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Livy: Reconstructing Early Rome (Paperback)
  • Livy: Reconstructing Early Rome (Paperback)
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Livy: Reconstructing Early Rome (Paperback)

(author)
£23.99
Paperback 264 Pages / Published: 03/04/1997
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Some critics of the Roman historian Livy (59 B.C.-A.D. 17) have dismissed his work as a compendium of stale narratives and conventional attitudes. Gary B. Miles reveals in Livy's history a creative interplay between traditional stories, contemporary ideological assumptions, and the historian's own perspective at the margins of Roman aristocracy. Drawing on a range of critical approaches, Miles considers Livy's stance as a historian, the ways in which he reworked his sources, and his interpretation of such historical phenomena as recurrence, continuity, and change. Miles focuses on the foundation stories with which Livy begins his account, detecting in Livy's rendition certain original conceptions of historical time including the suggestion that Roman identity and greatness might be preserved indefinitely through successive reenactments of a historical cycle. Miles pays particular attention to two stories-those of the abduction of the Sabine women and of Romulus and Remus, showing how Livy's versions of these traditional narratives-far from leading to a simplistic moral-address unresolved political issues of his day. According to Miles, Livy shows an unusually tenacious willingness to confront dilemmas in historiography and Roman ideology which were commonly ignored or suppressed by both his predecessors and his contemporaries.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801484261
Number of pages: 264
Weight: 425 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"A brilliant and convincing analysis. This lucid study... takes its place beside other basic works.... Highly recommended."

* Choice *

"Miles's book is well informed by an excellent knowledge of Roman culture and literature for the period ca. 60-20 B.C."

* Bryn Mawr Classical Review *

"A very important work. Miles goes further than his predecessors, giving us a Livy who is not merely in control of the structure of his history as a whole and of its individual episodes, but one who demonstrates originality as a thinker and interpreter."

-- Judith Ginsburg, Cornell University

"In this challenging book Miles argues that Livy's picture of early Rome is a reflection of the ideals, tensions, and concerns of his own day. Rome coped with changes by casting them as continuities with the past; Livy in his idiosyncratic reinterpretation sees the contradictions, ambiguities, and positive lessons in those continuities."

-- T. James Luce, Princeton University

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