Livy's Exemplary History by Jane D. Chaplin
By Jane D. Chaplin
The concept it really is attainable to benefit from background is attention-grabbing, but additionally complicated. What precisely are you able to examine from the earlier? Does it repeat itself? If it does, how will you hinder repetition of evil and confirm repetition of fine? Livy's historical past of Rome is all approximately humans studying or failing to benefit from the previous so in lots of methods his paintings is a longer exploration of this challenge. during this booklet Dr Chaplin starts off from Livy's programmatic declare that background deals examples of excellent and undesirable behavior. the place earlier reports have fascinated with the which means of exemplary episodes and characters in isolation, this therapy strains the best way old figures attempt to interpret the earlier to their virtue. In doing so, the publication demonstrates Livy's information of the transferring relevance of heritage and argues narrative equipped round exempla allowed Livy, poised among the cave in of the Republic and the root of the Empire, to make the Romans' prior significant for his or her destiny.
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Additional resources for Livy's Exemplary History
6). 79 See Astin (1978) 221±2 for the argument that Cato intended the Origines to be useful. 22 Introduction: Livy's Use of Exempla eius factum habuere; at tribuno militum parua laus pro factis relicta, qui idem fecerat atque rem seruauerat. Gellius concludes that Cato's personal testimony was his way of celebrating the courage of the tribune: hanc Q. Caedici tribuni uirtutem M. 80 On Gellius' interpretation then, Cato saw his written history as glorifying Caedicius in the same way that the Greek tributes honoured Leonidas, and this kind of authorial appraisal may be the kind of expansion Cato had in mind when he disparaged the plain record of events.
13. 2). 6 After the battle, the other consul, L. 7 As this formal piece of closure indicates, Livy crafted the episode carefully. 8 Above all, the episode explores the relationship between mortal and divine control of human aairs. 9 When the Romans ®nd themselves trapped by the Samnites, they are physically and mentally paralysed. The inactive consuls and the despairing talk of the men help to emphasize the Romans' passivity throughout the section (2. 11±3. 4); at one point the Romans even compare themselves to beasts driven into a trap (5.
Chapter 2 focuses on speakers and audiences, as their roles emerge from a consideration of the Roman defeat at Cannae as an exemplum. From this discussion it will become apparent that audiences do not always accept the guidelines provided by exempla, and the third chapter centres on places where Livy's Romans opt not to model their behaviour on the lessons of history. The most complex cases are debates between Romans in which contemporary concerns outweigh the authority of history. These debates point up a diculty in the apparent meaning of Preface 10: if Livy's goal is to show the value of the past, why does he depict people rejecting it?