the Pontifex Maximus, or the Annales Maximi, were recorded. The Annales Maximi include a wide array of information, including religious documents, names of consuls, deaths of priests, and various disasters throughout history. Also part of the Annales Maximi are the White Tablets, or the "Tabulae Albatae", which consist of information on the origin of the Roman Republic.
The gens Annia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Livy mentions a Lucius Annius, praetor of the Roman colony of Setia, in 340 BC, and other Annii are mentioned at Rome during this period. Members of this gens held various positions of authority from the time of the Second Punic War, and Titus Annius Luscus attained the consulship in 153 BC. In the second century AD, the Annii gained the Empire itself; Marcus Aurelius was descended from this family.
The gens Asinia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome, which rose to prominence during the first century BC. The first member of this gens mentioned in history is Herius Asinius, commander of the Marrucini during the Social War. The Asinii probably obtained Roman citizenship in the aftermath of this conflict, as they are mentioned at Rome within a generation, and Gaius Asinius Pollio obtained the consulship in 40 BC.
The gens Memmia was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. The first member of the gens to achieve prominence was Gaius Memmius Gallus, praetor in 172 BC. From the period of the Jugurthine War to the age of Augustus they contributed numerous tribunes to the Republic.
The gens Norbana was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned toward the beginning of the first century BC, and from then to the end of the second century AD they filled a number of magistracies and other important posts, first in the late Republic, and subsequently under the emperors.
The gens Oppia was an ancient Roman family, known from the first century of the Republic down to imperial times. The gens may originally have been patrician, as they supplied priestesses to the College of Vestals at a very early date, but all of the Oppii known to history were plebeians. None of them obtained the consulship until imperial times.
The gens Plautia, sometimes written Plotia, was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens first appear in history in the middle of the fourth century BC, when Gaius Plautius Proculus obtained the consulship soon after that magistracy was opened to the plebeian order by the lex Licinia Sextia. Little is heard of the Plautii from the period of the Samnite Wars down to the late second century BC, but from then to imperial times they regularly held the consulship and other offices of importance. In the first century AD, the emperor Claudius, whose first wife was a member of this family, granted patrician status to one branch of the Plautii.
The gens Romilia or Romulia was a minor patrician family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are mentioned in the time of the Roman monarchy, and again in the first century of the Republic. Titus Romilius Rocus Vaticanus was consul in 455 BC, and subsequently a member of the first Decemvirate in 451. From this time, the Romilii fell into obscurity for centuries, only to appear briefly in imperial times. A number of Romilii are known from inscriptions.
The gens Trebellia, occasionally written Trebelia, was a plebeian family at ancient Rome. Members of this gens are first mentioned at the time of the Second Punic War, but they played little role in the Roman state until the final decades of the Republic. Trebellii are known from inscriptions in Delos and in Athens between 150 and 89 BC. The most illustrious of the Trebellii was Marcus Trebellius Maximus, who attained the consulship in AD 55.
Historiam in adulescentia hortante T. Livio, Sulpicio vero Flavo etiam adiuvante, scribere adgressus est. ('In his youth he began to write a history under the encouragement of Titus Livius and with the help of Sulpicius Flavus.').
Brutum et Cassium laudavisse dicor, quorum res gestas cum plurimi composuerint nemo sine honore memoravit. Ti. Livius, eloquentiae ac fidei praeclarus in primis, Cn. Pompeium tantis laudibus tulit, ut Pompeianum eum Augustus appellaret: neque id amicitiae eorum offecit.
| Library resources about |