Abbildungen der Seite

so flattering, or to pervert the truth, even in events where the emperor's family was most deeply interested.

Whilst engaged in the composition of the work, he seems to have resided partly at Rome and partly at Naples. From a passage in the 1st Book, (19th chapter,) where he states that the temple of Janus had only been twice closed posterior to the time of Numa, once after the termination of the first Punic war, and again after the battle of Actium, we obtain a probable conjecture, as to the date of the commencement of the work. The temple of Janus was shut in consequence of the battle of Actium, A. U. c. 725; Livy must therefore have begun his history posterior to this date. But it was again shut,

730, and some date betwixt these years must therefore be fixed as the time when he entered on his work, whilst his mention of the death of Drusus proves that he had not finished it till after that event, which took place in 744; his labours being thus continued for at least twenty years.

His domestic history is almost entirely conjectural, and is confined to the belief that he was married twice, and had two sons and four daughters, the youngest of whom was married to a rhetorician, L. Magius. He is said to have retired to Padua on the death of Augustus, and to have died in the fourth year after that event, in the 76th year of his age, a. u. c. 770, and A. D. 17, the same year which wit nessed the death of Ovid.

Livy's stupendous History of Rome extended from the foundation of the city, (containing besides a rapid detail of the circumstances leading to that event,) to the death of Drusus, a period of 744 years. It was divided into 140, or (as others with more probability maintain) 142 books. Following the former number, the whole was arbitrarily arranged at a later period, in decades or divisions, containing each ten books. Of the whole there remain only thirty-one books entire, and four nearly so. It will be easily seen in what state the work has come down to us from the following table.

1st Decade,-Books 1-10 inclusive, comprehending 460 years, entire.

2d Decade,-Books 11-20 inclusive, comprehending 76 years, lost. 3d Decade,-Books 21-30 inclusive, comprehending 16 years, entire.

Book 42,

4th Decade, Books 41, 43, 44, 45, § ing 34 years, 2 comprehend

Of the other books we have only fragments.

nearly entire.

The books, which have too probably been irretrievably lost, are said to have met this fate from the hostility of the Emperor Caligula, and of Pope Gregory, to the writings of Livy, as well as the reluctance with which the monks shrunk from copying a work so ponderous. By aid, however, of the fragments, and of the epitomae of nearly the whole work, (only two being lost,) composed either by Livy himself, or more probably by some skilful annotator, as well as other sources,

Freinshemius has, with great success, endeavoured to fill up the blank thus left in Roman History.

As a writer of history, Livy has ever held a most distinguished rank. It is true, that he evinces a striking, sometimes a reprehensible partiality for the people, to whose fame he had consecrated his genius. It is true, that he often errs in misunderstanding his authorities, in mistaking the object of institutions, and in writing at variance with himself. It is true, likewise, that he does pay too much attention to the recording of prodigies, and gives the dignity of history to the ravings of childish superstition. But some of these errors, (and they are by no means numerous in proportion to the magnitude of the undertaking,) may be pardoned, on account of the extent of the work, others on that of human nature's weakness, and many as arising from the genius of the age in which he wrote. Apart, however, from such considerations, these charges never remain on the mind when engaged in the perusal of Livy. They are all swept away by the uniform and majestic flow of his narration,-the graphic imaginativeness of his details, his sympathy with all which adds to the grandeur of his theme, and the lofty scorn which he breathes on aught which tends to derogate from Roman greatness.

The first five books of this great work are particularly interesting, as they contain, what was believed by the Romans themselves, to be the origin of their early institutions. As all the early records of Rome perished in the sack of that city by the Gauls, tradition supplied the place of more authenticated materials. There is, therefore, much room for doubt as to some events, and for total disbelief as to others. We accordingly find many writers questioning much of the historic, and, latterly, almost all of the political detail, which was formerly assented to, without dispute, as the history of infant Rome. At the head of these stands Niebuhr; but even he admits the great interest connected with the current notions of the Romans themselves as to their early history, above all, the surpassing merits of Livy, in his mode of managing the traditional history,—justly pronouncing the termination of the first book to be his masterpiece as a historian.

The 1st book, after detailing the events which led to the foundation of Rome, embraces a period of 244 years, including the reigns of the seven kings, Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Martius, Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullus, and Tarquinius Super-bus, the rise of various political institutions and their changes, and the overthrow of the monarchy.

The 2d book embraces a period of 43 years to A. U. c. 287, including the establishment of consular power,-the unsuccessful attempts of the banished royalists to effect a restoration,-the consequent tyranny of the nobility, the origin of plebeian influence, after many fierce struggles, in the creation of tribunes of the commons, and the wars in which the republic was continually engaged.

The 3d book extends from A. U. c. 287 to 310, a period of 22 years, interesting from its details of the mode by which Rome gradually ac

quired conquest after conquest, but, above all, from its account of the origin, progress, and fall of the decemviral power.

The 4th book begins a. u. c 310, and comprehends a period of 51 years, remarkable for the gradual success of the plebeians in obtaining a share of the honours of the state, the device of appointing military tribunes, the rapid progress of the Roman arms, and the advance to permanent military discipline, by bestowing pay on the soldiers.

