— was a Roman
historian who wrote a monumental history of Rome and the Roman people. Ab Urbe Condita Libri
, "Chapters from the Foundation of the City," covering the period from the earliest legends of Rome well before the traditional foundation in 753 BC through the reign of Augustus
in Livy's own time. He was on familiar terms with the Julio-Claudian
family, advising Augustus's grandnephew, the future emperor Claudius
, as a young man not long before 14 AD in a letter to take up the writing of history.
Rome has grown since its humble beginnings that it is now overwhelmed by its own greatness.
We can endure neither our vices nor the remedies for them.
This above all makes history useful and desirable: it unfolds before our eyes a glorious record of exemplary actions.
Sic deinde, quicumque alius transiliet moenia mea!
The old Romans all wished to have a king over them because they had not yet tasted the sweetness of freedom.
Before anything else [Numa] decided that he must instill in his subjects the fear of the gods, this being the most effective measure with an ignorant, and at that time uncultured, people.
Law is a thing which is insensible, and inexorable, more beneficial and more profitious to the weak than to the strong; it admits of no mitigation nor pardon, once you have overstepped its limits.
Shared danger is the strongest of bonds; it will keep men united in spite of mutual dislike and suspicion.
Fame opportunely despised often comes back redoubled.