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Livy's Political Philosophy
Power and Personality in Early Rome

$28.99 (C)

  • Date Published: March 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107667945

$ 28.99 (C)
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  • This volume explores the political implications of the first five books of Livy's celebrated history of Rome, challenging the common perception of the author as an apolitical moralist. Ann Vasaly argues that Livy intended to convey through the narration of particular events crucial lessons about the interaction of power and personality, including the personality of the Roman people as a whole. These lessons demonstrate the means by which the Roman republic flourished in the distant past and by which it might be revived in Livy's own corrupt time. Written at the precise moment when Augustus' imperial autocracy was replacing the republican system that had existed in Rome for almost 500 years, the stories of the first pentad offer invaluable insight into how republics and monarchies work. Vasaly's innovative study furthers the integration in recent scholarship of the literary brilliance of Livy's text and the seriousness of its purpose.

    • Reveals that Livy used historiography in a new way, which is only exampled in poetic texts, such as Virgil's Aeneid
    • Combines a literary study of the text with an exploration of political philosophy
    • Illustrates the extent to which Livy drew on the ideas and language of Cicero
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107667945
    • length: 221 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 170 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: Livy and domestic politics
    1. The historiographical 'archaeology'
    2. Livy's preface: on reading the first pentad
    3. Monarchy and the education of the Roman people
    4. Tyranny and the tyrannical temperament
    5. On leadership and oratory
    6. The Roman people and the necessity of discord
    Conclusion: Livy's 'republic'.

  • Author

    Ann Vasaly, Boston University
    Ann Vasaly is Associate Professor of Classical Studies at Boston University. She is the author of Representations: Images of the World in Ciceronian Oratory (1993).

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