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Lecture

Livy Book 1


Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA233H1
Professor
Erik Gunderson

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CLA233: Week 1: Lecture 2
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Who was a Roman Citizen?
• Originally: Farmers, shepherds, and craftsmen on the banks of the Tiber
• People who immigrated to the city.
• Members of colonies established in Italy and abroad
• Members of foreign communities to whom citizenship was granted.
• Soldiers who had served for 25 years.
• After 212 AD: basically everyone in the empire.
-‘citizenship’ more so a legal title than something held by birth or bloodline
What doesRome mean?
• Early: a central Italian city with a special from of government: a senatorial oligarchy
• Later: the seat of a military monarchy and a vast and expanding empire.
• Also:
• A military power with military interests
• A colonial power
• An economic power
The ages of Roman history
• Early: from the settlement to the foundation of the republic (Second millenium BCE to
500 BCE)
• The Republican period: 500 BCE - 30 BC
• The age of emperors: 30 BCE - 476CE
The early period subdivided
• The iron age (900-700 BCE)
• The orientalizing (i.e.eastern”) period (700-580 BCE)
• The Archaic period (580-480 BCE)
The Republican period
• Early (500-287BCE): in 287 BCE legislation passed by the commoners becomes
binding on the elites as well. “Two cities in one before then.
-patricians not necessarily bound by same laws as plebians, two sets of laws
• Classical (287-133BCE): relatively stable and expansive.
-lots of war and expansion
-considered ‘golden age of Rome, lots of heroes
-morally uncomplicated era to them, not necessarily the case that it was actually morally
uncomplicated, just perceived to be
• Revolutionary (133-30BCE): a series of social and political crises.
-relatively bloody, blood in the public space
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-rise of imperial period, aristocrats replaced by imperial Monarchy
LIVY’S STORY OF EARLY ROME (Book One)
-not the only one, lots of other people of written histories (i.e. Aeneas, Dionysius of
Halicarnassus)
-Livy writing roughly around 30 BCE and into the Common Era (CE)
-most of the story of Early Rome is based on legend rather than a recounting of facts
-themes more important than precise recounting of events
Livy:
-born in the provinces, like most Roman historians was not actually born in Rome
-first prominent historian who was not politically active, usually historians were
prominent politicians
-writing in 29 BCE
-wrote 142 books total, all of Roman history ending in his own lifetime
-historical basis in early novels is slim but themes are HUGELY important
-each book works in narrative arcs: beginning, middle, end
-stories about great individuals and abstract forces (voracity, piety)
Preface:
-people more interested in ‘sick’ contemporary Rome than in the ‘golden age’ of heroes
in early Rome; he’s going back before the sickness
-more of a poet than what we traditionally think of as a historian, focus was not on truth
and falsehood
-connection between knowledge and power; power makes knowledge; Romans in power,
Roman perspective
-focus on character and morality; life and morals; history of moral decay as opposed to
history of events?
-events in Livy’s history are examples that illustrate themes, emphasis is on the themes
-moral/ethical truth= higher truth
Aeneas vs. Latinus
-Aeneas and Antenor escaped massacre at Troy; Antenor sailed into furthest part of
Adriatic accompanied by some Enetians; Aeneas became a wanderer with an army of
Trojans who began to plunder neighbourhoods; came to territory of Aborigines and their
king Latinus, Aborigines took up arms to defend their city
-two versions of how the story unfolded:
1. –the two fought, Latinus defeated in battle, made peace and a family alliance with
Aeneas
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