Essay on Titus Livius ( Livy )

Essay on Titus Livius ( Livy )

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Titus Livius (Livy) was a Roman historian that was born in the year 59 B.C.E. and died in 17 A.D. (Ogilvie). During that time Rome was starting to become a world power. Julius Caesar was the dictator and, under his rule, the Roman republic expanded tremendously. Not only did Julius Caesar successfully take over Italy, but he also conquered major threats to the republic at the time, such as Spain and Gaul (Roman-Empire). Following his assassination in 44 B.C.E., the rule was passed to his great-nephew Augustus, who broadened Rome 's reach even further into places such as Egypt and parts of Europe (PBS). However, these and other Roman achievements would have possibly been forgotten had it not been for Livy. Titus Livius played a critical role in Roman history.
During his lifetime, Livy spent most of his time writing working on what would come to be known as History of Rome from its foundation. This was a 142 volume book that covered the history of Rome as far back as the fall of Troy in 1184 B.C. (Reed). However, only a fourth of his writings remain (Encyclopedia). Although nearly three-quarters of the original text were lost/destroyed, of the books that made it, there are still significantly valuable stories that can be found within them. For example, there is the story of The Rape of Lucretia. In essence, it is a story about a man who was the son of the king of Rome at the time, Sextus Tarquinius, raping the wife of Collatinus Tarquinius, Lucretia (Novaroma). In the text, it states how Sextus had gone to the house of Conlatinus and returned several days later in order to rape Lucretia "He was well received and given the hospitality of the house, and maddened with love, he waited until he was sure everyone else was asleep. Then he...


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...y" (Halsall). For example, if their demands were not met after thirty days, then they could declare war, "If the persons he demands are not surrendered after thirty days, he declares war," (Halsall). This set the precedent for how Rome would declare war for centuries to come.
The importance of Livy and his writings is undeniable. There were many historians that came before him, but none came close to being as specific and detailed as he was. His writings gave the Roman people more knowledge about their past and even influenced prince Claudius to become an author as well (Lendering). His writings also set a certain standard for the Roman people. For example, in his story of Lucretia, he is implying that women should value everything over themselves in the name of honor. To this day, it serves as a detailed account of Roman history and the standards/values they held.

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