Livy Book 1
Livy Book 1 HST-316U-GLA: ROMAN HISTORY
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Grace Hartley on Saturday April 9, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HST-316U-GLA: ROMAN HISTORY at Portland State University taught by Dr. Armantrout in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views. For similar materials see Roman History 303 in History at Portland State University.
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Date Created: 04/09/16
Ancient Rome Livy Book 1(TitusLivius is an ancient author and historian) Preface: Offers reasons for writing the annals; that even though they might seem in vain, it’s worth it to write about Rome because Rome has a ‘divine paternity’. People will be able to learn how to be a nation from what the Romans have done in the past. Book 1: ● After the Trojan war, most Trojans are killed but two are spared with their groups of men; Aeneas and Antenor. They had been all for returning Hellen and they were hospitable, so they were allowed to live. They both wandered to find new homes, and made partnerships and set up cities. Our focus is on Aeneas. ● Aeneas pillaged the Laurentine area, and the king of the native Aborigines, Latinus, went to meet the strangers. When he heard their refugee story, he felt for them and they formed a treaty and Aeneas married his daughter, Lanvinia. They establish a new city, Lavinium. ● They soon get in a war with Turnus, Lavinia’s previous engagement. Though Turnus is defeated, Latinus is killed and Turnus forms an alliance with the Rutulians. Mezentine, the Rutulian king, doesn’t like how big the Laurentine city is getting it’s threatening. ● To keep his new group loyal, Aeneas names theLatinsand they band together and attack their new enemies, taking the fight to them. Despite the power of the opponent, they are victorious, though Aeneas dies. ● Ascanius, Aeneas’ son, is too young to rule for awhile so his mom watches the throne till he matures. Only thirty years after the defeat of the Rutulians/Etruscans, Ascanius establishes a new city ‘Alba Longa’. Latins are powerful, and the Tiber river serves as an effective barrier between them and the Etruscans. ● A few generations pas([details only if you want the Roman Foundation Myth:] and a descendant of Ascanius banishes his older brother for the throne, kills his nephews, and makes his niece a Vestal Virgin. She’s impregnated by the war god, Mars, and has twins (Remus and Romulus). The enraged king throws them in a river in a basket and they wash ashore, where a she wolf allows them to drink her milk. A shepherd finds them and raises them, and they become strapping young men very adventurous. Their adventures take them to their banished grandfather, their identities are revealed by the perceptive shepherd, and the reunited family kill the king who had taken the throne. The twins decide to build a city where they were raised, and in a quarrel over who will rule the city, Romulus kills Re and the descendant of Aeneas, Romulus, establishes and rules Rome. ○ Notice their selfimposed story of their founding is basically an over the top story about aggressive kids who were fed by a wolf and fought each other to the death for power. Rome has a high opinion of itself as powerful and warlike. ● Romulus creates laws and establishes religion with both Greek and Etruscan influence and the city grows basically populated by the riff raff and wanderers of Italy. It’s almost entirely men, and they need women to reproduce/survive as a city, so they throw a festival for their neighbors to attend and abduct the women (mostly Sabine women [Sabines are neighboring peoples of Rome]). ● The indignant neighbors declare war and are a bit slow to unite so the Caeninensians attack first, and their attack is scattered. Romulus defeats them, then follows them back to their city and took it over. ● His wife, Hersilia, convinces him upon his return to let the kinsmen of the abducted women to join the city, and the city grows in unity and population. With the attack of the Sabines, the abducted Sabine women appeal to their kinsmen and abductors/husbands to cease fighting. There is new unity and Rome is further strengthened. ● A few neighbors are threatened by Rome’s growing power (the Fidinae and Veientes [kinsman to the Etruscans). And Rome not only defends itself, but once Rome is secure from threat they immediately attack their enemy. When the Fidenates attack their city, they protect the city then ambush the Fidenates, following them back to their city and forcing their way in. ○ Livy cites these achievements and his founding of Rome as reasons to believe Romulus is descended from Gods. ● After these victories, Romulus is in front of his armies, reviewing them, when he is enveloped by a thunderstorm and taken to heaven.The distraught people are only soothed when an authoritative city figure tells them he had a divine visit from Romulus who told him that Rome was the most powerful city of all time, and it was meant to rule the world. ○ Notice Rome won’t even admit it’s founder would have a natural death that he was basically immortal and the only reason he isn’t still here is because he was physically taken to heaven. ● The people are given the choice to elect a new king, and they elect a wise, just man Numa