The 5th book, which (along with the 6th) might with great propriety be called a life of Camillus, the most interesting of all the characters that Rome presents for our reverence, begins u. c. 351, in the third year of the memorable siege of Veii, captured by that general, -comprehends his after-exploits,—his banishment,-the progress of the Gauls in Italy,—the sack of Rome in 365, by that fierce people, -their expulsion by Camillus,-and the success with which he combated a general wish of his countrymen to emigrate to Veii, and leave the ruins of the fallen city.

The five books now presented to the reader thus embrace a period of 365 years.






I, II. Adventus Aeneae in Italiam, et res ab eo gestae referuntur. III. Ascanii regnum Albae, et deinceps Silviorum. IV. Numitoris filia, a Marte compressâ, nati Romulus et Remus. V. Amulius obtruncatus. VI. Urbs a Romulo condita. VIII. Senatus lectus. X. Opima Spolia Jovi Feretrio lata. XI. Cum Sabinis bellatum. XIII. În curias populus divisus. XIV, XV. Fidenates et Vejentes victi. XVI. Romulus consecratus. XVIII, &c. Numa Pompilius ritus sacrorum tradidit: Jano templum constituit; ejusque portam, pacatis omnibus circà populis, primus clausit. Cum dea Egeria sibi congressus nocturnos esse simulans, feroces populi animos ad religionem perpulit. XXII, &c. Tullus Hostilius Albanos bello petit. XXV. Posthaec trigeminorum pugna. XXVI. Horatius absolutus. XXVIII. Metti Fuffetii supplicium. XXIX. Alba diruta. XXX. Albani in civitatem recepti. Sabinis bellum indictum. XXXI. Ad postremum fulmine Tullus absumptus. XXXII. Ancus Marcius ceremonias, a Numa institutas, renovavit: XXXIII. Latinis victis, et ad civitatem adscitis, montem Aventinum assignavit: Politorium, urbem Latinorum, bello repetitam, quam prisci Latini occupaverant, diruit. Pontem sublicium in Tiberim fecit. Janiculum collem urbi addidit. Fines imperii protulit. Ostiam condidit. Regnavit annos viginti quatuor. XXXIV. Eo regnante, Lucumo Damarati Corinthii filius, a Tarquiniis, Etruriae civitate, Romam venit; et, in amicitiam Anci receptus, Tarquinii nomen ferre coepit; et post mortem Anci regnum excepit. XXXV. Centum additis, patrum numerum auxit. Latinos subegit, Circum designavit, ludos edidit. XXXVI. Sabinorum bello petitus, equitum centurias ampliavit. Tentandae


scientiae causâ Alii Navii auguris consuluisse fertur, an id, de quo cogitaret, effici posset: quod quum ille fieri posse respondisset; jussisse eum novacula cotem praecidere; idque protinus ab Atto factum. XXXVII. Sabinos praeterea acie vicit. XXXVIII. Urbem muro circumdedit, cloacas fecit. XL. Occisus est ab Anci filiis, quum regnâsset annos triginta octo. XLI. Successit ei Ser. Tullius, natus ex captiva nobili Corniculana; cui puero, adhuc in cunis posito, caput arsisse traditum est. XLII, XLIII. Vejentes atque Etruscos praelio fudit. Censum primus egit. Lustrum condidit, quo civium capita censa octoginta millia esse dicuntur. Classes, centuriasque descripsit. XLIV. Pomoerium protulit: colles urbi, Quirinalem, Viminalem, Esquilinumque adjecit. XLV. Templum Dianae cum Latinis in Aventino fecit. XLVII, XLVIII. Interfectus est a L. Tarquinio, Prisci filio, consilio filiae suae Tulliae, quum regnásset annos quadraginta quatuor. XLIX. Post hunc L. Tarquinius Superbus, neque patrum, neque populi jussu, regnum invasit : quo die scelerata Tullia per patris jacentis corpus carpentum egit. Armatos circa se ad custodiam corporis sui habuit. L, LI. Turnum Herdonium fraude interemit. LIII. Bellum cum Volscis gessit: LIV. Et ex eorum praeda templum Jovi in Capitolio fecit. Terminus et Juventas non addixere: quorum arae moveri non potuerunt. LV. Filii Sexti Tarquinii dolo, Gabios in potestatem suam redigit. LVI. Hujus filiis Delphos profectis, et consulentibus, quis eorum regnaturus esset Romae, dictum est, eum regnaturum, qui primus matrem osculatus esset. Quod respon sum quum ipsi aliter interpretarentur, Junius Brutus, qui cum iis profectus erat, prolapsum se simulavit, et terram osculatus est. Idque factum ejus eventus rei comprobavit. Num quum, impotenter se gerendo, Tarquinius Superbus omnes in odium sui adduxisset; ad ultimum, propter expugnatam nocturna vi a Sexto filio ejus Lucretiae pudicitiam, (quae, vocato patre ad se Tricipitino, et viro Collatino, obtestata, ne inulta mors ejus esset, cultro se interemit.) LIX. Bruti operâ maximè expulsus est, quum regnâsset annos viginti quinque. LX. Tunc consules primùm creati sunt L. Junius Brutus et L. Tarquinius Collatinus.

« ZurückWeiter »