Course Expectations and Objectives
We will read the excerpts from Livy's Ab Urbe Condita, focusing closely on the grammar, vocabulary, and style of the assigned texts, with only occasional comment on the historical and social background. The student is expected to have mastered a basic second year vocabulary and to be prepared to absorb a considerable quantity of new vocabulary. Complete familiarity with basic forms (declension patterns, pronouns, verb tenses, infinitives, and participles) is required.
Livy's style varies considerably. At times he is quite florid, rivaling Cicero in periodic structures; at others he is straightforward, even plain, as befits an historian of military affairs. As with all authors, the style and vocabulary become more easily absorbed as the work progresses. We will move slowly at first, more quickly as the semester progresses.
Students are expected to have prepared the assigned text well enough to read it with minimal difficulty and discuss grammatical constructions. Our goals are to read with reasonable ease the passages assigned and to articulate a basic understanding of Livy's historical aims and general worldview. The work required is considerable, the rewards commensurate.
The excerpts are available on-line in pdf format, with grammatical commentary. We will not cover all of these excerpts. Assigned texts will be announced as we progress according to the interests of the class.
Praefatio - Commentary
Romulus and Remus & the Rape of the Sabine Women (c. 753 B.C.) (1.6.4-1.7.3 & 1.12) - Commentary
The Death of Romulus (c. 717 B.C.) (1.15.6 - 1.16.8) - Commentary
Horatius at the Bridge (c. 509 B.C.) (2.10) - Commentary
Cincinnatus Dictator (458 B.C.) (3.26 - 29) - Commentary
The Sack of Rome (390 B.C.) (5.34-41) - Commentary
The Discipline of Manlius Torquatus (340 B.C.) (8.5-7) - Commentary
Devotio of Decius Mus (340 B.C.) (8.9-10) - Commentary
Poisoning in Rome (331 B.C.) (8.18) - Commentary
The Surrender of Postumius (320 B.C.) (9.10-11) - Commentary
Origin of the Second Punic War (21.1-2) - Commentary
Outbreak of the Second Macedonian War (200 B.C.) (31.5-8) - Commentary
Slave Revolt in Etruria & Gallic War (196 B.C.) (33.36-46) - Commentary
Repeal of the Lex Oppia (195 B.C.) (34.1-8) - Commentary
Hannibal with Antiochus the Great (193 B.C.) (35.14 & 19) - Commentary
The Bacchanalian Conspiracy (186 B.C.) (39.8-19) - Commentary
The Death of Hannibal (183 B.C.) (39.51) - Commentary
Popillius Deals with Rhodes and Antiochus IV (168 B.C.) (45.10 & 12) - Commentary
The Periochae of Livy (58-49 B.C.) - Commentary
The Death of Cicero (43 B.C.) - Commentary
Do not hestitate to make use of a modern edition in order to understand the grammar of the Latin. Not all translations are grammatically faithful to the original. Here are some that may be of use:
History of Rome, Books I-X - English (Perseus)
History of Rome - English (UVA)
Histoire Romaine, Livres I-X - French
A systematic grammar of Latin is recommended. Bennett's New Latin Grammar or, better, Allen and Greenough's New Latin Grammar. Both are available for on-line purchase. They are also available in on-line editions, but are not formatted for ease of use. Handouts on basic grammar and vocabulary are available at the Latin Handout Page.
William L. Carey, Esq.
Blankingship & Keith, P.C.
4020 University Drive, Suite 300
Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Livy (Encyclopaedia Britannica)
Life of Livy
Brief Introduction to Livy