What is known of Rome’s early history today is relatively restricted. This is because a majority of documents from that era of time have been destroyed or lost. The only reliable source of information on Rome’s early history was Titus Livius Patavium, otherwise known as Livy, with his piece, The Early History of Rome. He writes on the history of Rome in order to preserve her older glory, and provide a warning to be aware of the repetition of past mistakes.
Livy’s preservation of Rome’s history is one of the best‒and one of the few‒Roman historical documents to survive from the last century BCE to today. He writes to preserve the history of what once was a great nation. Livy believed that Rome was undergoing a conscientious devolution, so he invited those who may have been part of the problem to take a closer look and watch the nation collapse upon itself through its early history:
“I invite the reader’s attention to the much more serious consideration of the kind of lives our ancestors lived, of who were the men, and what the means both in politics and war by which Rome’s power was first acquired and subsequently expanded; I would then have him trace the process of our moral decline, to watch, first, the sinking of the foundations of morality as the old teaching was allowed to lapse, then the rapidly increasing disintegration, then the final collapse of the whole edifice, and the dark dawning of our modern day when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them” (Livy 29).
He feared that as time went on, Rome would grow more remote from the glories of antiquity and eventually break down under its own failure to look back at history for guidance. A nation’s future rests upon its adherence to the l...
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...sed the people’s angst. Later on in Rome’s history, a similar affair occurred in which the Republic was dissolved into the Empire. The second change in Roman government shows that history repeats itself, and it was sure to do so again, providing warning to the leaders of the Roman Empire against falling under the weight of their pride.
Livy’s rendition of the early history of Rome has lasted over two thousand years, and proved to be entertaining as well as informational. With evidence that history repeats itself, and by showing the evolution of Roman values, The Early History of Rome proves to be a long lasting and valuable addition to the history of the world. The way in which Rome gained her land, people, and fame is brilliantly preserved through Livy’s creation. With the thorough account of Rome’s early history, a warning against forgetting past errors is shown.
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