Allusion and Exemplarity in Livy 44 and 45

Scahill, Kevin, Classics - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Corbeill, Anthony, Classics, University of Virginia

In Books 44 and 45, Livy provides exempla for two different classes of Romans: 1.) the unus vir, one of those Romans who, throughout Roman history, have found themselves the de facto heads of state in times of crisis; and 2.) the other Romans living with and essentially under that unus vir. Livy’s unus vir is encouraged to resist the corruption of luxuria and to “refound” Rome following the exemplum of Lucius Aemilius Paullus Macedonicus (cos. 182 and 168), a Roman who seemed to champion and represent ancient Roman virtues. The unus vir is also discouraged both from preferring Greek culture and philosophy to Roman religion and customs and from following the examples of Philip V, Perseus, and Andriscus of Macedonia in attempting to be like Alexander the Great. For those other Romans who are not the unus vir, Livy raises up some unlikely exempla to imitate: Lucius Anicius Gallus, Attalus III Philadelphus of Pergamum, and Stratius, physician to Eumenes II, king of Pergamum. If more than one Roman were intent on becoming the most powerful man in Rome, this could lead to civil strife, as it already had in Livy’s lifetime, so Livy uses these three to encourage the vast majority of Romans to be content with merely moderate glory, not to let ambition motivate them to plunge their states into civil war, to value brotherly harmony, and to provide and learn from historical exempla.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Livy, allusion, exemplarity
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: