Livy: Reconstructing Early Rome

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Some critcs of the Roman historian Livy (59 BC - AD 17) have dismissed his work as a compendium of stale narratives and conventioanl attitudes. In this book Miles attempts to reveal in Livy's history a creative interplay between traditional stories, contemporary ideological assumptions, and the historian's own perspective from the margins of Roman aristocracy. Drawing on a range of critical approaches, Miles considers Livy's stance as a historian, the ways in which he reworked his sources, and his interpretation of such historical phenomena as recurrence, continuity, and change. He focuses on the foundation stories with which Livy begins his history, paying particular attention to the stories of the abduction of the Sabine women and of Romulus and Remus.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A brilliant and convincing analysis. This lucid study . . . takes its place beside other basic works. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice

"Miles's book is well informed by an excellent knowledge of Roman culture and literature for the period ca. 60–20 B.C."—Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"A very important work. Miles goes further than his predecessors, giving us a Livy who is not merely in control of the structure of his history as a whole and of its individual episodes, but one who demonstrates originality as a thinker and interpreter."—Judith Ginsburg, Cornell University

"In this challenging book Miles argues that Livy's picture of early Rome is a reflection of the ideals, tensions, and concerns of his own day. Rome coped with changes by casting them as continuities with the past; Livy in his idiosyncratic reinterpretation sees the contradictions, ambiguities, and positive lessons in those continuities."—T. James Luce, Jr., Princeton University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801484261
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 History and Memory in Livy's Narrative 8
2 The Cycle of Roman History in Livy's First Pentad 75
3 Maiores, Conditores, and Livy's Perspective on the Past 110
4 Foundation and Ideology in Livy's Narrative of Romulus and Remus 137
5 The First Roman Marriage and the Theft of the Sabine Women 179
Conclusion 220
Works Cited 227
Index of Ancient Passages Cited 239
General Index 247
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