Titus Livius: The Early History of Rome Essay

Titus Livius: The Early History of Rome Essay

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In Titus Livius’, The Early History of Rome, Livy takes on the task of documenting Rome’s early history and some of the famous individuals who help contribute to the ‘greatness’ of Rome. Livy dedicates an entire portion of his writing to describe the reigns of the first seven kings of Rome; all who influence the formation and governance of Rome in some way. However, of the seven kings in early Roman history, King Romulus and King Numa Pompilius achieved godlike worship and high esteem from their fellow Romans. While both highly important and respected figures in Rome’s history, the personalities and achievements of King Romulus and King Numa Pompilius are complete opposites of one another. Despite the differences found in each king and of their rule over Rome, both Romulus and Numa Pompilius have a tremendous influence in the prosperity and expansion of Rome in its early days.
While Romulus is credited for exemplifying many of Rome;’s fundamental values, his reign over Rome is one that is infamous for its abundant bloodshed, violence against Rome’s neighbouring cities and demonstrations of his accumulated power. In comparison to Romulus’ rule, King Numa Pompilius reign is filled with undisturbed peace and coexistence in Rome and its neighbouring communities. Romulus often resorts to utilizing methods like violence or deceit to achieve his aspirations for the glory of Rome. One of the very first of Romulus’ acts of violence “to obtain sole power” (Livy 37) is to brutally murder his own twin brother, Remus in an angry fit of rage. The murder of Remus is a reflection of Romulus’ violent, ruthless nature and demonstrates the drastic measures he will go to achieve ultimate power. “To increase the dignity and impressiveness of his [ki...


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...he mob under Romulus are finally able to prosper and transform into the future civilization that Rome becomes later.
While the contributions of Romulus are often associated to violence and bloodshed, King Romulus is still reverently recalled by many of the citizens in Rome for forming the foundation of their city. Likewise, the achievements of Numa Pompilius are fondly recollected because they instil many of Rome’s domestic traditions and spiritual monuments in its early history. Without the contributions from King Romulus and King Numa Pompilius, who each giving the people of Rome something vital to refine and redevelop after their deaths, made it possible for Rome to become one of the most powerful and influential city in all of Italy.


Works Cited

Livius, Titus. The Early History of Rome. Trans. Aubrey De Sélincourt. London: Penguin Group, 2002. N. pag. Print.

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