Meet Titus Livy , Ancient Roman Historian

Titus Livy, also known as Titus Livius (or Livy) was a Roman historian with a poetic flair, who provided the people with details of various events that affected Rome, including some Eastern Mediterranean affairs. In this article, you will learn more about the man, the surviving pieces of his work, as well as enjoy a few words of wisdom.

There aren’t that many details regarding the life of Titus Livy, whose existence is mainly comprised of text left behind in publications, such as ‘ History of Rome from its foundation’ and ‘ Historians and philosophers’ (a book written by Roman biographer Suetonius). Despite the scarcity of concrete information, we now know more about Livy than we do other significant authors of the ancient world, such as Homer.

Livy’s birthplace is Patavium, which is now the modern-day Padua , a city located in the northern part of Italy. According to a Christian author by the name of Jerome, who was known for his impressive chronography skills, Titus Livy was born in 59 BCE and died in 17 CE. With no evidence to refute this claim, these are the dates given for his birth and death. If these numbers were true, that would make Livy alive during the days of Roman politician Octavian, the notable leader born in 63 that singly led the Roman Empire in 31.

When it comes to the most important piece of work that Titus Livy is known for creating, it is “Ab Urbe Condita,” which translates into “From the City having been founded.” It is here that his range and impact on the literary works of his day shines through. His work focused on historical matters that allow us to learn more about the way Rome was run in the past. For instance, he announces the elections for new consuls , all of which is presented in a blend of yearly chronological facts and narration.

The majority of work attributed to Titus Livy was completed during the reign of Augustus. Yet, he is often linked to showing an interest in the Roman Republic and wished to see its restoration. Unfortunately, books that he wrote in later years, which touched upon the end of the Republic, and the rise of Augustus did not survive, researchers are unable to formulate a definite conclusion on this matter.

Words of Wisdom of Livy

Before continuing on to the second part of this article, browse some of the words of wisdom attributed to Livy, which includes his take on subjects, such as the study of history and man.

It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.”

“We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.”

“The study of History is the best medicine for a sick mind.”

“The real power behind whatever success I have now was something I found within myself – something that’s in all of us, I think, a little piece of God just waiting to be discovered.”

“Men are least safe from what success induces them not to fear.”

“In difficult and hopeless situations the boldest plans are the safest.”

“Men are seldom blessed with good fortune and good sense at the same time.”

“No law is quite appropriate for all”