(Titus Livius)


Livy is one of the literary greats often associated with the Golden Age of Latin literature. His great work History of Rome From Its Foundation, consisted of 142 volumes, written over a period of 45 years, and covering nearly 800 years of Roman history. The period covered is from the age of Romulus to the death of Drusus in 9 B.C., although most of the books from the later years have been lost. Livy's account of the kingdom and early republic and some accounts from the Punic Wars are still extant, and are the best original sources available for those eras. Many of his other works have survived in abridged form. Livy was a romantic historian who wrote with a view of glorifying the heritage of Rome, so he is not considered accurate in all cases, but his histories, nonetheless, include much interesting detail.

Very little is known about Livy's private life, although his lifespan was very nearly contemporaneous with Augustus Caesar. He was therefore a boy during the age of Julius Caesar, and a young man during the civil wars following his assassination. He resided in Padua, a Roman city in Cisalpine Gaul, and though he was known and respected by Augustus, he was not a member of the inner circle of Maecenas. Livy was also acquainted with Claudius in his younger days and encouraged him to write his own histories. Livy published the first five books of History of Rome From Its Foundation, in 26 B.C. and worked continuously on his masterwork, publishing a few chapters each year until his death over forty years later.

Key events during the life of livy:

26 BC
Published the first five books of History of Rome From Its Foundation.
  Continued to publish about 3 books per year for subsequent 40 years.

Book Links
Stories From Livy  by  Alfred J. Church

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