Livy (Livius Andronicus). See Andronp cus, Livius.

Livy #1

Livy (Titus Liyius), a Roman historian, born in Patavium (Padua) in 59 B. C, died A. D. 17. All that is known concerning his life is that he resided during the greater part of it in Home, that he was married and had at least one son and one daughter, that he enjoyed the patronage and friendship of Augustus, that by his advice the future emperor Claudius was induced in early life to attempt historical composition, that his reputation as an author was so widely extended that a Spaniard went from Cadiz to Rome solely for the purpose of seeing him, and that he returned to his native town some time before his death. Besides his history, which is his great work, he wrote epistles, dialogues, and a treatise on philosophy, not a fragment of which remains. His history of Rome, termed by himself Annates, was in 142 books, and embraced the period from the foundation of the city to the death of Drusus in 9 B. C. Only 35 of these books have been preserved; but we have dry epitomes of the whole, compiled by an unknown author, probably not much later than the volumes which they abridge, which are valuable as furnishing a complete index to the whole period of Roman history, and as being the sole authority for some periods.

The original work has been divided into decades, in groups of 10 books each, from the circumstance that the 1st, 21st, and 31st books mark the beginning of important epochs, and are opened with a short introduction. This division was not introduced until after the 6th century. The 1st decade is preserved entire, extending to the virtual subjugation of the Sam-nites in 294 B. C. The 2d decade, embracing the period between 294 and 219, is altogether lost. The 3d decade, comprehending the period of the second Punic war, from 219 to 201, is entire. The 15 books which form the 4th decade and the first half of the 5th, and comprehend the period from the conclusion of the second Punic war to the conquest of Macedonia and the triumph of AEmilius Paulus in 167, are entire. The remaining books are altogether lost, with the exception of unimportant fragments, and of a few chapters of the 91st book, concerning the fortunes of Serto-rius. The books which are now extant were brought to light at various dates from the revival of learning to the year 1615, the earliest editions having included only 29 books.

Many of the fragments have been since discovered, and two of the most interesting of them were first published by Niebuhr (Berlin, 1820). Great exertions were made by Leo X. and by other potentates as late as Louis XIV. to recover the lost decades. Perfect copies were affirmed to exist at Iona in the Hebrides, in Chios, in the monastery of Mt. Athos, and in the seraglio of the sultan; there is reason to believe that such a prize was destroyed at the siege of Magdeburg in 1631, and there is little doubt that the manuscript containing at least the whole of the 5th decade was once in existence at Lausanne. The pursuit, however, always proved a vain one, and has long since been abandoned. The singular beauty of Livy's style, his easy, graceful, and energetic narrative, his skill in giving full relief to the leading features without neglecting minor incidents, and in maintaining a constant interest while relating a long series of dull events, must strike every reader. His characterizations and his descriptions are alike animated. His speeches, while they have been admired as models of eloquence, have been criticised as too polished and rhetorical to be suited either to the characters to whom they are ascribed or to the audiences to which they are represented as addressed.

It does not appear to have been his aim to write a critical history, but rather to give his countrymen a clear and pleasing narrative, and to exalt the fame of the Roman people. He moulded the rude records and fables of the older chronicles into a symmetrical and somewhat poetical form. He never displayed a diligent and painstaking care in consulting authorities and weighing conflicting testimonies. He never ascended to the original sources, tested the records by the monuments of remote antiquity, investigated the antiquities and traditions of the various Italian tribes, or inquired how far the rites and customs of his own time might explain the institutions of the past. He makes mistakes also from lack of a thorough acquaintance with the military art, jurisprudence, political economy, and even geography. These deficiencies, which result in many contradictions and inconsistencies, are not due to want of good faith, but to his indifference to historical thoroughness, and his desire for literary rather than critical elaboration. With the exception of a general tendency to eulogize the heroism of his countrymen and the military glory of Rome, he seems to have written with liberality and impartiality.

Quintillian twice mentions a certain " Patavinity " in his style, but scholars have been unable to discover to what he alludes. The best editions are by Draken-borch (7 vols., Leyden, 1738-'46; new ed., 15 vols., Stuttgart, 1820-'28), Alschefski (Berlin 1841 et seq.), Bekker (3 vols., London, 1840), Twiss (4 vols., Oxford, 1840-'41), Madvig (Copenhagen, 1861 et seq.), and Frey (Leipsic, 1865 et seq.). There are English translations by Philemon Holland (London, 1600; best ed., 1686) and Baker (1797), one published by John Hayes (1744-'5), and a literal one forming 4 vols, in Bonn's "Classical Library" (1850).