History: Ancient Rome and Account alone Livy Essay

Submitted By mallopez
Words: 597
Pages: 3

“The traditions of what happened prior to the foundation of the City or whilst it was being built, are more fitted to adorn the creations of the poet” (Livy). Through his account alone Livy begins to discredit his own recollection of events, Livy’s portrayal of events are a more mythicized version of Rome’s ascension to grandeur and fame. Through conflicting stories that are found in various examples of leading figures one can distinguish fact from fiction. Given what we know of early Rome from other sources Livy’s treatment of early Roman history is of little use to a modern historian. Through archeology we are able to sift through inscriptions left on stone, bronze, and pottery although at times brief and formulaic are various accounts of kings and their successors, and away from tales of mysticism left by people of influence such as Livy and his portrayal of Rome’s history (Boatwright p.7). Along with hard evidence left behind and new found technology we can now formulate through scientific testing we can now piece together chronologically events that now, present us with a vivid imagery of Rome’s vibrant history.
To begin with we must understand that Livy was not only a historian at the time but also filled the roll of a politician. Livy imparts his political stand point by portraying his disdain for certain characters in a biased recounting of events.
Livy begins his story of ancient Rome by introducing figures that would become the backbone of Rome’s origins: Aeneas, Antenor, Romulus, and Remus. Here is where as a reader may begin filtering the truth, and understand where Livy’s account falls short of factual.
With the introduction of Aeneas and Antenor; whom are presumably remaining survivors of Troy, Livy states that through “fate” they have been spared after all the inhabitants are massacred Aeneas is left unscathed. As if by divine intervention forces unknown leave him alive to assume fate would grant him to become acknowledged as Latin through marriage with King Latinus. Aeneas would later build a town and name it Lavinium after his wife (Livy).
Boatwright informs us as to the inaccuracy of this story and gives us insight as to why many Roman writers kept the story that the ancestor of all Latins was Aeneas. What the story of Aeneas allows us to understand