Augustan republics: Livy, dionysius of halicarnassus and the politics of the past

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, the authors composed their accounts of Roman history within the climate of cultural fervour and political reinvention. Insofar as it is impossible to imagine a discussion of the Republic that does not make use of the testimony of Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, it is necessary to take stock of the conditions in which these writers worked as well as the biases and assumptions that underpinned their portrayal of republican political life. Livy was from Patavium, a wealthy city in Cisalpine Gaul with longstanding ties to Rome, while Dionysius came from Halicarnassus, a Greek colony on the coast of Asia Minor most famous as the birthplace of Herodotus. The bare sequence of annual events provided meagre material for history, of course, and successive generations of annalistic historians worked to fill out the record of Roman history with increasing detail and analysis, in a process suggestively labelled 'the expansion of the past'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationA Companion to the Political Culture of the Roman Republic
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781119673675
ISBN (Print)9781444339659
StatePublished - Feb 4 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. All rights reserved.


  • Annalistic historians
  • Dionysius
  • Halicarnassus
  • Patavium
  • Political reinvention
  • Roman history


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