The Early History of Rome (Books I-V)
An epic endeavor by a man genuinely enamored of his native Rome, Livy’s “History of Rome” was originally written in 142 books spanning the entire history of the Roman people up to Livy’s day in the time of Augustus in the first century BC. Of this monumental history, which took most of the Livy’s life to complete, only 45 books still survive today. Livy begins with Aeneas’ landing in Italy and the myth of the founding of Rome by Romulus. In later books Livy thoroughly covers the numerous wars and rulers of Rome. Though the work is a bit biased, its countless references to other sources are a testament of Livy’s attempt to create an accurate, understandable history of the Roman Kingdom and later the Republic. Simultaneously a glorification of Rome and a passionate warning to future Romans, “Ab Urbe Condita” reflects the magnificence and ignominy, the opinions and interests, and the myths and political realities of one of history’s most remarkable civilizations. This edition, which follows the translation of D. Spillan, collects the first five books of Livy’s history beginning with the landing of Aeneas and concluding with the conquest of the Gauls. Also included in this edition is a biographical afterword.