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Historical Events in “Ab Urbe Condita” by Livy Report (Assessment)

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The book Ab Urbe Condita was written by an eminent ancient Roman writer, or it is better to say, chronologist, Livy. The historical description of events that preceded the formation of the powerful Roman Empire is outlined to have an audience of all interested in history people. It is so because the theme provides the data being unique and applicable in an understanding of the sequence of events illuminated in the paper. The author was intended to show and describe in detail the ancient facts of state formation beginning with Aeneas and then Romulus and Remus and other dominant figures in the historical framework of ancient times. Livy was inclined to make a reader familiar with the direct succession of times, events, and persons playing a great role for Ancient Rome. A descriptive character of the narration in the book serves to cultivate literacy and current knowledge in this field for contemporary people of Livy’s time as well as for today’s mankind. The story has no definite time marking, but a reader can simply judge the time parallels observed in the book. So the story concerns the times “after the capture of Troy” (Livy and Roberts 1). However, in some places of the reading time limits seem to be blurred, when the event description touches upon the present and future factual background. Though, such manner of writing is appropriate to Livy, because he himself lived and wrote this book long after its publication. The book represents a chronicle represented in the form of a document. That is why there is less original thought by the author, just facts and logical assumptions on various descriptions of time prospects and people living at that period.


The author by narrating the events of ancient times provides a full description of how the sequence of significant figures in ancient history impacted the further development of contemporary Italy. Here the mythological manner of depiction is prescribed with details of deities and their role for this or that character in the book. In times of Aeneas, the author provides a story of how Aeneas acted while struggling with aborigines and their King Latinus (Livy and Roberts 1). The depiction goes farer to the times of Ascanius. At this time the author intends a reader to feel and value the marvelous and courageous deeds of Aeneas for making Etruria strong and united in its territorial width before the foundation of Alba:

So great was the power of Etruria that the renown of her people had filled not only the inland parts of Italy but also the coastal districts along the whole length of the land from the Alps to the Straits of Messina (Livy and Roberts 2).

Then the story of Romulus and Remus leads a reader to the pre-historic events concerned with Rome formation. In this respect, the author underlines the significance of how the characters acted under different difficulties concerned with the sharing of the territory. Here is a gorgeous design of relationships provision between main players in the ancient world. The state of perpetual danger of war is implied in the description as of the rational approach of ancient rulers. Thus, the narration about Rome’s formation and its growth afterward is interrupted by the story about Hercules and his power. A mythological touch is used here to show current divine participation in the historical development of Rome. Furthermore, the so-called cooperation of Evander and Hercules fell into two families of Poitii and Pinarii which were invited to make the first sacrifice in favor of a new city, known as Rome. Moreover, the story is outlined with the political power formation due to the actions of Latins since the times of Aeneas.

Analysis and Interpretation

All in all, the author provides a brief estimation of how things went when the world was at the beginning of civilization growth on the territory of the Adriatic and Aegean seas. The only thing as f inappropriate disclosure of the theme facts concerns the idea that Livy provides severed facts which without previous learning can appear strange for the audience. In this respect, while touching upon this reading promotes a predominant message for awareness of ancient history and mythology, in particular. However, the document has a vital significance. It shows not only the time prospects of the events and figures involved in the pre-Roman development of civilization, but also it urges to lay emphasis on the main values in the ancient world, which remained the same in the time of Livy up to the present days. It contemplates the concepts of courage, wisdom, beneficence, love for the country, and devotion to the people to which one belongs. The book also expanded my knowledge in the relations of each from observed characters and their contributions to modern society. It is felt in the extract from the book stating the following thought: “As nothing could unite them into one political body but the observance of common laws and customs” (Livy and Roberts 6). My personal attitude toward the document is positive due to its additional significance to knowledge about the ancient world which I possess at the moment.

Works cited

Livy. Ab Urbe Condita. Rev. Canon Roberts, trans. Book I, Ch. I-VIII, LVII-LX, 2001.

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