Pompilius the first elected king of Rome. He makes peace with all surrounding kingdoms and reinforces the religious beliefs and practices of the people mainly he does this because he doesn’t want people to become idle with the absence of war, so he creates involved rituals, rites, practices, etc . . . So Rome is empowered by war, then peace. ● The next king, Tullus Hostilius, is very warlike and ambitious. He attacks the Albans, but they make peace because the Etruscans could take advantage of their being distracted and weakened by war. The peace doesn’t last long, and an Alban general engineers a war to weaken all his neighbors, including Rome, in which Alba feigns alliances with both sides. Tullus becomes privy to this after a bloody battle and has him killed. Rome absorbs the Alban population. Later, the kingdom is affected by illness and Tullus is broken by sickness he becomes religious as opposed to war like. ● Ancus Marcus, the next king, is a mix of Numa and Tullus he wants peace for his people, but he also wants to expand the Roman dominion. He establishes a more formal and systematic imperialism, and leaves wars up to a vote with a council. In this way he expands Rome in basically all directions, adding to the land and population. As a result, the first bridge over the TIber river is built to connect with the city opposite, and the city wall is expanded. ● Rome shifts into it’s Early republic when their final king proves tyrannical and ill fitted for rule, so they set up a system (made for the aristocracy) of consuls, the prequel to the Senate. Why do we use Livy if his work is not based in fact? Though Faulkner describes Livy as a lazy historian and a ‘hack’ (Neil Faulknrome; Empire of the Eagles 7), one has to be impressed that Livy can be relevantly discussed at all two thousand years after his death. Of course, Livy could be preserved for antiquities’ sake alone he makes one of the earliest attempts at recording past historical events, and that in itself gives the work value worth conserving. Even if his early history is not based in fact, as he states in his preface, the language, presentation, and tone of the writing will invariably reveal something of the time in which it was written (mainly something of its conventional literary styles and academic practices), which is of certain value to historians able to interpret it correctly. However, it still begs the question: is the actual content arly History of Romeof any worth to modern historians? To answer this question, it is important to understand the purpose of the historian any historian that seeks a comprehensive understanding of Rome will not only value veritable information, but the cultural and subjective as well. Clearly Livy would be of no use for objectively ‘real’ information; Livy is only a bit less harsh than Falkner concerning the validity of his recounting, describing iore fitted to adorn the creations of the poet than the authentic records of the historian’. Livy had little more than myths and word of mouth to write about events that took place seven hundred years prior to his writing them down. In class, we observed archaeological evidence revealing more precise, verifiable information concerning the lives of early Roman citizens and their ancestors; tombs, preserved artwork (namely ceramics), and the foundations of homes give us objective information concerning dates and locations, even cultural influence between neighboring peoples. These serve as factual sources for historians, but calling Livy useless functions under the assumption that historians are only concerned with understanding the past factually. While the Roman Foundation myth is by no means credible, the very drama that exposes it as false illustrates the high esteem in which Rome held itself. Even if the powerful imagery of the children suckling a wolf or the deathless ascension to heaven didn’t give away the Roman ego, Livy explicitly states that ‘. . . if any nation ought to be allowed to claim a sacred origin and point back to a divine paternity that nation is Rome’. The conquests and imperial activity of Rome are evidenced in their cultural influence throughout Europe and parts of Asia the distinctive artistic and architectural marks of the empire expose their expansion in ancient Italy. But even if we know where they went and what they did there, it makes all the difference to know why. This leads to the true value of Livy. Rome did not expand the way it did solely for economic, political, or even social reasons. Rome believed itself to have a divine right to rule; the benefits of being in power were not as motivating as their belief in their destiny to have power. This cultural self image and pervasive pride is a key trait of Rome and a key factor in understanding the Roman identity. Not only does Livy explicitly describe the Roman ego in his preface, but in writing down myths as opposed to facts, he records the widely held beliefs of Roman people at that time. These beliefs are profound and theatrical in their depiction of Rome, reflecting the reverence in which the people hold their own origins, their own values. It’s this spirit of Rome that Livy captures, completing the objective with the subjective, giving the facts and evidence life.
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