Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Livy: Sallust


(Titus Livius) (lĭv`ē), 59 B.C.–A.D. 17, Roman historian, b. Patavium (Padua), probably of noble family. He lived most of his life in Rome. The breadth of his education is apparent in his evident familiarity with the ancient Greek and Latin authors. His life work was the History of Rome from its founding in 753 B.C. The narrative comes to an end with Drusus (9 B.C.). Of the original 142 books of the work (published in sections) 35 are extant (Books I–X, XXI–XLV). There are fragments of some others, and all but two are known through epitomes. Livy's history reflects his admiration for the civilization of early Rome, and his belief that the importance of history was its applicability to contemporary life. As such he was a romantic, and not a scientific, historian. His sources included mainly the writings of previous authors, but he does not evaluate these sources critically. He chose what seemed to him most authentic and credible, and presented it with the enthusiasm of a patriot in the form of annals. Livy's accuracy is often questionable; he ignored certain sources and had little practical knowledge of military affairs or the workings of politics. His reputation and popularity are based on his elegant portraits of historical figures, his vivid depictions of events, his freedom of expression, and his masterly style (developed from Cicero). There are many English translations of Livy's history; the best have been published by Penguin Classics.


See P. G. Walsh, Livy: His Historical Aims and Method (1961); T. A. Dorey, ed., Livy (1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Titus Livius) Born 59 B.C. in Patavium; died there A.D. 17. Roman historian.

Livy lived and worked in Rome and enjoyed the protection of the emperor Augustus. He was the author of the History of Rome From Its Foundation, a year by year account of the entire history of the city, beginning with its legendary founding and going to 9 B.C. Out of the 142 books of his History, 35 have been preserved, covering events up to 293 B.C. and from 218 to 168. The contents of the remaining books are known from short summaries and excerpts made while the books were still extant. Livy did not do research in Roman history; rather he expounded on it, uncritically borrowing material from the Roman annalists and Hellenistic authors and taking back to antiquity features of the Roman state structure of his day. Livy did not conceal his intention of exalting Rome. In his philosophical views, he was close to Stoicism. He explained the course of historical events by changes in the underlying morality of society. In his opinion, the way of life and mores of the ancient Romans contributed to the creation of Roman greatness. His History was written rhetorically, in an expansive, picturesque style, with many emotional speeches attributed to historical figures. Both contemporaries and later generations saw in Livy’s work a model of historical writing. The author himself was considered the “Roman Herodotus.”


Ab urbe condita libri, vols. 1–10. Commentary by W. Weissenborns and H. J. Müller. Berlin, 1880–1911.
In Russian translation:
Rimskaia istoriia ot osnovaniia goroda, 2nd ed., vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1897–1901. (Translated from Latin under the editorship of P. Adrianov.)


Taine, H. Tit Livii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1900. (Translated from French.) Borneque, H. Tite-Live. Paris, 1933.
Walsh, P. G. Livy. Cambridge, 1961.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Latin name Titus Livius. 59 bc--17 ad, Roman historian; of his history of Rome in 142 books, only 35 survive
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
From these you may select for yourself and your country what to imitate, and also what, as being mischievous in its conception and disastrous in its results, you are to avoid" [Hoc illud est praecipue in cognitione rerum salubre ac frugiferum, omnis te exempli documenta in inlustriposita monumento intueri; inde tibi tuaeque rei publicae quod imitere capias, inde foedum inceptu foedum exitu quod vites.] (Livy, praef.
* Correction: Langdon Clemens is only the first death if you don't count the one that came before: Jervis Langdon, Livy Clemens's father, who died of cancer in August of 1870.
Chapters alternate between Bob's and Livy's points of view, offering just the right blend of mystery and cozy magic in a rewarding story about how friendships--and people--evolve over time.
Cheering crowds met the goddess's barge at Ostia, many of whom were virtuous Roman matrons whose presence had been dictated as necessary for the deity to be properly introduced (Livy 29.14.12).
1495-1545x8), archdeacon of Moray, completed the earliest extant translation of Livy into English.
The book includes six primary texts: 1) "A Family Sketch" by Mark Twain; 2) "A True Story, Repeated Word for Word as I Heard It" by Mark Twain; 3) "A Record of the Small Foolishnesses of Susie and 'Bay' Clemens (Infants)" by Mark Twain; 4) "At the Farm" by Mark Twain; 5) "Quarry Farm Diary" by Livy Clemens; and 6) "Mark Twain" by Susy Clemens.
It was one of the lowlights of studying Livy's history of the Carthaginian wars with the headmaster:
(34) A good illustration of the horror on the battleground is given by Livy in a passage concerning a surprise attack of the Volsci on the Romans in 431 BC:
The Early History of Rome (Books l-X) Titus and Comment Roman history and poetry comprise a huge lacuna in my education, so I spent the summer with Livy (and Virgil, Ovid and Horace).
If this were the case, Grendon would have read a selection from authors including Cornelius Nepos, Ovid, Quintus Curtius, Vergil, Livy, Paterculus, Florus, Horace, Cicero and Lucretius.
Gutwirth (emerita, French and women's studies, West Chester U.) conducts a feminist analysis of gendered aesthetics and politics in Jacque-Louis David's 1784 painting Oath of the Horatii, "a work of crucial significance in French Revolutionary culture." While others have already explored this topic, Gutwirth offers a new approach that builds on their work while also exploring the painting in relation to its classical sources (the subject is taken from Livy and Dionysius) and to the 1640 play Horace, by Pierre Corneille, built on the same classical sources.