Titus Livius, often known as Livy in English, was a Roman historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome, Ab Urbe Condita, from its founding (traditionally dated to 753 BC) through the reign of Augustus in Livy's own time. Livy's writing style was poetic and archaic in contrast to Julius Caesar's and Cicero's styles. Also, he often wrote from the Romans' opponent's point of view in order to accent the Romans' virtues in their conquest of Italy and the Mediterranean. In keeping with his poetic tendencies, he did little to distinguish between fact and fiction. Although he frequently plagiarized previous authors, he hoped that moral lessons from the past would serve to advance the Roman society of his day.
Livy (c. 59 BC-AD 17) dedicated most of his life to writing some 142 volumes of history, the first five of which comprise The Early History of Rome. With stylistic brilliance, he chronicles nearly 400 years of history, from the founding of Rome (traditionally dated to 757 BC) to the Gallic invasion in 386 BC - an era which witnessed the reign of seven kings, the establishment of the Republic, civil strife and brutal conflict. Bringing compelling characters to life, and re-presenting familiar tales - including the tragedy of Coriolanus and the story of Romulus and Remus - The Early History is a truly epic work, and a passionate warning that Rome should learn from its history.
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