Dawn of the Roman Empire

ISBN-10: 0199555680
ISBN-13: 9780199555680
Edition: 2009
List price: $14.95 Buy it from $9.84
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Description: 'With a single announcement from a herald, all the cities of Greece and Asia had been set free; only an intrepid soul could formulate such an ambitious project, only phenomenal valour and fortune bring it to fruition. (Livy, 33. 33) Thus Livy  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.95
Copyright year: 2009
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/4/2009
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 656
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.50" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

'With a single announcement from a herald, all the cities of Greece and Asia had been set free; only an intrepid soul could formulate such an ambitious project, only phenomenal valour and fortune bring it to fruition. (Livy, 33. 33) Thus Livy describes the reaction to the Roman commander T.Q. Flamininus' proclamation of the freedom of Greece at the Isthmian games near Corinth in 196 BC. Half a century later Greece was annexed as a province of the Romans who burned the ancient city of Corinth to the ground. Books 31 to 40 of Livy's history chart Rome's emergence as an imperial nation and the Romans tempestuous involvement with Greece, Macedonia and the near East in the opening decades of the second century BC; they are our most important source for Graeco-Roman relations in that century. Livy's dramatic narrative includes the Roman campaigns in Spain and against the Gallic tribes of Northern Italy; the flight of Hannibal from Carthage and his death in the East; the debate on the Oppian law; and the Bacchanalian Episode. This is the only unabridged English translation of Books 31 to 40.

Very little is known about the life of Livy (Titus Livius) other than that he was born in Patavium (modern-day Padua) and lived most of his life in Rome. It is clear from his writings that he was familiar with ancient Greek and Latin literature and was, in fact, influenced by Cicero. Although Livy produced several works on philosophy and literary criticism, his masterpiece and life work of 40 years was his "History of Rome", which covers a vast sweep of Rome's history from its origins to Livy's own time. Of the original 142 books that made up the work, only 35 are extant---Books 1--10 and 20--45---which treat the years 753--293 b.c. and 218--167 b.c. Fragments of others, however, do remain, and summaries exist of all but one. When he wrote the history, Livy, who extolled the virtues of discipline, piety, and patriotism, believed that Rome was in a state of decline and moral decay. Wealth and luxury, he wrote, had led to "the dark dawning of our modern day, when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them." According to modern standards, Livy was neither an impressive nor critical historian. He perpetuated many inaccuracies. This, however, does not greatly minimize the value of his writing. His acumen lay in his vibrant style, his keen eye for character, and his gift for dramatic composition.

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