Livy in Roman Biography

Liv'y, [Lat. Liv'ius,] (Titus,) [It. Tito Livio, tee'to lee've-o ; Fr. Tite Live, tit lev,] a celebrated Roman historian, was born at Patavium (now Padua) in 59 B.C. Ancient writers furnish us few particulars of his life, except that he was patronized by Augustus and became a person of consideration at court. He appears to have passed the greater part of his time in Rome. Niebuhr favours the opinion that he was in early life a teacher of rhetoric. His great history of Rome, from the origin of the city to the year 9 B.C., was' called by him " Annates," and was comprised in one hundred and forty-two books, of which thirty-five have come down to us entire,-viz., the first, third, and fourth decades, and five books of the fifth decade. We have also epitomes, by an unknown hand, of one hundred and forty books. The first book was probably published or written between 29 and 25 B.C. His dialogues on philosophy and politics, which, according to some writers, procured him the favour of Augustus, are not now extant. The great popularity of his history must lie ascribed to the excellence and beauty of his style and his wonderful powers of description. The numerous orations by which the history is diversified are models of eloquence. "The painting of the narrative," says Macaulay, in his essav entitled " History," in the "Edinburgh Review," "is beyond description vivid and graceful. The abundance of interesting sentiments and splendid imagery in the speeches is almost miraculous." Hut he was destitute of many qualifications essential to a historian of the first order. Incapable of broad philosophic views, and indisposed to profound research, he was more studious to exalt the national glory and produce a picturesque effect than to compose a true history. He made little use of public documents, and was not familiar with the antiquities of his country. His work is also deficient in the explanation of the original constitution of the state, the contests between the orders, the progress of civilization, and other domestic affairs. Livy was married, and had two or more children. Died at Padua in 17 A.D. See N. Machiavei.u. " Discorso sopra la prima Decada Hi Tito Livio," 1512. (translated into English by K. Dacrks 1636;) D. W. Mnu.Kk, •*' Dbpuiatio drciikuia de Tito" 1688; A. M Mbke- GMeu.i, "Vila di Titn Livio," iRm 1 G K. Tommasini, " Vita Titi Livii," 1630: J C. Hand, " De Tito Livio Oratore," 1773.

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